CLORIS LEACHMAN Biography - Actors and Actresses


Biography » actors and actresses » cloris leachman


Name: Cloris Leachman                                                                     
Born: 30 April 1926 Des Moines, Iowa                                                     
Cloris Leachman (born April 30, 1926) is an Academy Award-, nine-time Emmy- and           
Golden Globe-winning American actress of stage, film and television. She has won         
eight primetime Emmy Awards—more than any other female performer—and one Daytime     
Emmy Award.                                                                               
Leachman, the eldest of three sisters, was born in Des Moines, Iowa, the                 
daughter of Cloris and Buck Leachman, who owned a lumber company. She                     
graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1944. She later majored in drama at               
Northwestern University, where she was a member of Gamma Phi Beta and a                   
classmate of future comic actor Paul Lynde. Leachman began appearing on                   
television and in films shortly after competing in Miss America as Miss Chicago           
After winning a scholarship in the beauty pageant, Leachman studied acting in             
New York City at the Actors Studio with Elia Kazan. She appeared in the Broadway         
production of William Inge's Come Back, Little Sheba.                                     
She appeared in many live television broadcasts in the 1950s, including such             
programs as Suspense and Studio One. She was also one of the Raisonette Girls in         
the 1960s. She made her feature film debut in Robert Aldrich's film noir classic         
Kiss Me Deadly, released in 1955. Leachman was several months pregnant during             
the filming, and appears in one scene running down a darkened highway barefoot           
and wearing only a trenchcoat. A year later she appeared opposite Paul Newman             
and Lee Marvin in The Rack (1956). She appeared with Newman again, in a brief             
role as a prostitute in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).                       
Leachman as Ruth Martin in "Transition", her debut episode (1957) on Lassie. Jon         
Shepodd as Paul Martin. The Martins have just learned Timmy has run away.                 
She continued to mainly work on television, with appearances including the               
classic It's a Good Life episode of The Twilight Zone, in which she played Billy         
Mumy's mother; Rawhide; and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Leachman appeared as Ruth         
Martin, Timmy's adoptive mom, in the last half of season four (1957) of Lassie.           
She was replaced by June Lockhart in 1958. In 1959,she appeared in an episode of         
One Step Beyond entitled The Dark Room, where she portrayed an American                   
photographer living in Paris.                                                             
Leachman has won numerous awards during her lengthy career. She won an Oscar for         
Best Supporting Actress in The Last Picture Show (1971), based on the                     
bestselling book by Larry McMurtry. She played the high school gym teacher's             
wife, with whom Timothy Bottoms' character has an affair. Director Peter                 
Bogdanovich had predicted to Leachman during production that she would win an             
Academy Award for her performance. The part was originally offered to Ellen               
Burstyn, who wanted another role in the film.                                             
Leachman has also won a record-setting eight primetime and one daytime Emmy               
Awards and been nominated over 20 times for her work in television over the               
years, most notably as the character of neighbor/landlady/nosy friend Phyllis             
Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The character was a fixture on the               
program for five years and was subsequently featured in a spinoff series,                 
Phyllis (1975-1977), for which Leachman garnered a Golden Globe award. In 1978           
she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre. During the mid           
and late 1970s, she was featured in several Schoolhouse Rock episodes.                   
In 1986, Leachman returned to television, replacing Charlotte Rae's character             
Edna Garrett as the den mother on The Facts of Life. Leachman's role, as Edna's           
sister, Beverly Ann Stickle, could not save the long-running series, and it was           
canceled two years later.                                                                 
She has voice acted in numerous animated films, including My Little Pony: The             
Movie, The Iron Giant, and most notably as the voice of the cantankerous sky             
pirate Dola in Hayao Miyazaki's 1986 feature Castle in the Sky. Dubbed by Disney         
in 1998, Leachman's performance in this film received nearly unanimous praise.           
Leachman played embittered, greedy, Slavic “Grandma Ida” on the Fox sitcom           
Malcolm in the Middle, for which she won two Emmy Awards, both for Outstanding           
Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (once in 2002, then again in 2006). She was             
nominated for playing that same character for six consecutive years.                     
Later television credits include the successful Lifetime Television miniseries           
Beach Girls with Rob Lowe and Julia Ormond. Leachman was nominated for a SAG             
Award for her role as the wine-soaked, former jazz singer and grandmother Evelyn         
in the Sony feature Spanglish opposite Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni. She had               
replaced an ailing Anne Bancroft in the role. The film reunited her with her             
Mary Tyler Moore Show writer-producer-director James L. Brooks. That same year           
she appeared with Sandler again, in the remake of The Longest Yard. She also             
appeared in Kurt Russell comedy Sky High.                                                 
In 2006, Leachman's performance alongside Sir Ben Kingsley and Annette Bening in         
the HBO special Mrs. Harris earned her an Emmy nomination for outstanding                 
supporting actress in a miniseries or TV movie as well as an SAG Award                   
nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie           
or Miniseries.                                                                           
On May 14, 2006, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Drake