Cloris Leachman is an Oscar and Emmy-winning actor and she just celebrated her 94th birthday.
Cloris Leachman of 'Young Frankenstein' fame turned a 94-years-old on April 30 and we couldn't be happier about it. The Oscar and Emmy Award-winning actress has featured in many blockbuster movies such as Young Frankenstein, The Muppet Movie, and Scary Movie 4 to name a few and she is one of the most talented actors of her time. Just by having a look at her film career, you will understand how versatile she is.
Young Frankenstein is one of many horror movies she appeared in. Leachman revealed that when she started filming for the movie, she and Gene Wilder had a lot of fun joking around. In fact, they used to joke around so much that they ended up filming multiple takes all the time. During an interview with Rotten Tomatoes in 2016, she recalled, "Well by the 15th take, I was getting pretty frustrated [laughing]. [...] but Gene would laugh no matter what I did. And Mel said — by the 15th take, he came up to me and said, “Stay close to ze candles; ze staircase can be treacherous.” It makes me laugh. Very serious, though, all of this, except [Gene] laughing. We were making a picture, we had to get things done, you know?"
Released in 1974, Young Frankenstein is an American comedy horror film directed by Mel Brooks and stars Gene Wilder as the lead character who is descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Peter Boyle plays the monster. The supporting cast of the movie includes Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, Richard Haydn, and Gene Hackman. The movie is a parody of the classic horror genre, particularly of the various film adaptations of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein. In order to evoke the proper emotion of the movie, Brooks shot the entire film in black and white.
Upon its release, the movie turned out to be a hit among both critics and audiences. The movie was considered to be culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant by the United States National Film Preservation Board in 2003 and was also selected for preservation in the Library of Congress National Film Registry. In an interview with Deadline, Cloris remembered her co-star Gene Wilder who passed away in 2016.
She said, "Gene was in a class by himself. I looked up to him, yet on the set, he was just one of us.” She also fondly remembered how the actor couldn't stop laughing during one scene. Cloris played the character of Frau Blücher in the iconic movie. Wilder has previously admitted that Young Frankenstein was his favorite movie, and from the blooper reels that are available on the internet, it is pretty evident how much fun they had while shooting.
Brooks had previously mentioned that Blücher translates to a horse going to a factory and being turned to glue, and that is why horses neighed loudly every time Leachman's character name was mentioned. Leachman added, "I remember when we were shooting Young Frankenstein there was a scene where I had to get the group up the stairs immediately. I had to say, ‘Shtay close to zee candles’ and turn toward him. As I turned around I could see his face was in two pieces. We had to do our scene 14 times over because he’d be laughing so hard. Alas, alas. So dear Gene, I vill say, ‘Goodnight.'”
Apart from Young Frankenstein, another movie that will always have a special place in her heart is This Is Happening because her beloved Shih Tzu, