Born in Detroit, Stritch made her stage debut in 1944 and went on to have an immensely successful career on Broadway in such musicals as Company, Bus Stop and A Little Night Music. A five-time Tony nominee, she won the Tony for Best Special Theatrical Event 2002 for her one-woman show Elaine Stritch at Liberty. She was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1995.
In interviews and in her one-woman show, Stritch, famous for her acerbic wit, spoke candidly about her struggles with alcoholism.
On screen, Stritch's television credits include Law & Order, for which she won a drama guest actress Emmy in 1993, and One Life to Live. Most recently, she recurred on 30 Rock as Colleen, the caustic mother of Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), earning a comedy guest actress Emmy in 2007. Stritch, an eight-time Emmy nominee, won her third Emmy for individual performance in a variety program for her one-woman show in 2004.
A documentary about the actress, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, was released earlier this year.
Stritch's husband, actor and playwright John Bay, died in 1982.