Actress Cloris Leachman dies of ‘natural causes’ at 94

Actress Cloris Leachman has died at the age of 94.
Actress Cloris Leachman has died at 94. Pic credit: ©

Oscar-winning actress Cloris Leachman, known for playing neighbor Phyllis in The Mary Tyler Moore show, passed away on Tuesday at 94.

She died at her home in Encinitas, California, with her daughter Dinah by her side, her son said, according to TMZ.

Her manager Juliet Green also confirmed her death in a statement.

“It’s been my privilege to work with Cloris Leachman, one of the most fearless actresses of our time. There was no one like Cloris,” Green said, according to ABC.

“She loved her children and her grandchildren ferociously. A lifelong vegetarian, she was a passionate advocate for animal rights,” the statement continued. “The family requests that any donations in her name be made to PETA or Last Chance for Animals.”

Cloris Leachman cause of death

Leachman died of “natural causes,” according to Green.

She was at peace on her deathbed and “left everyone with a lot of love,” her son said, according to TMZ.

“She had the best life beginning to end that you could wish for someone,” he added.

Leachman’s death comes after the Tony Award-winning Broadway legend Ann Reinking passed away in December at 71.

Darth Vader actor David Prowse also passed away in December.

Cloris Leachman bio

Leachman was born in April 1926 in Des Moines, Iowa. She took an interest in acting when she was a child.

After leaving high school, she studied drama at Illinois State University and Northwestern University in Illinois.

She competed in the Miss America Pageant in 1946.

Leachman later studied acting at the Actors Studio in New York.

She appeared in the Actors Studio TV series that premiered on ABC in the last 1940s.

Leachman played small roles in several TV shows before landing the role of Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Her role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show led to a spin-off series of her own, titled Phyllis.

Leachman appeared in several other TV shows, including The Facts of Life, Malcolm in The Middle, The Twilight Zone, Raising Hope, and Mad About You.

She appeared in several films, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), and The Last Picture Show (1971).

Leachman won several Emmy Awards, including for her role as Phyllis in The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

She also won Emmys for A Brand New Life, Cher, The Woman Who Willed a Miracle, Promised Land, and Malcolm in the Middle.

She appeared on Dancing With the Stars in 2008, when she was 82 years old.

She also also won a Golden Globe for Best TV Actress for playing Phyllis.

Leachman won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Last Picture Show and the 1993 film The Beverly Hillbillies.

She appeared in multiple Mel Brooks’ films, including Young Frankenstein (1974), High Anxiety, and History of the World, Part 1 (1981)

She was married to film director George Englund. They divorced in 1979 after more than 25 years of marriage.

Leachman is survived by four children and several grandchildren.

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