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Cloris Leachman Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trivia (42)  | Personal Quotes (15)

Overview (3)

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Died in Encinitas, California, USA  (complications from a stroke with COVID-19 as a contributing factor)
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

The legendary actress set a record when at age 82, she appeared on Dancing with the Stars (2005). Cloris Leachman was born on April 30, 1926 in Des Moines, Iowa to Berkeley Claiborne "Buck" Leachman and the former Cloris Wallace. Her father's family owned a lumber company, Leachman Lumber Co. She was of Czech (from her maternal grandmother) and English descent. After graduating from high school, Leachman attended Illinois State University and Northwestern University, where she majored in drama. After winning the title of Miss Chicago 1946 (as part of the Miss America pageant), she acted with the Des Moines Playhouse before moving to New York.

Leachman made her credited debut in 1948 in an episode of The Ford Theatre Hour (1948) and appeared in many television anthologies and series before becoming a regular on The Bob & Ray Show (1951) in 1952. Her movie debut was memorable, playing the doomed blonde femme fatale Christina Bailey in Robert Aldrich's classic noir Kiss Me Deadly (1955). Other than a role in Rod Serling's movie The Rack (1956) in support of Paul Newman, Leachman remained a television actress throughout the 1950s and the 1960s, appearing in only two movies during the latter decade, The Chapman Report (1962) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). Though she would win an Oscar for Peter Bogdanovich's adaptation of Larry McMurtry's The Last Picture Show (1971) and appear in three Mel Brooks movies, it was in television that her career remained and her fame was assured in the 1970s and into the second decade of the new millennium.

Leachman was nominated five times for an Emmy Award playing Phyllis Lindstrom, Mary Tyler Moore's landlady and self-described best friend on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970) and on the spin-off series Phyllis (1975). She won twice as Best Supporting Actress in a comedy for her "Mary Tyler Moore" gig and won a Golden Globe Award as a leading performer in comedy for "Phyllis", but her first Emmy Award came in the category Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 1973 for the television movie A Brand New Life (1973). She also won two Emmy Awards as a supporting player for Malcolm in the Middle (2000).

She was married to director-producer George Englund from 1953 to 1979. They had five children together. Cloris Leachman died of natural causes on January 27, 2021 in Encinitas, California.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Family (4)

Spouse George Englund (19 April 1953 - 29 December 1978)  (divorced)  (5 children)
Children Dinah Englund
Bryan Englund
Morgan Englund
George Englund Jr.
Adam Englund
Parents Leachman, Berkeley Claiborne
Wallace, Cloris
Relatives Anabel Englund (grandchild)

Trivia (42)

Miss Chicago of 1946 - Miss America contest.
One son, Bryan Englund, passed away from an overdose of ulcer medication on February 25, 1986.
Posed "au naturel" on the cover of "Alternative Medicine Digest" (issue 15, 1997) body painted with images of fruit adorning her nakedness. This was a parody, or imitation, of the famous Demi Moore body painted nude Vanity Fair photo.
Older sister of chanteuse Claiborne Cary.
Her classmates at the Drama Department of Northwestern University included Paul Lynde, Charlotte Rae, Martha Hyer, Patricia Neal and Agnes Nixon. She joined the Gamma Phi Beta sorority at Northwestern University.
Was close friends with Phyllis Love. Together, they attended Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa. Leachman was a 1987 inductee of the Theodore Roosevelt High School Hall of Fame.
On December 24, 1962, she appeared in three prime-time television series as a guest star: Stoney Burke: Cousin Eunice (1962), Saints and Sinners: A Night of Horns and Bells (1962) and The New Loretta Young Show: Anything for a Laugh (1962).
Had seven grandchildren (including granddaughter Skye Englund).
Had won nine Emmy Awards (including one Daytime Emmy Award), more than any actor or actress.
Along with Bill Mumy, she was one of only two actors to appear in both The Twilight Zone (1959) and its second television revival, The Twilight Zone (2002).
Leachman served as the 2009 Grand Marshal, the 10th female grand marshal in the history of the parade.
Tossed the coin flip for the 95th Rose Bowl game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the University of Southern California Trojans on January 1, 2009.
She was awarded the 1978 Joseph Jefferson Award for Guest Artist for her performance in the play, "Twigs", at the Marriott Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
Born in Polk County, daughter of Berkeley Claiborne "Buck" Leachman (1903-1956) and wife Cloris Wallace (1901-1967).
Ranked #23 on the TV Guide Network special, Funniest Women on TV (2011).
Suffered a miscarriage at 4 months pregnant during the filming of Lassie (1954) in 1958.
Was 5 months pregnant with her son Adam Englund when she completed filming Kiss Me Deadly (1955).
Had guest-starred in the second-to-last episode of Diagnosis Murder (1993), Diagnosis Murder: On the Beach (2001).
She appeared with Madeline Kahn in five films: Young Frankenstein (1974), High Anxiety (1977), The Muppet Movie (1979), History of the World: Part I (1981) and My Little Pony: The Movie (1986).
She appeared with Eileen Brennan in four films: The Last Picture Show (1971), Daisy Miller (1974), Going to the Chapel (1988) and Texasville (1990).
Grandmother of Skye Englund.
Ex-daughter-in-law of Mabel Albertson. Ex-niece-in-law of Jack Albertson.
Her maternal grandmother was of Bohemian (Czech) descent, while her other grandparents had English ancestry.
Was the 70th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Last Picture Show (1971) at The 44th Annual Academy Awards (1972) on April 10, 1972.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6435 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on September 20, 1980.
Delivered her sons Adam Englund, George Englund Jr., Bryan Englund and Morgan Englund naturally and her daughter Dinah Englund via emergency Caesarean section.
She was one of only two actresses to have won both the Best Supporting Actress Oscar (for The Last Picture Show (1971)) and the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy (for The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970)). The other one is Allison Janney, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for I, Tonya (2017) and the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy twice for "Mom" (2013).
Was one of three actresses who have won both the Best Supporting Actress Oscar (hers being for The Last Picture Show (1971)) and the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy (hers being for The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970) and Malcolm in the Middle (2000)). The other actresses are Eileen Heckart and Melissa Leo.
She appeared in five films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Last Picture Show (1971), Young Frankenstein (1974) and The Muppet Movie (1979).
Cloris and George Englund actually separated in 1974, but they didn't divorce until 1978.
Alumna of Stella Adler Studio of Acting.
Grew close to classmates Paul Lynde and Charlotte Rae. Lynde would come to her dormitory to put on operas, with Rae and Leachman singing backup.
She appeared on television in eight decades, earned her first onscreen credit for work on The Ford Theatre Hour: Night Must Fall (1948).
Cloris Leachman passed away on January 26, 2021, three months away from what would have been her 95th birthday on April 30. Upon her death, she was cremated and her ashes scattered at sea.
Her final scene in The Last Picture Show (1971) was filmed in one take, with no rehearsal. After the first take, she said "I can do better." Peter Bogdanovich reportedly replied "No, you can't -- you just won the Oscar.".
The second of only three performers ever to win Emmy Awards for acting across all three genres: Comedy, Drama and Limited Series/TV Movie. Edward Asner did this first, and Uzo Aduba joined them in 2020.
After competing in the 1946 Miss America pageant, Leachman secured a scholarship to study under Elia Kazan at the Actors Studio. In 1948, she appeared in the Broadway play, "Sundown Beach", directed by Kazan and co-starring, among others, Julie Harris, Nehemiah Persoff and Phyllis Thaxter.
Before her death, she had never retired from acting.
Juy 1973 it was announced that she and Cybil Shepherd would star in Roman Fever to be directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
Lived Mendula Canyon, California.

