Popular American actress, Cloris Leachman, has died at 94 of natural causes on Tuesday in Encinitas, Califonia.
The Oscar and multiple Emmy winner is best remembered as the delightfully neurotic, Phyllis Lindstrom on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ and her own subsequent sitcom, Variety.com reports..
Her longtime manager, Juliet Green said, “It’s been my privilege to work with Cloris Leachman, one of the most fearless actresses of our time. 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. You never knew what Cloris was going to say or do and that unpredictable quality was part of her unparalleled magic.”
The daffy, self-absorbed Phyllis, a character she claimed was close to her own persona, brought the actress two Emmys as a featured actress in a series during the mid-’70s and made Leachman a household name.
Leachman also won a supporting actress Oscar in the early part of the decade for a far different character, an embittered small-town housewife in Peter Bogdanovich’s elegiac “The Last Picture Show”; she would later reprise the role in the film’s less successful sequel “Texasville.” Both films were based on the writings of Larry McMurtry.
Overnight success for the actress, however, came only after two decades of hard work in theatre, television and some films. Leachman was in her 40s when stardom finally hit.
Leachman’s pitch-perfect timing and effortlessness in comedy and her unadorned honesty in drama was the result of many years honing her craft and incorporated her own life experiences as a mother of five children.
Her open, all-American look took her through several decades in a wide variety of roles on Broadway and early television as well as more than 40 movies, where she moved easily from leading roles to character parts.
The actress won a total of eight primetime Emmys, both for drama and comedy, and one daytime Emmy.
Leachman was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2011.
“Cloris: My Autobiography” was published in 2009. She penned the bestseller with George Englund, whom she divorced in 1979.
Survivors include sons Adam, George Jr., Morgan, an actor; and a daughter, Dinah.
The family requests that any donations in her name be made to PETA or Last Chance for Animals.
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