Elaine Stritch returns to really 'tell the truth'

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 25, 2014 at 7:18 am •  Published: February 25, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — Elaine Stritch just loves the documentary about her. Adores it, actually. There's just one thing she'd change.

"Someone asked me, 'How did you like the film, Elaine?'" the actress said late last week. "I said I loved it, I just wish I wasn't in it."

At 89, Stritch, as funny and irascible as ever, returned to New York to celebrate the opening of "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," delighting Broadway fans who have missed her and stunning others by unleashing the f-bomb on the "Today Show."

Last year, Stritch retired to her home state of Michigan and moved to suburban Detroit after seven decades in New York City. She suffers from diabetes, a broken hip and memory loss.

Filmmaker Chiemi Karasawa follows Stritch as she winds down her time in New York, complete with forgotten lyrics, touching moments and flashes of irrational anger. The actress admits some of it was uncomfortable to watch, but wanted honesty.

"I made up my mind to really tell the truth and prove to myself once and for all that the truth was fascinating," Stritch said. "Any time a human being stands up and tells the truth, I think, 'I want to hear that and I want to see that. I want to understand that. Is she out of her mind?'"

Although Stritch appeared in movies and on television, garnering three Emmy Awards, she was best known for her stage work, particularly in her candid one-woman memoir, "Elaine Stritch: At Liberty," and in the Stephen Sondheim musical, "Company."

Alec Baldwin, who appears in the documentary and helped produce it by sinking in his own money, said the woman who played his mother on "30 Rock" will never completely disappear no matter how far away she goes.

"People who are really talented have a level of immortality. You never say goodbye to them," he said. "Everybody in the business, they laugh with Elaine and at Elaine because of her irascibility but all of them know she's just incredibly talented."