Cloris Leachman — the legendary Emmy Award-winning actress known for her roles in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Malcolm in the Middle, and Young Frankenstein — has died. She was 94. According to The Wrap, Leachman's manager confirmed that the actress passed away in her sleep at her home in California overnight. It is also reported that she died of natural causes, though an official coroner's report does not appear to have been released.
Leachman was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1926. As a young woman, she competed in the Miss America pageant, which earned her a scholarship at the Actors Studio in New York City. This was where her career in showbusiness really got its start. Over the years, Leachman appeared in some incredibly high profile and beloved films, such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, High Anxiety, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Spanglish. Her lengthy list of TV credits includes Gunsmoke, Lassie, Twilight Zone, The Facts of Life, Touched by an Angel, Raising Hope, and American Gods.
An incredible talent with an incredible career. Goodbye, Cloris Leachman. pic.twitter.com/GaS7fwWcA1— comedycentral (@ComedyCentral) January 27, 2021
Notably, Leachman once tried her hand — or feet, rather — at reality TV, competing on Dancing With The Stars back in 2008. Leachman was partnered with professional dancer Corky Ballas and together the pair made it all the way to sixth place, defeating stars such as Toni Braxton, Kim Kardashian, and Jeffrey Ross. In an interview with the New York Times at the time, Leachman commented on how much she was enjoying competing on TV, joking, "I’ve got a bit of time before my next project. Maybe I’ll be on American Idol."
In the wake of Leachman's death, many have taken to social media to mourn her passing. "Cloris Leachman has passed. The Oscar and Emmy-winning funny lady stole her way into our hearts and always left us smiling. She was 94," tweeted Star Trek star George Takei. "Rest in peace, and save a laugh for us when we get there."
There was nothing funnier when I was a kid than Frau Blucher in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. There might still not be anything funnier. RIP Cloris Leachman. pic.twitter.com/9oSLehyf5O— Josh Horowitz (@joshuahorowitz) January 27, 2021
"Very sad to find out we lost an absolute legend today, Cloris Leachman," added Raising Hope creator Greg Garcia. "I can’t squeeze into a tweet all the fun times I had with this woman and how much I loved her so I’ll just say she’ll be extremely missed. She was the definition of one of a kind."