RIP Cloris Leachman

Cloris Leachman, who passed away yesterday at 94, has always held a special place in our family’s heart because she played the role of Phyllis, my wife’s name, on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show (CBS, 1970-1977), for which she won two of her record nine Emmy Awards, and its spinoff Phyllis (CBS, 1975-1977), for which she won her only Golden Globe. Leachman also captured one Oscar, for The Last Picture Show (1971).

A memorable scene from Picture Show follows. You can stream the complete movie from $2.99 through various providers.

Leachman’s other Emmy wins came for A Brand New Life (ABC, 1973), Cher (CBS, 1975), the ABC Afterschool Special “The Woman Who Willed a Miracle” (ABC, 1983), Screen Actors Guild 50th Anniversary Celebration (CBS, 1984), Promised Land (CBS, 1997) and twice for Malcolm in the Middle (Fox, 2001-2006) 

Here’s a trailer for A Brand New Life, in which she played a middle-aged woman having her first child:

Here’s Leachman’s Emmy-winning episode of Promised Land, “Mooster’s Revenge”:

Leachman has 287 acting credits on IMDb, dating back to an uncredited appearance in the 1947 film Carnegie Hall. Here, with James Dean in a small role, she stars in “Forgotten Children,” a half-hour Hallmark Hall of Fame episode that ran on NBC in 1952:

Finally, click on the “Watch on YouTube” box below to see Leachman spar with fellow TV pioneer Betty White on, of course, The Mary Tyler Moore Show:

You can stream all seven seasons (168 episodes) of The Mary Tyler Moore Show on Hulu or watch two episodes every weekday at 2 pm ET on Decades.

(Top photo: Leachman as Phyllis in ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show.’ Source: YouTube)

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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