Personal Quotes (15)

[on receiving the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, 1972] I'm at a point where I'm free to go out and have a little fun with my career. Some Oscar winners have dropped out of sight, as if they were standing on a trapdoor. Others picked it up and ran with it. I'm going to run with it.
If you brush your teeth, you don't want to eat something right after because your mouth feels so fresh. So brushing your teeth actually prevents you from eating until later.
When something is truly funny, it's funny all the time.
The reason I am a good actress, I think, is because the times when I didn't have a good part and you think, "What the hell do you do with it?" You have to figure something out.
If I were to do some outlandish role, I always made sure I'd be on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) to show that I wasn't that person that I played. I'd be myself. And so people got to know me, I think, and I think they know that I'm honest and truthful and real.
My son became my manager, and he said to me, "Mom, if you could do anything you wanted to do, what would it be?" And out of my mouth immediately came, Dancing with the Stars (2005).
I don't think "comedy" or "serious". I always brought seriousness to comedy and comedic things to serious roles.
My mother was a darling, darling woman with a wonderful sense of humor. I remember when I finally developed, I was about 15 years old with a 32 C-D bust. I had to go away for something for a couple of weeks and mama wrote a lovely little letter. At the end it said, "P.S. WYB." I couldn't imagine what WYB was. It was Wash Your Brassiere. This is the kind of humor my mother had.
I know that there's no God. I am very convinced of that -- and very happy about it.
I worked very hard to be perfect. Well, there's nothing more boring than being perfect and when you try to be perfect, you're a little disconnected from reality... Be free, everyone. Free yourself. Get free. It's so much more fun. It's so empowering. Don't try to be like other people.
I live a very leisurely life. When I do work, it's not work, it's great fun, and exciting and fresh. New, wonderful talented people. It's great pleasure and great fun.
Kissing is the most wonderful, intimate, sexy thing in the world. Much more than... what's it called... fornicating!
I was busy everyday on live television back in the 1940s and 1950s in New York. I was starring in one thing after another every week. Then at night I'd be on Broadway. What a wonderful education all of that was. What a wonderful, exciting, learning adventure. It's stood me in good stead all of these years, I think.
[on her part cut out of Inglourious Basterds (2009)] I have heard that, and I would suspect that that's true, because it's very long and my thing isn't woven into the plot. It would be a very good scene to cut, in the sense that it wouldn't hurt the picture. It's a wonderful little scene. I love doing it and Quentin Tarantino loved it, too, but it's not going to make or break the film.
For many, many years, I thought that God would get even with me or punish me because I didn't believe in him, or her, or them. And nothing ever happened except for good things. So I don't believe at all in God, and I'm very relieved that I don't. Extraordinary miracles, billions and trillions of them, happen all the time, but not because there's a God.

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