Cloris Leachman turned 87 yesterday and somehow the sun rose and set without me acknowledging it. I now make amends.
While I think The Muppet Show largely informed my child brain as to who the stellar celebrities were, Cloris Leachman was one of the beloved. I thought she was hilarious, a wonderful singer (see Muppet Show clip below), and could probably do just about everything. She was one of my favorite actresses, along with the likes of Madeline Kahn, Lily Tomlin, and Carol Bernett. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized, in addition to being a brilliant comedienne, she was also a phenomenal dramatic actress as well. She really could do everything!
Now, please enjoy some clips of my favorite Leachman performances.
Cloris as Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein (1974):
“Phantom Fox” in The North Avenue Irregulars (1979):
Phyllis Lindstrom on the Mary Tyler Moore Show:
And let us not forget her valuable contribution as the voice of “Hydia” 1986 animated film “My Little Pony: The Movie” (also note that Rhea Pearlman and Madeline Kahn play her daughters, Draggle and Reeka). Enjoy this powerful musical number:
Can we forget Cloris as Beverly Ann Stickle in The Facts of Life the later years?
And I will leave you with this: