Wonder Woman on DVD Everything
you're looking
for is right here:


Save money!
wonder woman season 2 on DVD Superboy on DVD / 1980s Superboy TV Series on DVD Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Book Tennesee Tuxedo on DVD  Fractured Fairy Tales on DVD
TV Shows on DVD/ / / / / TV Blog/ / / / Punk Book/ / / / / / / Holiday Specials on DVD / / / / / / Classic Commercials / / / / / TV Shows on DVD Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

'TVparty is hands down the best site on the Web for classic TV.'
- Discovery Channel

 

Remembering Cloris Leachman

 by Jim Longworth

I had only known Cloris Leachman for less than thirty minutes when she asked me to take off my clothes. More on that in a moment, but suffice to say it was one of those things that sort of sticks in your head, much like everything Cloris did, and she did a lot. Cloris passed away on January 26. She was 94.

Cloris Leachman was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1926, and grew up during the great depression. She once told me that she got her sense of humor from her Mother. Said Cloris, “She was quite magical and a darling woman, and she told funny stories.”

Cloris attended Northwestern on a drama scholarship, where she appeared in plays alongside her pal Charlotte Rae. And while she had a natural talent for acting, it was her natural beauty that opened some early doors. At age 20, Cloris was crowned Miss Chicago, then competed in the Miss America pageant, after which she immediately boarded a train for New York City, where she landed a job as an extra in a film. That lucky break launched her into television, where she racked up a number of cameos in live dramas and anthology series, until landing a starring role in “Lassie”. Feeling that the part did little to challenge her as an actress, Cloris left the show after just one season, and stayed busy in episodic television, on such programs as “The Twilight Zone”, “The Untouchables”, and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”

Cloris leachman + butch CassidyAfter playing a prostitute in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, she was cast by Peter Bogdanovich to play a neglected housewife in “The Last Picture Show”. While filming one day, Cloris had a particularly emotional scene to play in which she had to get angry and throw a coffee pot at Timothy Bottoms. She told me of her shock at only being allowed to do one take.

“We ran through the scene, and Peter said ‘CUT’, and I said ,’Wait a minute, aren’t we going to do it again?’ He said, ‘No, you’re going to get an Academy Award for that.’“  And so she did.

Cloris Leachman Mary Tyler Moore castCloris followed that film with her signature television role as Phyllis Lindstrom, first on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, and then in her own series, “Phyllis”. Leachman won two of her nine EMMYs while appearing on Mary’s series.  I spoke with her co-star on “MTM”, seven-time EMMY winner Ed Asner.

“She was a sophisticated rebel who broke all the rules, and it was a fun ride being with her while she was breaking them. Cloris was also a real hottie.”  

 

Another member of the MTM gang was Gavin MacLeod, who later went on to star in “The Love Boat”. Gavin recalled his affection and respect for Cloris.

“I first saw her when she toured with Kate Hepburn, and I was  enamored by her. Later, we ended up shooting an episode of ‘The Road West’, in which I had to pretend to slap her. She thought I was really trying to hit her, so after our first rehearsal for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, we all sat down together for dinner, and Cloris said, ‘I’m not going to sit next to Gavin, because he tried to hit me once.’ Despite that, we became friends, and on days when her car wasn’t working, I would drive her home.”  

From 1986 -1988, Cloris took over her friend Charlotte Rae’s job as the house mother on “The Facts of Life”, a show that was written by Academy Award-winning writer/director Paul Haggis (“Crash”). He shared his thoughts with me about the experience.

“It was my first attempt at being a head writer, and I had always been a fan of hers. Cloris was such a versatile actor, and always found the truth in the characters she portrayed. She was an absolute marvel to watch, as she took my ridiculous dialogue and highly questionable plots, and somehow grounded everything in reality, simply by her talent and belief. I feel blessed to have worked with her.”

Not surprisingly, Cloris’ talents continued to be in high demand, both in film and on television almost up until the time of her passing. 

I first met Cloris in May of 2008 when she participated in “A Mother’s Day Salute to TV Moms”, which I produced and moderated for the Television Academy. Needless to say, Cloris took over the event, and kept everyone in stitches. She talked about the time she posed naked for a health magazine, and then suggested that I disrobe right there on stage in front of 800 people. After things settled down, I asked the panel (which included Marion Ross), if there was a TV Mom they most wanted to be like:

Cloris: I wanted Marion Ross’ job.

Jim: You mean you liked Marion in “Happy Days”?

Cloris: No, I just wanted the job. 

Marion, still laughing, then mentioned a film in which Cloris had played a female trucker with huge breasts. Said Marion to Cloris, “You had the lowest bust I ever saw!”

Cloris: Yeah, I put a pack of cigarettes up in my sleeve, and I had been taught to drive this big semi. Anyway, I had this great big chest, and a woman with a baby came up to me on the set, and I said, ‘Get that baby away from me because he looks hungry.’

Dressing up like a trucker was no problem for Cloris. Neither was donning witch-like make-up to play a sadistic nurse, or Frankenstein’s Frau. She was a beauty queen who only cared about how the performance looked. Perhaps Gavin MacLeod said it best when he told me, “As an actress, Cloris could do anything.” And I’ll sure miss seeing her do it.

 

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!

 

Cloris Leachman Remembered

 

 

 


Local Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / More Modern TV Shows / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Classic TV on the Internet!

TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments
Hit Shows of the Seventies: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy / Gene Roddenberry in the 1970s / 1977-1978 Superhero & Science Fiction TV Shows / Patrick Duffy of Dallas Interview / Time Express / Wonder Woman Leaves Paradise Island / 1972-73 TV Season / George Burns on the Carson Tonight Show in 1989 / Best Season of Dallas Ever? / Cloris Leachman Remembered / Ken Berry Interview / Why Barney Miller Ended / Vivian Vance Almost Joined the Cast of Rhoda / Marilu Henner Talks About Andy Kaufman / Cher on Mike Douglas 1979 / TV Show Book Tie-Ins / 1972 Jackie Robinson Interview / Dr. Strange 1978 TV Movie / Kathy Garver Interview / Space: 1999 / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / The Supremes - Mary Wilson vs Diana Ross / When Bruce Dern Killed John Wayne / 1974 Tom Snyder Our Gang Special / Remembering Ken Berry / Bruce / Caitllyn Jenner? / Billy Crash Craddock Interview / Melissa McCarthy Almost Quit Acting Days Before Landing Gilmore Girls / Bar Rescue's Wildest Customers! / TV HITS - By the Numbers / Alex Baldwin On His TV and Film Roles / Top Ten Sitcoms of the 1970s / James Cameron Made No Money for Titanic / Growing Up In The Playboy Mansion / Ed McMahon Drunk on the Air! / Lucy Interviewed by Barbara Walters / Valerie Harper Cancer / Jeff Bridges Breaks Down His Iconic Roles / Dallas vs Eight is Enough / 1974 MAD Magazine TV Special - Never Aired! / Iconic M*A*S*H Restaurant Coming To Kroger? / When Lucy Got Fired / Partridge Family and Brady Bunch at Kings Island theme park 1972-73 / Awkward Talk Show Moments / Allan Blye Interview / Jack Benny's Last Tonight Show 1974 / Patricia Heaton's Audition for Everybody Loves Raymond / Luke Perry's Last Role / Johnny Cash's Last Interview / Judy Garland's Last Film / Who Was Bob Gordon? / Richard Dreyfuss vs Bill Murray / Jeff Ross vs Everybody / Tennessee Williams 1972 Interview / Ed Asner Interview / Norm Macdonald vs OJ Simpson / Tony Kornheiser Interview / Freddy's Nightmares TV Series / Emmy Award Multiple Winners / Nathaniel Taylor aka Rollo Lawson / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / That Girl & TV's Single Working Women / Can You Identify These Stars? / Betty White vs Joan Rivers / Paul Lynde's Greatest Hollywood Squares Zingers / Sonny Comedy Revue / Star Trek Animated / Dark Shadows / Hal Linden Interview / Dark Shadows Movies / Dark Shadows Novels / The Night Stalker / One of the Funniest Carol Burnett Show Skits Ever / Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson / Johnny Carson interviews Lucille Ball / Dawn Wells / Betty White : An Appreciation / Bette Davis' 2 Best Interviews 1971 / Barbara Eden Interview / Gavin McLeod / Spider-Man 77 / The Next Step Beyond / The Music Dark Shadows / 1970 TV Shows / Mike Connors Remembered / Mike Wallace, Virginia Graham & Jim Longworth / Dick Clark / Woody Allen Hosts Tonight Show 1971 / Carson Tonight Show / Alan Alda Interview / Jackie Gleason Show / 1973 TV Shows / Thriller / Post Modern Sitcoms / Elvis in Greensboro / Remembering Dick Van Patten / TV Dating Shows / The Jacksons TV Show / Fall Previews of the 70s / Lance Link, Secret Chimp / Star Wars Holiday Special / Alias Smith and Jones / 1977 Year in Review / Top Ten 1970-76 / The Rockford Files / All in the Family / Sam Hall (Dark Shadows) Interview / Actor Ed Nelson / Death of Archie / Battlestar Galactica / Wonder Woman / Network Jingles / Class of '74 / Happy Days / Good Times / Mr. Bill / Dinah! / Maude / Doris Day Show / Pamelyn Ferdin Interview / The Bicentennial Minute / Jingles & Catch Phrases of the 1970s / Early Cable TV 1970s / TV commercials for Women / TV Moms / Country Music TV Shows of the 1960s & 1970s / Betty White Show / Ron Palillo / Shirley Jones Interview / Tom Bosley / Rodney Dangerfield / How Sanford & Son Ended / Sanford & Son Spin-Off Grady / Great Memoirs / Virginia Graham Show / The "N" Word on TV / 10 Classic Comedy Routines You Have To Laugh At Before You Die / Hollywood Squares / 1970's Teen Idols & The Hudson Brothers / TV Stars with 3 Hit Shows / The Rookies / Unsold Pilots / Jackie Cooper / The Good Guys / Match Game / Make Room For Granddaddy / Mannix & Gail Fisher / Bette Midler in the 1970s / Bonus 1970's Stuff: Silent Star Marion Mack / Biff Burger / 1970s Fast Food Chains / Latin Casino / Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire / 1970's Daytime Talk Shows / The Fess Parker Show / Brady Bunch Sex Dungeon? / Love, Loss & What I Watched
Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / Punk Book / / 1970's TV / Groucho vs William F Buckley / / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / big brotherSonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s/ Soupy Sales / The Carpenters / Route 66 / Bozo / The Carpenters Christmas Specials / Local Kid Shows / Death of TV's Superman / Wonderama / Sesame Street / Bob Hope Specials / Little Rascals / 1980's Retro Gay T-Shirts / 1980's TV Wrestling / Fess Parker / Howdy Doody / TV Blog / Lost In Space / Pinky Lee / 1980's LA Punk Rock / Alex Toth Book / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More! 
TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!Las Vegas Legends