Birthplace: Des Moines, Iowa
Leachman's skills as an actress range from comedy to high drama. In The Last Picture Show (1971), her portrayal of a lonely housewife received critical praise. Her zanier roles include that of Phyllis on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which led to her own series, Phyllis (1975?77). Leachman has appeared in films directed by Mel Brooks, memorably playing the spell-binding comic terror Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein (1974). Other film appearances include Texasville (1990), The Beverly Hillbillies (1993), Music of the Heart (1999), and Spanglish (2004). She has had a recurring role as the grandma from hell on TV's Malcolm in the Middle.