Remembering Elaine Stritch: 6 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Broadway Icon

Elaine Stritch

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updated 07/17/2014 AT 4:00 PM ET

originally published 07/17/2014 AT 5:15 PM ET

An acid tongue, a tart persona and an arch sense of humor were the hallmarks of Elaine Stritch’s career, which spanned some 60 years and hopped from stage to screen and back.

The 89-year-old Broadway legend died of natural causes Thursday at her home in Birmingham, Michigan, leaving behind a body of work that included heralded stints on Broadway in, among others, the 1952 revival of Pal Joey, Noël Coward’s 1961 musical Sail Away, and the groundbreaking 1970 production of Company.

Although newer fans might most easily recognize her for playing the mother of Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock, Stritch was always full of rowdy surprises.

Here are five things you probably didn’t know about the inimitable star.

1. The Tony eluded her.
Stritch never won a Tony award despite four nominations for dramatic roles (Bus Stop in 1956 and Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance in 1996) as well as musicals (Sail Away in 1961 and Company in 1970). She did earn three Emmys, including one for her turn in 30 Rock.

2. She was a 30-year-old virgin.
A strict Catholic who lived in a Manhattan convent when she first moved to New York City at age 17, she claimed to have remained a virgin until she was 30 years old.

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