Susan Tyrrell reported dead

Susan Tyrrell reported dead

Big Top Pee-wee! Forbidden Zone! Cry-Baby!

You don’t get much geek friendlier than Susan Tyrrell.

Despite being nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Fat City, there’s no guarantee the Academy will include Susan Tyrrell in their In Memoriam for 2012.

For readers of this blog, though, there will be no forgetting the larger than life, define the universe on your own terms Tyrrell.

Here’s just a sampling of unique performances:

  • Although uncredited (by choice), Tyrrell nominated Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards
  • She co-starred with Carroll Baker in Bad
  • Ben Gazzara was her co-star in Tales of Ordinary Madness
  • Susan was the Queen of the Sixth Dimension in Forbidden Zone, based on the work of Oingo Boingo (a sequel is in the works)
  • She played Solly Mosler in both Angel and Avenging Angel
  • Paul Verhoeven directed Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Susan Tyrrell in Flesh+Blood
  • John Cusack, Tim Robbins…and Susan Tyrrell in Tapeheads
  • Pee-wee Herman encountered Susan as the tiny Midge Montana in Big Top Pee-wee
  • John Waters directed Johnny Depp…and Susan Tyrrell (as Ramona Rickettes) in Cry-Baby
  • Her voicework included Cow and Chicken and Extreme Ghostbusters

I could keep going. Suffice it to say that your Susan Tyrrell number may have a lot more to do with how interesting you are than your Kevin Bacon number (mine happen to be the same…three for both. I was on Strange Universe with Emmett Miller who was in Wag the Dog with Jay Leno who was in What’s Up, Hideous Sun Demon with Susan Tyrrell…thanks, Oracle of Bacon).

Even after she lost both legs to a rare blood disease, she continued to work.

Good-bye, Susan Tyrrell…the world is a lot more ordinary without you.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.


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