Cloris Leachman April 30, 1926 — January 26, 2021 (aged 94)
Today the world lost one of the great female comedians of the past several decades. Cloris Leachman was 94 years old. I eternally felt a slight personal connection to Ms. Leachman for three reasons. Mostly because we share the same birthday month, albeit 45 years apart. But, I've always imagined we'd laugh at the same jokes. If we were at a diner party, I could envision us sitting apart from the other guests. She'd whisper to me wicked secrets about each one of them as wine squirted out of our noses.
Before the age of 10, I remember watching her pretending to be drunk on the Mary Tyler Moore show and singing Opera with Link on The Muppet Show. She played it straight and sang beautifully — all the while surrounded by pigs dressed as Canadian (Bacon) Mounties. She was beautiful, dramatically talented, and so very funny.
In the movies, I remember seeing her in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. But it was her work with Mel Brook's that is burned into my memory.
Frau Blücher : I am Frau Blücher. [horses whinny]
Her Frau Blücher in Young Frankenstein and Madame Defarge in History of the World, Part I are comic gold. In Young Frankenstein Mel Brooks convinved peopel that Blücher, in German meant glue. Hence, every time her name was uttered the horses would react strongly. At 82, being the legendary actress set a record when at age 82, she appeared on Dancing with the Stars (2005).
“I was in love once. He was a hunter, I was a gatherer. It was quite the scandal. We fed each other berries, we danced. Then father bashed him on the head and traded me to your grandfather.” CLORIS LEACHMAN - Gran in The Croods
Author Personal Movie Screen Shot
In 2020 she starred in Jump, Darling, Where she takes in her rookie-drag queen grandson, played by Thomas Duplessie. Younger fans can enjoy seeing her reprise her role of Gran in The Croods, A new Age, with her impeccable comic timing and unmistakable voice.
Are Sandra Bullock and Cloris Leachman the Same Person?
djtomdog, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
On another personal note, looking at the picture above. I couldn't help but do a little armchair casting. It's not hard to imagine Sandara Bullock playing an excellent tribute to Ms. Leachman in a future biopic. Fans can only hope. Ms. Bullock's people are free to call me for my ideas.
41st Annie Awards: Voice Chasers, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The only surprise around her eight Primetime Emmy Awards is that she didn't win more. She was nominated 22 times. An accomplishment matched only by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Additionally, she won an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Daytime Emmy Award.
Goodnight Frau Blücher. I mean Ms. Leachman. Thank you for the laughs! [Cue the Horses!]