This theater veteran should need no introduction:
I wasn't able to find the clip from her one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, when she talks about being an understudy on Broadway & taking another gig in (I think) Connecticut b/c, after all, Ethel Merman never misses a show -- then there's a blizzard and she practically mugs a family to get her to the theater in time for her big number. If you know where that clip is, please post in the comments -- it is hilarious.
Elaine Stritch was born in 1925 in Detroit, Michigan, the youngest daughter of Mildred (née Jobe; 1893-1987), a homemaker, and George Joseph Stritch (1892-1987), an executive with B.F. Goodrich.http://en.wikipedia.org/...
Stritch trained at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York City under Erwin Piscator; other students at the Dramatic Workshop at this time included Marlon Brando and Bea Arthur.
Stritch understudied Ethel Merman for Call Me Madam, and, at the same time, appeared in the 1952 revival of Pal Joey, singing "Zip". Stritch later starred in the national tour of Call Me Madam, and appeared in a supporting role in the original Broadway production of William Inge's play Bus Stop. She was the lead in Goldilocks.
She starred in Noël Coward's Sail Away on Broadway in 1961. Stritch started in the show in a "relatively minor role and was only promoted over the title and given virtually all the best songs when it was reckoned that the leading lady ... although excellent, was rather too operatic for a musical comedy."
Her date with Marlon Brando:
Oh, and she can sing, too. When you listen to some of the YTs, you can still see why she understudied for Ethel Merman -- not too many actresses can be funny AND have those kind of pipes:
Then talking about nerves:
6:30 PM PT: Just found her talking on TV (CUNY), a show called Theater Talk, where she discusses, among other things, her cabaret show At Home at the Carlyle.
11:39 PM PT: OMG this is so funny: