(Undated) -- Cloris Leachman, a Des Moines native who went on to a lifetime career in show business has died at the age of 94. Leachman performed in theater, movies, and TV. She won an Oscar for her role in "The Last Picture Show," and eight prime time Emmys. She had 22 Emmy nominations.
Leachman was likely best known for her role as Phyllis Lindstrom, the nosy neighbor on the Mary Tyler Moore TV Show. Another role Leachman portrayed Frau Blucher the Mel Brooks comedy movie classic "Young Frankenstein."
Leachman returned to Roosevelt High School on several occasions to talk with students. Roosevelt's stage and auditorium are named in her honor. Des Moines Roosevelt Drama Teacher Micheal Davenport says her career has been inspirational to his students. He says she was known for her comedic roles, but could do anything.
Leachman also performed at the Des Moines Playhouse as a child.
We are saddened by the passing of one of The Des Moines Playhouse's most illustrious alumna, Cloris Leachman. Cloris had some of her first roles on our stages, starring alongside her lifelong friends Eddie Rissien and Jack Mishler. Her family was and still is involved with our theatre. In the 1980s, she welcomed recipients of the Cloris Leachman Scholarship to her home. Her last visit to The Playhouse was in 2016, when she was inducted as a Playhouse Legend. Our sympathies go out to her children, grandchildren, family, and friends.
Playhouse Lee Ann Bakros says Leachman was last back in 2016 to accept an honor at the Playhouse.
(Photo from Des Moines Playhouse 2016)