Cloris Leachman, the decorated actress of stage and screen best known for her role as the annoyingly perfect landlady Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, has died. She was 94.
Leachman’s manager, Juliet Green, confirms to PEOPLE that the actress died Wednesday of natural causes.
“It’s been my privilege to work with Cloris Leachman, one of the most fearless actresses of our time. There was no one like Cloris. With a single look she had the ability to break your heart or make you laugh till the tears ran down your face. You never knew what Cloris was going to say or do and that unpredictable quality was part of her unparalleled magic,” says Green.
“She loved her children and her grandchildren ferociously. A lifelong vegetarian, she was a passionate advocate for animal rights. The family requests that any donations in her name be made to PETA or Last Chance for Animals,”
According to TMZ, which first reported the news, she passed away at her home in Encinitas, California, with her daughter, Dinah, beside her. The actress had a Hollywood career for the history books. Seven decades in the business. One of the original members of the famed Actors Studio in New York City. An Oscar. A Golden Globe. And over 20 Emmys nominations and nine wins — more trophies than any other television performer in history.
Born on April 30, 1926 in Des Moines, Iowa, as the eldest of three sisters, Leachman was bit by the acting bug at an early age — appearing in children’s plays at Drake University when she was just 8. Her mother, also named Cloris, encouraged her daughter’s early interest in entertaining and served as an inspiration for Leachman’s sense of humor throughout her career.