Name at birth: Youree HarrisA sassy self-proclaimed psychic with a lilting Caribbean accent, Miss Cleo was the star of late-night TV infomercials in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Claiming to be a mystical shaman from Jamaica, Miss Cleo urged viewers to phone the "900" telephone number for the Psychic Readers Network, where they would pay by the minute to have their fortunes read. With her catch phrase "Call me now!", Miss Cleo became a jokey pop culture icon much like an earlier phony psychic promoter, Dionne Warwick. Despite her accent, Miss Cleo was not Jamaican: In 2002 the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that Florida officials had uncovered a birth certificate showing that Miss Cleo was in reality Youree Dell Harris, an American born in Los Angeles in 1962. That same year the Psychic Readers Network was the subject of a federal investigation and lawsuit; the company agreed to stop selling readings over the phone and paid a $5 million fine, ending Miss Cleo's run. In later years Miss Cleo faded from view, making occasional appearances on the ironic nostalgia circuit before her death in 2016. She published a book, Keepin’ It Real: A Practical Guide for Spiritual Living, in 2001.
Copyright © 1998-2016 by Who2?, LLC. All rights reserved.