Very sad news is coming in as beloved actress and comedian Cloris Leachman has passed away. Per TMZ, Leachman's son has confirmed that the Emmy-winning actress died of natural causes at her home in Encinitas, California, on Tuesday night with her daughter, Dinah, by her side. She was 94 years old.
"She had the best life beginning to end that you could wish for someone," Leachman's son said, adding that she was at peace and "she left everyone with a lot of love."
Juliet Green, Leachman's manager, also addressed the news in a statement to People. She writes, "It's been my privilege to work with Cloris Leachman, one of the most fearless actresses of our time. 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."
Green adds, "She loved her children and her grandchildren ferociously. A lifelong vegetarian, she was a passionate advocate for animal rights. The family requests that any donations in her name be made to PETA or Last Chance for Animals."
Cloris Leachman was born on April 30, 1926, in Des Moines, Iowa. After performing in plays as a teenager, she competed to become Miss America in 1946, placing in the top 16. She further pursued acting by appearing on stage in various productions and was landing roles in movies and television shows in the 40s and 50s. This includes an early role starring opposite Paul Newman and Lee Marvin in the 1956 movie The Rack.
Leachman's breakout role was as Phyllis Lindstrom on the classic comedy series The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a part that won her the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series two years in a row. She also led the spinoff series Phyllis, which earned her the Golden Globe for Best TV Actress in a Musical or Comedy.
On the big screen, Leachman would also win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1971 movie The Last Picture Show. She has also appeared in movies like Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, the classic western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and the Paul Newman drama WUSA. More recently, she had memorable roles in movies like Bad Santa, The Wedding Ringer, and The Croods. Her final roles can be seen posthumously in the upcoming movies High Holiday and Not to Forget.
Leachman is also very well known for her work on the small screen. This includes recurring roles on the sitcoms The Facts of Life, Malcolm in the Middle, and Raising Hope. She has also appeared on shows like American Gods, The Office, Two and a Half Men, and Hawaii Five-O. As herself, Leachman also served a roaster on The Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget and even competed on Dancing with the Stars in 2008 at the age of 82.
Her role on Malcolm in the Middle earned her another Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series two times and Leachman also won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actresss in a Miniseries or a Movie for 1973's A Brand New Life. With 22 total nominations, she's the most nominated actress in history, and her eight wins ties her with Julia Louis-Dreyfus with the most Emmy wins of all time.
There will never, ever be another one like Cloris Reachman, and our thoughts go out to her family and friends at this difficult time. She will never be forgotten. May she rest in peace. This news comes to us from TMZ with additional details from People.