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    Thursday, January 28, 2021

    Oscar Winning Actress, Cloris Leachman is Dead

    The versatile Oscar-winning actress whose career on stage, television and film spanned more than seven decades, Cloris Leachman has died in California at the age of 94.

    The Oscar winner died in her sleep of natural causes at her home in Encinitas, with her daughter by her side, according to her publicist.

    Leachman's early career saw her appear on TV as the mother of Timmy in the Lassie series, a frontier prostitute in Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, and the member of a crime family in Crazy Mama.

    Leachman, equally adept at comedy and drama, was perhaps best known for her TV roles on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its spinoff "Phyllis," as well as "The Facts of Life," "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Raising Hope." She won eight Emmy Awards -- tied for the most all-time with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She also won one Daytime Emmy Award.

    Leachman attends a music video premiere, March 19, 1986 in Hollywood, California. Ron Galella/Getty Images, FILE
    On the big screen, she won the Academy Award for her role as a gym teacher's neglected wife in 1971's "The Last Picture Show," and was perhaps best known for playing nosey neighbour Phyllis on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

    She also appeared in three Mel Brooks films, "Young Frankenstein," "High Anxiety" and "History of the World: Part I." And she played Daisy May Moses in the 1993 film version of "The Beverly Hillbillies."

    Speaking of the role in 1973, she said: "Basically I don't care how I look, ugly or beautiful.

    "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."

    In more recent times she had an occasional role as Ida in Malcolm In The Middle, winning Emmys in 2002 and 2006, among eight Emmys she was awarded during her career.

    She was also a contestant on the 2008-09 season of ABC's Dancing With The Stars; at the time, she was the oldest competitor in the show's history, at age 82.

    CBS via Getty Images, FILEMary Tyler Moore and Cloris Leachman in a scene from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

    Her longtime manager Juliet Green told NBC: "She loved her children and her grandchildren ferociously.Leachman was born and raised in Iowa but moved to the outskirts of Chicago, competing in the 1946 Miss America competition as Miss Illinois.

    "A lifelong vegetarian, she was a passionate advocate for animal rights. The family requests that any donations in her name be made to PETA or Last Chance for Animals."

    She is survived by three sons and a daughter.

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