Elaine Stritch, widely recognized by 30 Rock fans as Jack Donaghy's fiesty mother Colleen on the NBC comedy series — was a celebrated American actress and vocalist who has appeared in numerous stage plays and musicals, feature films, and many television programs. The 3-time Primetime Emmy Award winner and 5-time Tony nominee originated the Broadway the role of Joanne in Stephen Sondheim's 1970 musical Company, which featured her notable performance of of "The Ladies Who Lunch."
Lauded as a singer with a brassy, powerful voice — and a lady with a robust, tell-it-like-it-is demeanor — Stritch also starred in her one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, in 2001.
Stritch, who first hit the stage in 1944, made her Broadway debut in the 1946 production of Loco, directed by Jed Harris. The following year, she performed comedy sketches and the song "Civilization" in the revue Angel in the Wings.
Stritch understudied Ethel Merman for Call Me Madam, while appearing in the 1952 revival of Pal Joey, and later starred in the national tour of Call Me Madam. She appeared in William Inge's play Bus Stop and Noël Coward's Sail Away, among other Broadway and off-Broadway productions.
On television, Stritch appeared on The Edge of Night in the role of memorable nanny Mrs. DeGroot. She joined the cast of The Ellen Burstyn Show in 1986 and later appeared as stern schoolteacher Mrs. McGee on 3 episodes of The Cosby Show.
She may also be seen on episodes of Law & Order, Oz and 3rd Rock From the Sun, among other programs.
The multitalented entertainer died July 17, 2014, in Birmingham, Michigan. She was 89.