Cloris Leachman, whose acting career spanned over 70 years, died yesterday of natural causes at the age of 94. It is hard to say the role that she was best known for since she had so many memorable and award-winning parts. Leachman was nominated for 22 Primetime Emmy Awards (earning her the record for the most nominations). She won 8 Primetime Emmy Awards (tying her with Julia Louis-Dreyfus for the most actress wins in Emmy history.) Leachman also won an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Daytime Emmy Award!
My first memory of Cloris Leachman is from her role as Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Her character was so popular that Leachman played her in two spin-off series; first on Rhoda and then in her own show simply titled Phyllis. Although my first memory of Cloris Leachman is from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, there is no doubt that I’d seen Leachman in many other television guest appearances. Her tv credits include dozens and dozens of appearances on popular shows… everything from Lassie to The Twilight Zone.
Cloris Leachman wasn’t just limited to television roles. Her appearances in Mel Brooks’ films were always funny, welcome additions. Her role as Frau Blücher in Young Frankenstein is a classic. Who can forget her first major movie role as Christina Bailey in Kiss Me Deadly? Leachman also appeared in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Last Picture Show (where she won the Oscar and BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress), High Anxiety and many other features.
Cloris Leachman has nearly 300 acting credits on her resume and she made everything she was in better by her presence. She will be missed.
Our thoughts and prayers go our to Cloris Leachman’s family, friends and fans.