Oscar winner and multiple Emmy winner Cloris Leachman is dead. She died at the age of 94.
Cloris Leachman, an Oscar winner for her role of a lonely housewife in “The Last Picture Show” and a comedic delight as the fearsome Frau Blücher in “Young Frankenstein” and neighbor Phyllis on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” has died.
Leachman died in her sleep of natural causes at her home in Encinitas, California, publicist Monique Moss said Wednesday. Her daughter was at her side, Moss said.
She also had an occasional role as Ida on “Malcolm in the Middle,” winning Emmys in 2002 and 2006 for that show. And in 2008, she joined the ranks of contestants in “Dancing with the Stars,” not lasting long in the competition but pleasing the crowds by wearing sparkly dance costumes, sitting in judges’ laps and cussing during the live television broadcast.
According to Voice of American, she started out as Miss Chicago in the Miss America Pageant, Leachman willingly accepted unglamorous screen roles.
“Basically, I don’t care how I look, ugly or beautiful,” she told an interviewer in 1973. “I don’t think that’s what beauty is. On a single day, any of us is ugly or beautiful. I’m heartbroken I can’t be the witch in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ But I’d also like to be the good witch. Phyllis combines them both.
“I’m kind of like that in life. I’m magic, and I believe in magic. There’s supposed to be a point in life when you aren’t supposed to stay believing that. I haven’t reached it yet.”