Cloris Leachman, best known for her role as Phyllis Lindstrom on the 1970s sitcoms “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spin-off “Phyllis,” died Wednesday at her home near Los Angeles. She was 94. Her manager, Juliet Green, confirmed Leachman’s death in her sleep from natural causes.
Leachman was primarily a TV actress in the 1950s and the 1960s but appeared in several movies. She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in 1971’s “The Last Picture Show.” But it was in television that she gained most of her fame, receiving five Emmy nominations – winning two – for her role as Phyllis Lindstrom, Mary Tyler Moore’s landlady and nosy neighbor on CBS’ “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and the spin-off series “Phyllis.” She won a Golden Globe for her work on “Phyllis” and she won a total of eight primetime Emmys.
Leachman was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2011. In 2009, she published “Cloris: My Autobiography.” Leachman was married to director/producer George Englund from 1953 to 1979 and had five children. In “Cloris,” she talked about her marriage (including her husband’s affair with Joan Collins) and the death of her eldest son, Bryan, as a result of a drug overdose in 1986.
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