Shirley Stoler

Active - 1969 - 2016  |   Born - Mar 30, 1929   |   Died - Feb 17, 1999   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Crime, Comedy Drama

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Hefty Brooklyn-born actress Shirley Stoler couldn't have escaped being a Cult Figure if she wanted to. Stoler's most colorful screen roles included the sadistic, sexually supercharged prison-camp commandant in Wertmullers Seven Beauties (1976), as Spike the Bartender in Frankenhooker (1990), and as pawnshop owner Edie Wulgemuth in Miami Blues (1990) (in the latter film, she expresses her displeasure with sleazy con man Alec Baldwin by cutting off his fingers with a machete!). It was par for the course for Stoler, who'd first made her mark on the cinematic world with a chilling and compeling performance as homicidal 200-pounder Martha Beck in the 1970 sleeper The Honeymoon Killers. Prior to that, Stoler was a veteran of the ground-breaking La Mama and Living Theatre performance companies; her resume also included several Broadway productions and a number of TV guest shots. A comparatively laid-back Shirley Stoler can be seen in a few scattered pictures like The Deer Hunter (1978, as John Savage's mother) and Malcolm X (1992); she also evinced signs of normality as Dottie Jessup on the 1980 TV series Skag. Stoler died of heart failure in 1999.

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