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Elaine Stritch rests her bike, reads a note, almost causes a riot.      

NEW YORK, June 26—TOLD TO KEEP HER SHIRT ON – Blonde Elaine Stritch, understudy to Ethel Merman in the Broadway hit, “Call Me Madam,” wears halter and shorts which cause her arrest in Central Park. Today she was fined $1 and told by Magistrate Emilio Jones, “A beautiful girl like you could cause a small riot and cause a large crowd to collect by removing your shirt.” “Well,” she replied, “I was there all day and nothing happened.” (AP, 1951)

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12 Elaine Stritch quotes to live by

Elaine Stritch, female comedy icon and salty Broadway grand dame, died Thursday at the grand age of 89. Outspoken, lauded and often considered difficult by her co-workers, Stritch never stopped working even in her 80s, only moving out of New York in the last year or so of her life. She was a proud supporter of the city all through her life, though. “I think it’s the wrong way around to say when you get older move to the country,” she once said. “I think when you get older you move to New York. If you’re a nice broad they’ll look after you.”

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Elaine Stritch, Tart-Tongued Broadway Actress and Singer, Is Dead at 89 | NYT

Plainspoken, egalitarian, impatient with fools and foolishness, and admittedly fond of cigarettes, alcohol and late nights — she finally gave up smoking and drinking in her 60s — though she took it up again — Ms. Stritch might be the only actor to work as a bartender after starring on Broadway, and she was completely unabashed about her good-time-girl attitude.

“I’m not a bit opposed to your mentioning in this article that Frieda Fun here has had a reputation in the theater, for the past five or six years, for drinking,” she said to a reporter for The New York Times in 1968. “I drink and I love to drink, and it’s part of my life.”

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“I was reading [a self-help book] yesterday,” she says, “and it said: ‘Make your own bed.’ I said to the book: ‘Fuck you! I don’t have to make my own bed! That’s why I live at the Carlyle.’ ”