An acting life well lived
A quick look through Cloris Leachman’s IMDb page reveals an impressive body of work – 195 TV acting credits, another 83 in movies with eight Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe and an Oscar.
Arguably the role with which Leachman, who died last month at age 94, is most often identified is that of Phyllis Lindstrom, the self-absorbed busybody neighbor of Mary Richards in the landmark 1970-77 CBS sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” She would later take the character to her own series with the 1975-77 spinoff “Phyllis.”
In the former, she played the not-so-happily married wife of an unseen husband who frequently made it her mission to find Mary a mate while trying to push Mary’s fellow singleton pal Rhoda (Valerie Harper) out of the conversation. In a cast of accomplished actors that included Moore, Harper, Ed Asner, Betty White and Gavin McLeod, Leachman was often the scene-stealer with Phyllis’ meddlesome and abrasive behavior. Emmy voters liked what they saw, bestowing her with two supporting actress awards.
Viewers can check out her work by streaming “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” on Hulu, Vudu and Amazon.