Friday, 4 November 2016

Godspeed Tammy Grimes

Tammy Grimes, star of stage and television, died on October 30 2016 at the age of 82.

Tammy Grimes was born on January 30 1934 in Lynn, Massachusetts. She went to Beaver County Day School in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. She graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. After graduation she worked for Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut and studied acting at the Neighbourhood Playhouse in New York City. She made her television debut on an episode of The United States Steel Hour in 1955. She made her debut on Broadway in The Littlest Revue in 1956.

Tammy Grimes would appear on Broadway several more times throughout her career. In the late Fifties she appeared in Look After Lulu and originated the title role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown. In the Sixties she appeared in Rattle of a Simple Man, High Spirits, The Only Game in Town, and Private Lives. In the Seventies she appeared in Private Lives, A Musical Jubilee, California Suite, Tartuffe, Trick, and 42nd Street. In the Eighties she appeared in Orpheus Descending.

Miss Grimes made frequent appearances on television. In the late Fifties she appeared on such shows as Max Liebman Spectaculars, Studio One, Kraft Theatre, Omnibus, Play of the Week, and Dow Hour of Great Mysteries. She appeared in a 1958 production of The Gift of the Magi.

In the Sixties Tammy Grimes was considered for the lead role on the sitcom Bewitched. She ultimately forewent the role to take the part of Elvira in High Spirits. She was the star of the short lived series The Tammy Grimes Show. She also appeared in such episodes of The Virginian, Route 66, Burke's Law, Destry, Mr. Broadway, The Trials of O'Brien, Tarzan, and The Outcasts.

In the Seventies she appeared on such shows as Love, American Style; Hallmark Hall of Fame ("The Borrowers"); The Wide World of Mystery; The Snoop Sisters; and The Love Boat. In the Eighties she appeared on such shows as St. Elsewhere, The Equaliser, Mathnet, and The Young Riders. In the Nineties she appeared on episodes of the soap opera Loving.

Tammy Grimes also had a career in feature films. She made her film debut in Three Bites of the Apple in 1967. In the late Sixties she also appeared in the film Arthur! Arthur! (1969). In the Seventies she appeared in the films Play It As It Lays (1972), The Runner Stumbles (1979), and Can't Stop the Music (1980). In the Seventies she appeared in the films The Stuff (1985), America (1986), and Slaves of New York (1989). In the Nineties she appeared in the films Backstreet Justice (1994), A Modern Affair (1995), Trouble on the Corner (1997), High Art (1998), and The Portrait (1999).

Tammy Grimes was a very talented actress. She was particularly adept at playing lively, slightly off-the-wall characters, and had a particular knack for comedy. She definitely had a singular voice, complete with a Mid-Atlantic accent rarely found in actors of her generation. It came in good use in playing such odd characters as the title character in the episode "Where Are the Sounds of Celli Brahms?" on Route 66, Homily Clock on the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of "The Borrowers", and Helene in the film Play It as It Lays. Tammy Grimes was certainly unique. It can truly be said there was no other actor like her.

1 comment:

KC said...

I only ever saw her in Can't Stop the Music and The Last Unicorn, but that was enough for me to love her. Nice write-up.