Cloris Leachman, one of the most decorated actors in television history, died Wednesday at the age of 94.   Leachman died in her sleep of natural causes at her home in Encinitas, California, publicist Monique Moss said Wednesday.  Her daughter Dinah Englund was at her side, Moss said.  

 She was best known for playing nosy neighbor Phyllis on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and the show and her character were so popular that Leachman was spun off into her own show, “Phyllis.”

During her career, Leachman won many accolades, including eight Primetime Emmy Awards from 22 nominations, making her the most nominated ever.  Her eight Emmy Awards in her storied television career, tied her with Julia Louis-Dreyfus for the most individual acting awards in Emmy’s history.  Leachman’s Facebook cover shot depicts her sitting on a couch surrounded by her golden pals.

Leachman also won an Academy Award in 1971 for best supporting actress in “The Last Picture Show.”  She played Ruth Popper, the lonely and neglected wife of the town’s high school football coach.

Leachman starred in a number of other television roles, including appearances on The Fact of Life, Malcolm in the Middle, and Raising Hope.  She also had roles in several movies, including Young Frankenstein, The Muppet Movie, High Anxiety, History of the World, Part I, and the 1993 film version of The Beverly Hillbillies.  She kept acting regularly well into her 90’s and was even a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars” at age 82.  She was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Hall of Fame in 2011.

Leachman married George Englund in 1953, who later became a film director and producer, and they had five children: Adam, Bryan, George, Morgan, and Dinah.  The couple divorced in 1979.  Their son Bryan Englund was found dead in 1986 at the age of 30.

Cloris Leachman was born on April 20, 1926 and died January 27, 2021 and is survived by her children, family, fans and many constituents in TV and movies.  Tributes are being received from the U.S. and around the world.

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