Since her breakout work in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Cloris Leachman has held a special place in audiences’ hearts throughout her 70-year career but ComingSoon.net is saddened to report (via The Wrap) that the Oscar-winning star has passed away at the age of 94.
“It’s been my privilege to work with Cloris Leachman, one of the most fearless actresses of our time,” longtime manager Juliet Green said in a statement. “There was no one like Cloris. With a single look she had the ability to break your heart or make you laugh ’till the tears ran down your face. You never knew what Cloris was going to say or do and that unpredictable quality was part of her unparalleled magic.”
Leachman made her feature film debut in Robert Aldrich’s 1955 film noire Kiss Me Deadly and would begin landing more key roles on the big screen just over a decade later with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, her Oscar-winning turn in 1971’s The Last Picture Show and her Golden Globe-nominated performances in 1973’s Charley and the Angel and Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. She would also find her breakout work on the small screen around this time with her performances in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, on which she would win two of her eight Primetime Emmy awards and whose popularity also saw her character Phyllis receive a spin-off series and she would be nominated for an Emmy during its two-season run.
Her film work would carry on largely in the world of animation as she provided voice work for the English dub of Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky and My Little Pony: The Movie in 1986 and supporting turns in The Iron Giant, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America and The Croods films, while also appearing on screen with roles in Sky High, Bad Santa, The Longest Yard, You Again and I Can Only Imagine. Leachman also returned to the world of television in the early 2000s with her Emmy-winning work on Malcolm in the Middle and Emmy-nominated Raising Hope, as well as guest appearances in everything from Phineas & Ferb to The Office to Girl Meets World, American Gods and many more.
Many of Leachman’s fans and former collaborators have taken to social media to mourn the loss of the acting icon, some of whom include:
Cloris Leachman was a comedy legend. From a groundbreaking role on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” to the films of Mel Brooks and her Oscar-winning turn in Peter Bogdanovich’s “The Last Picture Show,” she never lost her ability to shock, delight and surprise us. She will be missed. pic.twitter.com/tcyfF1uzWj
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) January 27, 2021
We are deeply saddened by the passing of our evening star, Cloris Leachman. pic.twitter.com/JgU4yxRvza
— American Gods US (@americangodsus) January 27, 2021
— Ed Asner (@TheOnlyEdAsner) January 27, 2021
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
Salute to Cloris Leachman, who brought comedy’s mysteries to the big and small screen.
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) January 27, 2021
Cloris Leachman had a razor sharp wit that I’ll always admire. Rest peacefully, love. pic.twitter.com/phMdVUHorp
— Jackée Harry (@JackeeHarry) January 27, 2021
I’ve been lucky to work with some of the best artists in my 20+ year career. Cloris Leachman on “Joan of Arcadia was one of them. What a brilliant, fearless firecracker she was and will be remembered as. Fly safe now, dear Cloris. #RIPClorisLeachman pic.twitter.com/xl19Hanfmn
— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) January 27, 2021
A one-of-a-kind actor, she could do everything! She made anything she appeared in much better & her versatility was astonishing. Thank you for a lifetime of unforgettable performances. #ripClorisLeachman pic.twitter.com/NjCHaD3ojY
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 27, 2021