Her greatest role. Cloris Leachman was an easily recognizable face over the course of her career, but she was also a loving mother of five children. The late star was the best matriarch up until her death at age 94 in January 2021.
The Young Frankenstein actress shared kids Bryan, Morgan, Adam, Dinah, and George with her ex-husband, George Englund. Cloris and George married in April 1953 and ultimately went their separate ways by divorcing in 1979, but they remained on good terms in order to coparent.
“You never knew what Cloris was going to say or do and that unpredictable quality was part of her unparalleled magic. She loved her children and her grandchildren ferociously,” her longtime manager Juliet Green told Closer Weekly in a statement at the time of her death.
Sadly, the former couple’s son Bryan passed away from an overdose of ulcer medication at the young age of 30, a tragedy that rocked both of their worlds in 1986.
“I think about him a lot, more than I used to. It had a big impact on our family. We each had our own relationship with him, so it’s not as if we can talk about it and share. We don’t share; it’s just private,” the comedian once said in an emotional interview about Bryan’s untimely death, according to The Oklahoman.
“It wasn’t, ‘Oh, I want to be a star. Oh, Hollywood!’ ever. It was different from that,” she once told Entertainment Tonight. “It was just something that developed.” After a meeting with a psychic, Cloris was more convinced about her future in the spotlight. “She read my palm and I remember the words. Absolutely these words, ‘Someday, you will be before millions of people.’ And there wasn’t any such thing as television [at that time],” she dished about the fortune. “How could I be before millions of people? It was unbelievable.”
Cloris notably portrayed neighbor Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and appeared on Dancing With the Stars in 2008. Her impressive resume also includes roles on Malcolm in the Middle, The Longest Yard, Bad Santa, Touched by an Angel, The Love Boat, Lassie, The Simpsons and more.
Scroll through the gallery below to meet her five kids.
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