Cloris Leachman, legendary actress, dead at 94
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Cloris Leachman, star of stage and screen, has died at the age of 94.
A rep for the Oscar and Emmy-winning actress confirmed to Fox News that she died of natural causes on Wednesday. She passed away in Encinitas, Calif. Her daughter was at her side.
“There was no one like Cloris. With a single look she had the ability to break your heart or make you laugh ’till the tears ran down your face,” said the star’s longtime manager Juliet Green via Leachman’s rep Monique Moss. “You never knew what Cloris was going to say or do and that unpredictable quality was part of her unparalleled magic.”
Green added that Leachman “loved her children and her grandchildren ferociously” and remembered her as a lifelong vegetarian” who “was a passionate advocate for animal rights.”
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The star was known as one of Hollywood’s most prolific performers having won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and eight Primetime Emmy Awards.
Cloris Leachman, known for her roles in ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ and ‘The Last Picture Show,’ has died at the age of 94. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
She is best known for playing Phyllis Lindstrom on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which ran from 1970-1977. According to IMDb, the star appeared in 35 episodes as Mary’s cooky landlady.
The role eventually led to a spin-off called “Phyllis,” which aired from 1975-1977.
Leachman is also noted for receiving more Emmy awards than any other actor, winning a Daytime Emmy in addition to her eight primetime awards, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Her other high-profile television credits include “The Facts of Life” portraying Beverly Ann Stickle, Grandma Ida on “Malcolm in the Middle” and a recent role in the rebooted “Mad About You.”
Beyond television, the actress had a rich career in film as well, having won an Oscar for 1971’s “The Last Picture Show,” a movie that saw her play the wife of a high school coach in a small southern town.
Cloris Leachman had a decades-long career in showbiz, including appearances on Broadway, television and in film. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
Leachman appeared as Frau Blucher in Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” as the longtime lover of a now-deceased Dr. Frankenstein, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
She also appeared in Brooks’ productions “High Anxiety” and “History of the World: Part I.”
Before making it big in Hollywood, Leachman had built an impressive resume in the world of theater, appearing in a number of Broadway productions, including “South Pacific” and “As You Like It.”
She competed on “Dancing with the Stars” at the remarkable age of 82.
Her most recent credit is “The Croods: A New Age,” in which she voiced the character Gran. The movie debuted only months ago.
Cloris Leachman is known for earning more Emmy awards than any other actor, with eight primetime awards and another Daytime Emmy. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
Per IMDb, she will appear in two more projects that are currently in post-production or awaiting release: “High Holiday” and “Not to Forget.”
A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Leachman competed as Miss Chicago in the 1946 Miss America pageant and finished among the 16 finalists, THR reports.
In 1953, Leachman married filmmaker George Englund and divorced in 1979. Englund died in 2017.
They shared five children: Bryan — who died in 1986 — Morgan, Adam, Dinah and George.
The Associated Press and Fox News’ Mariah Haas contributed to this report
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