Remembering Cloris Leachman

By RodneyHatfieldJr for Movies

I really hate doing these, especially when you're a fan.

Born on April 30, 1926, in Des Moines, Iowa, After high school, she attended Illinois State University and Northwestern University where she majored in drama. After college, she spent some time acting in the Des Moines Playhouse before making the big move to New York. She worked steadily as an actress, garnering a reputation for her brilliant comedic timing while appearing in dozens of television shows before finely making it onto the big screen. Her debut was in 1955 in the noir-classic Kiss Me Deadly.


For the rest of the 50s and 60s, Leachman worked almost entirely in television. During this time, she appeared in the classic Twilight Zone episode(and a personal favorite) “It’s a Good Life” about a young boy with monstrous powers whose family lived in constant fear. She would go on to appear in multiple episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Night Gallery.


Then in 1971, Leachman would play the role that would earn her Academy Award as Ruth Popper in The Last Picture Show. Two years later, she would get the role of Phyllis Lindstrom in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. This role earned her multiple Emmy nods and her own spin-off series.


1974 was the year that concreted her into both horrors but comedy annals. Leachman would step into what would become her most iconic roles as the stiff, cigar-smoking, violin-playing (and most quoted name) Frau Blucher in Mel Brooks’s Young Frankenstein. She commanded every scene she was in, and she would work with Mel Brooks later on films like High Anxiety and History of the World Part I. Other notable horror movies are My Boyfriend’s Back, The Demon Murder Case, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, and Death Scream.


She continued to work to the very end. At the time of her passing, she had 287 acting credits on IMDb including two films that have not yet been released.

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