Elaine Stritch, the Broadway star and all-round kick-ass lady, passed away on Thursday at the age of 89. Stritch was known for her long and storied Broadway career. Stritch started her Broadway career with Loco in 1946, but was only given minor and understudy roles for several years before having getting what would turn out to be her big break with Noel Coward’s Sail Away in 1961. She was originally cast as the leading lady’s understudy, but replaced her full time, when it turned out that the other actress’ voice was too operatic for the part.

Elaine Stritch
The actress is survived by seven nieces and nephews and their families.

Since then, Stritch has been dropping truth bombs on stage, film and television. Her best known recent stage work was at the New York Public Theater in 2001 and on Broadway in 2002 with Elaine Stritch on Liberty – a one-woman show, which received rave reviews and earned the Tony for Best Special Theatrical Event. TV fans may recognize her as the the sharp-tongued mother of Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy. She won her third Emmy award for that one.

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She refused to conform and fought oppressive stereotypes since her early years. In 1951, she was arrested and fined $1 (which was probably a lot of money back then) for wearing a halter top and shorts, while resting from her bike ride in Central Park. The judge allegedly told Stritch that she could “cause a riot by removing her shirt” to which Stritch boldly replied: “Well, I was there all day and nothing happened.”