Hollywood legend and The Help star Cicely Tyson dies aged 96
Hollywood veteran and The Help star Cicely Tyson has died at 96, just days after giving a moving TV interview about her final wishes.
Thu 28th Jan 2021
Oscar and Emmy-winning actress Cloris Leachman has died at the age of 94.
The actress and comedian had a Hollywood career spanning over seven decades, and her work in television saw her break multiple records: She was nominated for a record 22 Emmys, and won eight, tying her with Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the most awarded actress in Emmy history.
Her breakthrough role came when she was well into her 40s, playing landlady Phyllis in the iconic 70s sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which led to her own spin-off show, Phyllis.
She also won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1971 film The Last Picture Show. She appeared in several hit Mel Brooks films during that decade, including Young Frankenstein and High Anxiety.
Leachman didn't slow down in the later decades of her career, giving it her all aged 82 as the oldest contestant to date on the 2008 season of US Dancing with the Stars and appearing in TV shows like Two and a Half Men, Hot in Cleveland, The Office and, most recently, the 2019 reboot of Mad About You.
The last of her eight Emmy wins came in 2006, for a guest role on the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle.
TMZ reports Leachman died of natural causes this week at her home in Encinitas, California, with her daughter, Dinah, by her side.
"She had the best life beginning to end that you could wish for someone," her son told the outlet, adding that "she left everyone with a lot of love."
Leachman was married to Hollywood director George Englund from 1953 to 1979, their union producing four sons and one daughter. The former couple stayed close long after their split: Englund helped Leachman write her 2009 autobiography.
Tributes are flowing today for a true Hollywood legend:
Such sad news—Cloris was insanely talented. She could make you laugh or cry at the drop of a hat. Always such a pleasure to have on set. Every time I hear a horse whinny I will forever think of Cloris’ unforgettable Frau Blücher. She is irreplaceable, and will be greatly missed.— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) January 27, 2021
Cloris Leachman. Everything she did seemed like the role she was born to play. Her Oscar-winning dramatic chops. Her wild comedy swings. Her relatable roles. Her freakish roles. She was in complete control of her craft and seemed to never think twice about it. A legend.— Louis Virtel (@louisvirtel) January 27, 2021
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.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 27, 2021
Rest in peace, and save a laugh for us when we get there.
I genuinely thought Cloris Leachman would live forever, how dare she not! RIP to a legend pic.twitter.com/x9XnnSeCpi— Caroline Darya Framke (@carolineframke) January 27, 2021
An incredible talent with an incredible career. Goodbye, Cloris Leachman. pic.twitter.com/GaS7fwWcA1— comedycentral (@ComedyCentral) January 27, 2021
She was Mary's neighbor, Wonder Woman's mom, Frankenstein's right hand, and so much more. She did comedy, drama, noir, and everything between, conquering every role with the consummate aplomb of a true legend. In short, there was no one like Cloris Leachman. Rest well, icon. pic.twitter.com/5iBEFhow57— Michael Varrati (@MichaelVarrati) January 27, 2021
So sad to hear that the brilliant Cloris Leachman has passed. She was a longtime supporter of LGBTQ equality and acceptance. Our hearts are with her loved ones. pic.twitter.com/0GJJ7inKU1— GLAAD (@glaad) January 27, 2021
Originally published as Tributes flow as Hollywood legend dies