Cloris Leachman dies at 94

Tributes to Oscar and Emmy winner

by Amber Wilkinson

Oscar-winner Cloris Leachman has died of natural causes at the age of 94, her publicist has confirmed.

Stars paid tribute to the comic actress who also won eight Emmys - a record she shared with Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus - and whose much-loved roles included Phyllis in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Frau Blücher in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein.

Leachman, who was married to director/producer George Englund from 1953 to 1979 and had five children with him, won a Best Supporting Oscar actress gong for her role as a small-town housewife in The Last Picture Show.

In her acceptance speech, she said: "I'm having an amazing life and it isn't over yet. I feel I've fought all my life against clichés, and look at me, I'm a hopeless cliché."

Although she was in her 40s when she became a household name in the 1970s, she had been working as an actress, though largely in television and theatre, for years.

Among those paying tribute was Adam Sandler, who starred alongside her in Spanglish. Posting a photo of the two of them on Twitter, he wrote: "A true legend. One of the funniest of all time. And such a great lady. Loved her. Will be missed terribly. And such a good family. Sending love to all. RIP"

Brooks also took to Twitter, saying: 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.

And Louis-Dreyfus paid tribute, writing: "Cloris Leachman's perfect performance as Frau Blucher had an enormous impact on my life. She was sublime."

While horror director John Carpenter wrote: "I'll miss her."

The actress was still working up to her death, with recent films including Being And Nothingness and The Croods: A New Age, one of several projects for which she did voice work.

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