She won every award. She was hilarious, caustic, a genius actress, and will be so sorely missed. Cloris Leachman has died of natural causes in Los Angeles at age 94. I really thought of her as living forever.
An Oscar winner in 1972 for Peter Bogdanovich’s “The Last Picture Show,” she was already a star, especially on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” There she played Phyllis Lindstrom as if she were Stradivarius himself. She won 7 Emmy Awards, with a total of 19 Emmy nominations. Three of her wins for playing Phyllis. She won twice for guest spots on “Malcolm in the Middle” and just kept working and winning. She was spun off of “Mary Tyler Moore” in her own sitcom, “Phyllis,” that was flawed but hilarious and ran for one crazy season.
— Ed Asner (@TheOnlyEdAsner) January 27, 2021
Cloris was married to the late George Englund from 1953 to 1978 and had five children including former “Guiding Light” actor Morgan Englund. They had a wild marriage. George famously had an affair with Joan Collins, who left him for Warren Beatty while George was married to Cloris. George– who was a great pal to me– was best friends with Marlon Brando. These people were at the center of Hollywood, and loved it.
Cloris had a wicked sense of humor, and would tell you anything. I remember a night at Morton’s for the Vanity Fair party where she literally bent my ear with tales of the great days with all these people. She was vicious and fun, and loved to gossip.
She was also just enormously talented. Her success didn’t come until she was 40, but then it was everywhere. She’s voice now in the current “Croods,” and has two more movies set for release. She was recently in 10 episodes of the “Mad About You” revival.
And then there’s Cloris and Mel Brooks. She was the immortal Frau Blucher in “Young Frankenstein,” a signature role. Her performance is literally genius, it can’t be compared to anything else.
What a career! What a life! She will be so sorely missed. Condolences to her family. No age is enough, even 94. And now it’s hard to believe that Phyllis, Mary, and Rhoda are all gone.