Moments before sitting down on a couch at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Midtown Manhattan, an establishment that—perhaps—would’ve passed muster with the grand doyenne of comedy, to interview Colin Firth and Emma Stone, the news broke that Elaine Stritch had passed away. She was 89, and died of natural causes in Birmingham, Michigan.
“We just found out,” Stone told That Daily Beast. “I loved seeing her on 30 Rock. That woman was so big and full of life.”
The two stars were in town to promote the Woody Allen flick Magic in the Moonlight, and Allen, of course, collaborated with Stritch on the 1987 film September, playing the brash, caustic mother to Mia Farrow’s character. And Stritch, best known of late for her role as Colleen Donaghy, Alec Baldwin’s salty mom on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, was a beloved figure in Firth’s household growing up.
“I was a huge Elaine Stritch fan,” said Firth. “She’s someone I grew up on. She did a lot of theatre in London—had a huge part of her career in England—and did this wonderful sitcom, Two’s Company, where she played the American heiress and Donald Sinden played her English butler. I used to watch it avidly when I was younger.”
Firth added: “She was ahead of her time. You almost feel like she carried something with her from the Dorothy Parker generation. She was so fearless, and urbane. My whole family completely adored her. One thing we’d always watch together was that show.”
Stone and Firth join several other stars in paying their respects to the late icon, including Lena Dunham and more (see below).