Cloris Leachman: 'I'm Sitting Here Stark Naked!'

When actress Cloris Leachman�s publicist told me that any topic was fair game for this interview, I somehow knew that I was in for a memorable experience. He warned me: �She likes to have fun with interviews.�
Leachman, who is bringing her one-woman show, Cloris! I�m Eighty F*ing Four & Still Going Strong to Union Station�s H&R Block City Stage on Nov. 7 and 8, has enjoyed a long acting career. It has included her iconic performance as Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and her own sit-com, Phyllis, in the mid-1970s. She has co-starred with everyone who is anyone in Hollywood � including Lassie and Kermit the Frog � and has seen her career take off in recent years with movie cameos, a turn on ABC�s ratings hit Dancing with the Stars and a co-starring role in Fox�s new series, Raising Hope.
I thought I was ready for this interview until Leachman answered the phone and promptly announced, �I�m sitting here stark naked! I started to get into the bath and remembered you�d be calling.� And from there, it all went downhill.
What can Kansas City audiences at your performance expect next month?
I�m so excited to come back. You know I am originally from Iowa. It�s been a long time since I was last in Kansas City. Actually, the show came about because my former husband felt that people didn�t really know �me� and so I thought, what can I do (to help them get to know me)? To make a long story short, I came up with this show and they still won�t know. I play a little bit, I talk a lot, there are some video clips. People still seem to like it.
You�ve become an icon as Phyllis Lindstrom, but what has been your favorite role?
I played this North English woman � May Lemke, for a television special, The Woman Who Willed a Miracle [in 1983>. &iuml

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