Acting legend Cloris Leachman has died at 94


Cloris Leachman, the beloved and hilarious Oscar winner who got her start on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and soon became TV’s most Emmy-honored actress, has died.

The acting legend, part of Mel Brooks’ original ensemble cast, passed away Wednesday at age 94, her publicist Monique Moss confirmed to the Daily News.

“It was natural causes,” Moss said.

Leachman had her daughter Dinah by her side at her home in Encinitas, Calif., the spokeswoman said.

“Always beautiful. Nothing I could say would top the enormity of my love for you. Until we meet again darling,” Ed Asner, one of her costars on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,”

“Super sad to hear about Cloris Leachman. She was a riot to work with because she wasn’t afraid to try anything on set,” her “Malcolm in the Middle” costar Frankie Muniz said in an Instagram post.

Leachman won her Academy Award for her role in Peter Bogdanovich’s “The Last Picture Show” in 1971.

The seven-decade Hollywood icon also appeared in Brooks’ 1974 movie “Young Frankenstein” and 1981′s “History of the World, Part 1.”

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1926, Leachman began acting in local productions as a teen, attended Northwestern University and competed in the 1946 Miss America pageant, where she won a scholarship to study with Elia Kazan at the Actors Studio in New York.

Her breakthrough TV role was playing nosy landlady Phyllis Lindstrom on CBS’s seminal sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore” show from 1970 to 1975, which landed her back-to-back Emmy awards for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series its last two years.

Leachman later starred in the series spinoff “Phyllis,” which ran until 1977 and earned her a Golden Glove for best TV actress in a musical or comedy.

She won a total of eight Primetime Emmy awards from a record 22 nominations, making her the most awarded actress in Emmy history alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

In addition to her awe-inspiring entertainment career, Leachman also was an ardent advocate for animal rights.

“Animals have lost one of their most dedicated advocates with the passing of Cloris Leachman. A vegetarian since the 1950s, she lent her timeless beauty to PETA’s (campaigns),” PETA said in a statement. “We will always treasure her legacy of compassion.”

Her family asked that any donations in Leachman’s honor go to PETA or Last Chance for Animals, Green said Wednesday .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *