Iconic actress will be live on stage at Sedona International Film Festival to accept award.
Actress Cloris Leachman will be at the Sedona International Film Festival on February 17 to accept her lifetime achievement award. She will also participate in an audience Q&A to discuss her seven-decade long career. City Brand Media jumped at the chance to catch up with the iconic actress and find out about her career reflections and some new projects, too.
Every generation has different memories of Cloris Leachman’s work. Just take a look at her career highlights:
1950s: “Kraft Theatre,” “Suspense,” “The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse,” “Lassie”
1960s: “Gunsmoke,” “The Donna Reed Show,” ‘The Untouchables,” “Perry Mason”
1970s: “The Last Picture Show,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Phyllis,” “Mary Tyler Moore”
1980s: “Herbie Goes Bananas,” “History of the World: Part I,” “The Facts of Life”
1990s: “Texasville,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Iron Giant,” “Music of the Heart”
2000s: “Hanging Up,” “The Ellen Show,” “The Longest Yard,” “Malcolm in the Middle”
2010s: “The Croods,” “Raising Hope,” “Phineas and Ferb,” “American Gods”
Regardless of the role, Cloris Leachman always shines in what she does, whether at being dramatic or subtle, funny, or completely over-the-top. It’s hard to believe that this feisty, funny, fabulous and fearless (she even appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” at age 82) actress is nearing 91 years young and still tearing it up on the small and silver screens.
When asked her thoughts about being honored at the upcoming Sedona International Film Festival, Ms. Leachman replied with equal parts of sweet and sardonic wit by exclaiming, “What took them so long?!?”
In reflecting on her career, she clearly grapples with the sheer number of memorable productions on which she has worked. But, she manages to single out of few of her personal favorites. Leachman explains, “So many roles in the past (gulp) 70 years... On TV, ‘Phyllis’ was so popular from ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’ that she (Phyllis) got her own series. Anything on screen for Mel Brooks always made a mark!”
Obviously comedy has evolved over the decades and Leachman has been able to shift gears right along with audience’s ever-changing tastes. She’s certainly not throwing in the towel on her acting career, and she just keeps going! But, she is also quick to share the industry love. “There are so many talented women working today. Tina Fey is a pretty good way to start the list,” says Leachman of one of her favorite comedic actresses. (Can’t you just picture Fey as an incarnation of Frau Blucher from “Young Frankenstein?”)
Leachman currently has a recurring role on TV’s “American Gods,” with Gillian Anderson, Ian McShane and Peter Stormare, and she frequently does voiceover work, channeling her uniquely brilliant wit and timing into other memorable characters.
Speaking of memorable characters, Leachman recently wrapped production on the film, “The Gliksmans” which pairs her with old friend and “Mary Tyler Moore” co-star, Ed Asher. In the film, the audience will be treated to the adventures of an elderly couple that will stop at nothing to make it to the bank. Leachman says of the film, “It is always great working with Ed. Audiences enjoy seeing us together (again).” Perhaps the only potential movie project that is left to tackle is a big screen re-make of “Thelma and Louise,” starring Cloris Leachman and Betty White!
Tickets for the special pre-festival kickoff event, “Cloris on Comedy: An Evening with Cloris Leachman” takes place at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at the Sedona Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available at http://www.sedonafilmfestival.org/Page.asp?NavID=194 or through the Festival box office at (928) 282-1177.
The 23rd Annual Sedona International Film Festival runs in Sedona February 18-26. For additional information, visit www.sedonafilmfestival.org.
Select Awards and Accolades for Cloris Leachman:
1972 - Best Actress in a Supporting Role, “The Last Picture Show”
1976 - Best Actress in a Television Series-Comedy or Musical, “Phyllis”
Primetime Emmy Awards:
2006 - Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, “Malcolm in the Middle”
2002 - Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, “Malcolm in the Middle”
1998 - Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, “Promised Land”
1984 - Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program, “Screen Actors Guild 50th Anniversary Celebration”
1975 - Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Drama Series, “Mary Tyler Moore”
1975 - Outstanding Continuing or Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Variety or Musical, “Cher”
1974 - Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, “Mary Tyler Moore”
1973 - Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, “A Brand New Life”
1973 – Best Supporting Actress, “Last Picture Show”
Daytime Emmy Awards:
1983 – Outstanding Performer in Children’s Programming, “ABC Afterschool Specials”
Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, 1980