Cloris Leachman, the Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning actress whose career spanned across nine decades, has died at the age of 94.
In a statement to Variety, which notes Leachman died from natural causes, the actress’ 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.”
Leachman has won numerous awards over the course of her career including an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in 1972 for her performance in The Last Picture Show. She’s also won seven Emmy Awards including two Best Supporting Actress in Comedy awards for her performance on The Mary Tyler Moore Show as Phyllis Lindstrom. Leachman’s other Emmy wins came in the categories of Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program and the Outstanding Guest Actress categories, which provided her with four Emmy Awards.
Leachman’s storied career featured a wide variety of roles in addition to the aforementioned The Last Picture Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She famously starred in The Mary Tyler Moore Show spinoff series Phyllis, which ran for two seasons from 1975-77. During that time, she also portrayed Queen Hippolyta in the 1975 pilot for Wonder Woman. Other television credits include Lassie, The Fact of Life, The Ellen Show, Malcolm in the Middle, Raising Hope, Phineas and Ferb and American Gods.
Leachman also enjoyed success in film, with many scene-stealing performances scattered throughout her lengthy career. Her credits include roles in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Young Frankenstein, The Muppet Movie, History of the World: Part I, The Beverly Hillbillies, Now and Then, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, Bad Santa, Spanglish, The Longest Yard, Scary Movie 4, Beerfest and The Croods.
Such sad news—Cloris was insanely talented. She could make you laugh or cry at the drop of a hat. Always such a pleasure to have on set. Every time I hear a horse whinny I will forever think of Cloris’ unforgettable Frau Blücher. She is irreplaceable, and will be greatly missed.— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) January 27, 2021
Salute to Cloris Leachman, who brought comedy’s mysteries to the big and small screen.— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) January 27, 2021