Cloris Leachman, the prolific actress and comedian best known for her award-winning roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Last Picture Show, and Young Frankenstein, has reportedly passed away at the age of 94. The news was confirmed in a report by TMZ, with her son confirming to the outlet that she passed away due to natural causes on the night of Tuesday, January 26th. Her death occurred at her home in Encinitas, California, with her daughter, Dinah, by her side.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa on April 30th, 1926, Leachman began acting after earning a scholarship through the Miss America pageant, where she placed in the Top 16. This led her to study under Elia Kazan at the Actors Studios in New York City, and have. a prolific run in the theater. Her first major on-screen role was in the 1955 noir Kiss Me Deadly, followed by appearances in The Rack and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. On the television side, she made memorable appearances on The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Lassie.
Leachman's career hit a fever pitch in the 1970s, beginning with her winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Ruth Popper in 1971's The Last Picture Show. She also earned a record-setting number of eight Primetime Emmy Awards and one Daytime Emmy, several of which were for her role as Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She also won a Golden Globe award for reprising her role on the spinoff series Phyllis. In 1974, she also portrayed Frau Blucher in the cult classic Young Frankenstein. Just a year later, she portrayed Queen Hippolyta in the series premiere of Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman series, a role that was later portrayed by Carolyn Jones and Beatrice Straight.
In the decades since, Leachman has had no shortage of memorable roles, appearing in The Facts of Life, The Ellen Show, Malcolm in the Middle, Raising Hope, and American Gods.
She also became a prolific voice actor, lending her voice to animated projects such as The Iron Giant, Ponyo, Phineas and Ferb, and the Croods franchise, as well as voicing Granny Goodness in the Justice League Action franchise. Her final two roles will be in the upcoming films High Holiday and Not to Forget.
Our thoughts are with Leachman's family, friends, and fans at this time.