Oscar-Winning Actor Cloris Leachman Dies At 94

Special Correspondent | Last Updated : January 29, 2021

The famous nosy neighbor on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” Cloris Leachman, dies at the age of 94. The academy award winning actor was one of the finest talents in television history.

Spokesperson Monique Moss confirmed her death. Leachman embraced a natural death and went to her final sleep at her home in Encinitas, California.

The actor’s success is flaunted in her Facebook cover shot, sitting on a sofa with her golden rewards. Cloris Leachman has won eight Emmy awards in her television career.  

Oscar-Winning Actor Cloris Leachman Dies At 94

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences inducted Cloris into the Hall of fame in 2011. Phyllis Lindstrom, the most popular and loved the character of Cloris in the television comedy series “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” fetched her awards for best-supporting actress in 1974 and 1975.

The character’s popularity was at a level that Cloris was all set to go in her own television show, “Phyllis.”

Oscar-Winning Actor Cloris Leachman Dies At 94

The actor also gained fame in TV movies. In 1973, she played the character of a mother at the age of 46 in the TV movie “A Brand New Life.” The movie was aired on “ABC Movie of the Week” on February 20, 1973. Playing the character of a mother was a daring act in that era. But the character again fetched her 1973 Emmy award for the best leading actress.

Another Emmy award was bagged by her for the best-supporting actress for her work in “Cher” in 1975. In 1984, the Emmy award was given to her for the best variety performances in the “Screen Actors Guild 50th Anniversary Celebration”. She won Emmy award in 1988 for the best actress in a guest role in “Promised Land”

She definitely left an impression on the younger television viewers with her hilariously scheming grandmother role in “Malcolm in the Middle.” At the age of 82, she was the oldest competitor on the sets of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars- season 2008-2009. 

She won two Emmys, in 2002 and 2006, for the best guest actress in a comedy. She grabbed the award for her role as Malcolm’s grandmother.

Leachman was humble to say that she went to the award nights without expecting a winning statue to take home.

In a 2015 TV Academy interview, Leachman confessed not to prepare any speeches for receiving the award as she never thought that she was going to win.

The dedication and hard work that Leachman put into her work can be understood by her belief that she always tries to be good at whatever she does, and that will always bring good rewards. She said that it was always a wonderful feeling to receive recognition for her work. 

She played the dramatic role of Ruth Popper, a lonely housewife of the town’s high school football coach in “The Last Picture Show.” The role bagged the prestigious Oscar in her lap. In 1971, Leachman was awarded the Oscar for best-supporting actress.

The role of Frau Blücher in Mel Brooks’ comedy classic “Young Frankenstein” was loved by many.

Leachman played many fascinating characters. But her most admired and unforgettable character is Mary’s neighbor in “Mary Tyler Moore Show.” 

In a 2015 interview with NBC’s “Today,” at the age of 89, Leachman was already struggling even to stand up from a chair. But even at that age, her mind was sharp enough to utter prompt words of a comic.

Leachman gave credit to her mother for nurturing her creative side.  She was born and raised in Iowa, studied at Northwestern University and then moved to Chicago to compete in the 1946 Miss America Competition. 

Her 3 sons and 1 daughter survive her. Her husband died in 2017, and one of her sons died in 1986. 

Many co-stars and fans have shared their feelings on Twitter. Leachman will be remembered and loved. 

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