Elaine Stritch Mourned as a Feisty, Funny Broad

Among her other notable Broadway appearances were as Grace, the owner of a small-town Kansas restaurant in William Inge's "Bus Stop" (1955), and as a harried cruise ship social director in the Noel Coward musical "Sail Away" (1961). She also appeared in revivals of "Show Boat" (1994), in which she played the cantankerous Parthy Ann Hawks, and Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance" (1996), portraying a tart-tongued, upper-crust alcoholic.

She was parodied in 2010 on an episode of "The Simpsons" in which Lisa Simpson attends a fancy performing arts camp. One class was on making wallets with Elaine Stritch and Andrew Lloyd Webber. "That's worth being in the business for 150 years," she said with a laugh.

Stritch's films include "A Farewell to Arms" (1957), "Out to Sea" (1997), and Woody Allen's "September" (1987) and "Small Time Crooks" (2000). She also appeared on TV, most notably a guest spot on "Law & Order" in 1990, which won Stritch her first Emmy. The recurring role in "30 Rock" got her another in 2007.

She starred in the London stage productions of Neil Simon's "The Gingerbread Lady" and Tennessee Williams' "Small Craft Warnings." It was in England that Stritch met and married actor John Bay. They were married for 10 years. He died of a brain tumor in 1982.

In "At Liberty," she delivered "I'm Still Here," Sondheim's hymn to show-business survival, a number she once described as "one of the greatest musical theater songs ever written." It could have been written about her.

"Good times and bum times/I've seen them all and, my dear/I'm still here," the song starts. "Plush velvet sometimes/Sometimes just pretzels and beer/But I'm here."

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle contributed to this report.

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