Cult actress and Oscar nominee Susan Tyrrell has passed away at the age of 67. During the past decade, Tyrrell had been battling thrombocythemia, a rare blood disease that claimed both of her legs, which had to be amputated due to blood clots.
Tyrrell may not be the most recognizable name for some audiences, but she's a familiar face especially for cult movie fans, who remember her for turns in "Fire and Ice," "Flesh and Blood," "From a Whisper to a Scream," and "Forbidden Zone," Her performance as a deranged, psycho-biddy auntie in "Night Warning" is one of her most infamous roles, best encapsulating her eccentricities and indomitable personality.
Channeling the old-fashioned loony performances of the psycho-biddies before her, Tyrrell infused her character with a truly maniacal, incestuous menace that manages to stand out in the thoroughly insane cult slasher flick.
The actress wasn't just confined to the cult scene, though. Earlier in her career, Tyrrell featured in John Huston's "Fat City," netting her an Oscar nomination for her role as a barfly who gets tangled up with a washed up boxer (Stacy Keach).
However, her cult resume will define her career -- a career track that inevitably led to one of the cult scene's most revered directors in John Waters, who cast her in the role of Ramona Rickettes in 1990's "Cry-Baby." Her performance as the title character's rockabilly grandma is one of Tyrrell's most enduring and beloved, exemplifying her ability to combine old Hollywood glamor with high camp.
Tyrrell was certainly one of a kind, a unique personality whose eccentricity lent itself to several memorable performances. Even the loss of her legs couldn't contain the actress' spirit and zest for performance; she continued to work until her death, which came far too soon.
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