Museum Of Home Video Presents: The Incomparable Susan Tyrrell

“Orgies?! Anyone will tell you they’re the LONELIEST PLACE IN THE WORLD!” – Susan Tyrrell in conversation with Skip E. Lowe

During the last five of so years of her life, the great actress Susan Tyrrell (1945-2012) called Austin her home. “Su-su” as she was known to her many friends, was an accomplished screen performer, an Academy Award nominee, and a tireless seeker of great parts. In the introductory portion of the video that follows, video-collector Badly Licked Bear compares her to Rip Torn, and the comparison is appropriate: incandescent talents, hopelessly weird, with an unquenchable appetite for variety in their chosen roles.

If you haven’t already seen FORBIDDEN ZONE (1980) starring Tyrrell as the Queen of the Sixth Dimension, you should do so right away. She is also remarkable in ANDY WARHOL’S BAD (1977), John Waters’ CRY BABY (1990) and John Huston’s FAT CITY (1972) for which she was nominated for an Oscar.

Possibly even more berserk than any of her films is this 1993 interview with Hollywood Public Access host Skip E. Lowe, on whom Martin Short reportedly based his Jiminy Glick character. This is Tyrrell at her best, on fire with candid self-assessments, indiscreet to the max, and every inch a movie star. Who else could say, “I have a very private, gorgeous life,” or “I’m not going to hide the fact that I’m bitter. I just want to make some bucks off of it.” She was a special person, and there will never be another one like her.

So soak it up, and enjoy this video. And while you are at it, check out the other programs that Bret Berg and his network of collectors are unearthing over at the invaluable Museum Of Home Video. But first, Susan Tyrrell.

As a further artifact of Tyrrell’s amazing life, here is a somewhat blurry photo of the Academy Award nomination plaque she received for FAT CITY. It was found roughly jammed into the back of a kitchen cupboard in a Venice, California apartment by a friend of author/producer Zack Carlson. The plaque was gifted to Tyrrell’s family after her death. The magic marker addendum is 100% Su-su, and a precious reminder of her indomitable spirit.

 

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