Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Greg Goodsell

6/19/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Performer was cast in a variety of off-the-wall roles that endeared her to fans

Nervous, knock-kneed and not yet 30 years of age, this writer approached cult movie favorite Susan Tyrrell for an exclusive interview in 1989. Over lunch, Tyrrell regaled me and my friends with stories of her days in Hollywood. Remarkably outspoken, she told me that director John Huston had raped her following her Academy Award nominated performance in "Fat City" in 1972. Tyrrell's "rotten life" - her words, has ended. She was 67.

Susan Tyrrell's favorite role was as the Mad Queen Doris in 'Forbidden Zone,' who rules her own alternate universe with an iron fist in much the same way she lived her life. Tyrrell has passed away at the age of 67.

Susan Tyrrell's favorite role was as the Mad Queen Doris in "Forbidden Zone," who rules her own alternate universe with an iron fist in much the same way she lived her life. Tyrrell has passed away at the age of 67.

Highlights

By Greg Goodsell

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/19/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Movies

Keywords: Susan Tyrrell, cult movies, death, amputations, actress


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Tyrrell had carved out a niche of bizarre and colorful roles onscreen. The mad queen of the Sixth Dimension in "Forbidden Zone" (1982); the perpetually crying single mom in "Andy Warhol's Bad" (1977); the formerly nice, now dangerously psychotic killer in "Night Warning" (1982); Johnny Depp's white trash grandma in "Cry Baby" (1990). Interestingly, she told me that these off-the-wall roles were not of her choosing. "I don't seek out these pasts!" she hissed. "I take these parts to pay the rent!"

The daughter of a talent agent, Tyrrell established herself in the theater and then transitioned to film with 1971's "Shoot Out." The following year, she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in John Huston's "Fat City."

Fiercely opinionated, Tyrrell played the Hollywood game strictly on her own terms. She may have lost out on major roles in major productions, but the films she did appear in remained permanently lodged in the hearts of minds of movie fans. Other memorable roles included the feisty lesbian sculpturess in the "Angel" series, the island madam in "Islands in the Stream," "Powder" and the possessive mom with a secret in "Buddy Boy." 

Life can be cruel, and Tyrrell's health began to fail in the early 2000s. Both of her legs were amputated below the knee in 2000, due to the rare blood disease Essential Thrombocythemia. In spite of this setback, she continued to take the occasional film role such as "Masked and Anonymous" (2003), "The Devil's Due at Midnight" (2004) and David Zellner's "Kid-Thing."

"Nothing was off limits with her -- she didn't mince words, she loved what she loved and she hated what she hated...She will be sorely missed," director Zellner wrote.

Truer words were never spoken. You didn't want to get on Tyrrell's bad side -- but eventually everyone did.

With the exception of "Fat City," her favorite role was as Queen Doris of the Sixth Dimension in the madcap musical "Forbidden Zone." "I run that movie every Halloween, it's so fresh." Acting onscreen with her real-life lover, Herve Villechaizse, best known as Tattoo on "Fantasy Island," Tyrrell runs her wacky alternative universe with an iron fist, much in the manner as she lived her life.

Tyrrell and this writer would have our differences, but she rallied behind me at a time when it really counted. For this, I will be eternally grateful.

Rest in peace, SuSu!

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Movies

'Transformers: Age of Extinction' battering the box office - in China Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The "Transformers" film series in the U.S., is based on a childhood toy favorite where ordinary, commonplace things such as trucks turn into giant robots to do battle. Aimed at children, "Transformers" films are aimed mainly at children and are booked in stadium ... continue reading


Relativity Studio's Family Friendly 'Earth to Echo' (In theaters Nationwide July 2) will entertain kids of all ages, and provide lots of laughs for parents too!

Image of Earth to Echo will entertain the whole family!

By Donald Clark

Relativity Studio's Family Friendly "Earth to Echo" (In theaters Nationwide July 2) will entertain kids of all ages, and provide lots of laughs for parents too! We had an opportunity to pre-screen Earth to Echo with 350 children and their parents at the TLC theatre in ... continue reading


Cop comedy '22 Jump Street' takes box office by storm Watch

Image of The comically inept cop comedy duo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In spite of the World Cup and the Stanley Cup finals dominating TV airwaves this past weekend, it didn't keep film fans from heading to the theaters in droves. The nation's pick for top flick? The rowdy cop comedy "22 Jump Street," which grossed an impressive ... continue reading


No one ever dies in science-fiction: Sigourney Weaver to return for 'Avatar' sequels Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

No character that ever died in a blockbuster motion picture can never be ruled out for resurrection for the inevitable sequel or sequels. Such is the case with actress Sigourney Weaver. "Avatar" director says that Weaver will be back before cameras for all ... continue reading


Latest Disney movie performs 'Maleficent'-ly at box office Watch

Image of This time, evil queen Maleficent - as played by Angelina Jolie, tells her side of the popular bedtime tale.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The motion picture-going public loves a villain on the big screen - and to that end, lines wrapped around theaters to see "Maleficent," Walt Disney's new take on their "Sleeping Beauty" story. This time, evil queen Maleficent - as played by Angelina Jolie, ... continue reading


Can't say no to the Big Green Lizard: 'Godzilla' conquers box office Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Godzilla" roared into theaters last weekend, and predictably, moviegoers couldn't say no. The iconic monster movie opened to a worldwide box office take of $196.2 million. As a result, response to Jon Hamm's sports drama "Million Dollar Arm" was soft. LOS ... continue reading


Eighties classics on tap from Netflix, Amazon Prime for the Month of May Watch

Image of Eighties movie classics such as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The month of May will have many movie fans breaking out such slogans as "fer sure!" and "tubular!" Eighties classics such as "Adventures in Babysitting" and "The Big Chill" are coming to Netflix and Amazon Prime this month. In preparation of the new "Godzilla" ... continue reading


JUST LIKE OLD TIMES! Hans, Luke and Leia to return in forthcoming 'Star Wars' epic Watch

Image of The rather tall gentleman in this picture is Peter Mayhew, who wore the scorching hot Chewbecca outfit in the original

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's exciting - it will be just be like old times in a galaxy, far, far away! Han, Luke and Leia, the heroes of the original "Star Wars" in 1977 are onboard to appear in the forthcoming "Star Wars; Episode VII." Furthermore, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and ... continue reading


15 Movies You Should Watch When You Turn 50 Watch

Image of

By Deal W. Hudson

To put it bluntly, there are some books we shouldn't try to read when we are young because, first, we won't really understand them, and, second, having read them we will very likely never read them again, and it's later on in life when we recognize why they are ... continue reading


Deal Hudson: Play It Again Sam Watch

Image of

By Deal W. Hudson

We welcome the retelling of traditional stories because we are always seeking both to understand and endure the stories we inhabit and ultimately the narrative which is our entire life.Why else would both the main characters in Casablanca, played by Ingrid ... continue reading


All Movies News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Corinthians 4:7-15
7 But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
1 [Song of Ascents] When Yahweh brought back Zion's ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:20-28
20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came with her ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 25th, 2014 Image

St. James the Greater
July 25: For James there was no indication that this was the day that his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter