Actress Cloris Leachman Dies at Age 94

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Actress Cloris Leachman passed away of natural causes on Jan. 26, 2021. One of her sons confirmed the actress died in her home with her daughter Dinah Englund by her side.

She was born on April 30, 1926, in Des Moines, Iowa. Her father owned a lumber company — Leachman Lumber Co. — growing up. She was of English and Czech descent from her maternal grandmother.

After she graduated from high school she attended Illinois State University and Northwestern University. While she was attending Northwestern she majored in drama.

In 1946, she participated in the Miss American pageant and won Miss Chicago. After winning her title she acted with the Des Moines Playhouse before she moved to New York.

LeachmanLeachman made her debut in an episode of an anthology series called “The Ford Theatre Hour” in 1948. Afterward, she appeared in several other anthologies and series before becoming a regular on “The Bob & Ray Show.”

Her memorable film debut was in “Kiss Me Deadly” in which she played Christina Bailey in 1955. The next film Leachman worked in was in 1956’s “The Rack.” Other than that she remained — mainly — on television shows through the 1950s and 1960s.

She was nominated for five Emmy’s for her role as Phyllis Lindstrom on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Her work on the show earned her two Best Supporting Actress awards.

In 1975, Leachman earned her own spin-off series called “Phyllis.” She won a Golden Award for the leading performer in comedy for her spin-off show.

Leachman won her first Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 1973. She achieved this award for her role in the TV movie “A Brand New Life.” The actress won two Emmy’s for supporting player for her role in “Malcolm in the Middle.”

The sitcom star married her husband, George Englund on April 19, 1953. They had five children together before they divorced in December 1978. On Feb. 25, 1986, their son Bryan Englund passed away due to an overdose of ulcer medication.

Leachman posed “au natural” on issue 15 of “Alternative Medicine Digest” in 1997. Her body was painted with images of fruit on the cover of the magazine.

She is survived by her children, grandchildren, and family. Her friends and fans will miss her very much as well.

Written by Sheena Robertson


IMDb: Cloris Leachman

Hollywood Reporter: Cloris Leachman, Sitcom Standout and Oscar Winner, Dies at 94; by Cheryl Cheng

Featured Image Courtesy of Matthias Ripp’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inline Image Courtesy of voicechasers’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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