Cloris Leachman

Biography: While other actresses complain about the lack of roles for mature women, this incredibly versatile character player of stage and screen has never lacked for work. Involved in entertainment since her youth, the native Midwesterner performed on the radio while still in high school and headed for New York after competing in the 1946 Miss America pageant. The Actors Studio-trained thespian impressed audiences with her chameleonlike talents, racking up dramatic credits on Broadway, TV and occasionally film. Although she slowed her pace a bit in the 1950s and 1960s to raise her five children with producer-director George Englund, she found her greatest success well into her forties. In 1970, she signed on to Mary Tyler Moore as the title character's nosy landlord, a comedic role that earned her two Emmys as well as her own spin-off sitcom. During her tenure, she took home another Emmy for her serious turn as a middle-aged wife facing motherhood in A Brand New Life, the first of manyWhile other actresses complain about the lack of roles for mature women, this incredibly versatile character player of stage and screen has never lacked for work. Involved in entertainment since her youth, the native Midwesterner performed on the radio while still in high school and headed for New York after competing in the 1946 Miss America pageant. The Actors Studio-trained thespian impressed audiences with her chameleonlike talents, racking up dramatic credits on Broadway, TV and occasionally film. Although she slowed her pace a bit in the 1950s and 1960s to raise her five children with producer-director George Englund, she found her greatest success well into her forties. In 1970, she signed on to Mary Tyler Moore as the title character's nosy landlord, a comedic role that earned her two Emmys as well as her own spin-off sitcom. During her tenure, she took home another Emmy for her serious turn as a middle-aged wife facing motherhood in A Brand New Life, the first of many successful TV-movies starring Leachman. She also snagged an Oscar for her devastating performance as a lonely wife in 1971's The Last Picture Show. Although that big-screen success led to a handful of plum parts — notably a trio of broad roles in three Mel Brooks comedies, including her hilarious turn as Frau Blücher in Young Frankenstein, which showed off her knack for bizarre accents — the small screen and, to a lesser extent, the stage remained her mediums. From 2001 to 2006 she had a recurring role as the bitter Grandma Ida on Malcolm in the Middle, and, by 2006, she had a total of eight Emmy statuettes (plus one Daytime Emmy) and toured the country to great acclaim as the title character in the play Grandma Moses: An American Primitive. Also in the 2000s, she began popping up in movies more than ever before, usually playing outrageous grandmothers, from senile (Bad Santa) to boozy (Spanglish) to just plain disgusting (Beerfest). Leachman then turned in a memorable stint on the seventh season of Dancing With the Stars in 2008 and had the honor of being the oldest competitor to date. The dancing gig renewed audiences' interest in the now eightysomething actress, and she saw a career surge that she spun into more guest-starring roles on TV and film. Off screen, Leachman is an outspoken vegetarian and has worked with PETA on an advertising campaign. Expand

Cloris Leachman's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average career score: 48
Highest Metascore: 93 The Last Picture Show
Lowest Metascore: 7 Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 31
  2. Negative: 11 out of 31
31 movie reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
tbd The Gliksmans Sep 27, 2019 Helen Neuman tbd
tbd Lez Bomb Nov 9, 2018 Josephine tbd
32 Game Over, Man! Mar 23, 2018 Arvilla Kingle 5.1
30 I Can Only Imagine Mar 16, 2018 Memaw / Memaw 7.6
46 So B. It Oct 6, 2017 Alice Wilinsky tbd
40 The Comedian Feb 3, 2017 May Conner / May Conner 5.2
tbd The Bronx Bull Jan 6, 2017 Lilian Forrester tbd
7 Is That a Gun in Your Pocket? Sep 16, 2016 Maxine / Maxine tbd
32 Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse Oct 30, 2015 Miss Fielder / Miss Fielder 6.3
tbd This Is Happening Oct 2, 2015 Estelle tbd
35 The Wedding Ringer Jan 16, 2015 Cast / Grandma Palmer 3.2
61 Adult World Feb 14, 2014 Mary Anne / Mary Anne / Mary Anne / Mary Anne tbd
55 The Croods Mar 22, 2013 Cast / Gran 7.0
32 The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure Aug 29, 2012 Dotty Rounder / Dotty Rounder 7.3
28 You Again Sep 24, 2010 Helen / Helen tbd
27 The Women Sep 12, 2008 Maggie / Maggie 7.7
46 Beerfest Aug 25, 2006 Great Gam Gam 6.5
66 Buzz Aug 25, 2006 Herself tbd
40 Scary Movie 4 Apr 14, 2006 Mrs. Norris 5.8
48 Spanglish Dec 17, 2004 Evelyn Wright 8.4
45 Manna from Heaven Apr 4, 2003 Helen 3.7
29 The Amati Girls Jan 19, 2001 Dolly Amati / Dolly Amati 4.6
33 Hanging Up Feb 18, 2000 Pat Mozell 6.5
54 Music of the Heart Oct 29, 1999 Assunta Guaspari 8.8
85 The Iron Giant Aug 6, 1999 Mrs. Lynley Tensedge / Mrs. Tensedge 8.9
64 Beavis and Butt-Head Do America Dec 20, 1996 Old Woman On Plane And Bus 7.5
50 Now and Then Oct 20, 1995 Grandma Albertson tbd
37 The Beverly Hillbillies Oct 15, 1993 Granny 6.8
78 Castle in the Sky Apr 1, 1989 Dola 8.7
47 History of the World: Part I Jun 12, 1981 Madame Defarge / Madame Defarge 7.3