Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cloris Leachman tells it like it was …

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 8:06 PM

click to enlarge cloris.jpg

(Photo courtesy Polimedia Entertainment)

In the online version of this week's issue, I had a chance to interview comedic acting legend Cloris Leachman, who among other things holds the record for most Emmy Awards by an actress (nine), including two from her recent stint on "Malcolm in the Middle." As reported in the blurb introducing my podcast interview with Leachman, I noted that she will provide the regional premiere of her one-woman show, Cloris, at the University of Georgia's Ramsey Concert Hall at the Performing Arts Center (230 River Road) in Athens. Show times are 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

What I failed to mention was that Leachman also will provide a lecture on Monday, March 24, at 12:20 p.m. in the Balcony Theatre at the Fine Arts Building, at the corner of Baldwin and Lumpkin. The event is free and open to the public. (Call 806-583-0045 for more info on that event.)

For all of her comedic talents — which are formidable, in TV ("The Mary Tyler Moore" show and its spinoff, "Phyllis") and in film (Young Frankenstein) — most movie fans continue to marvel at her Oscar-winning turn as desperate housewife Ruth Popper in Peter Bogdanovich's homage to the French New Wave, 1971's The Last Picture Show. Here's a clip of the movie's devastating ending, with Leachman displaying dramatic chops that were never utilized as fully afterward. (Although I will always love her performance in the 1974 TV-movie Death Sentence, as a juror in a murder trial who realizes the accused is innocent and the killer is … her husband!) Classic stuff.

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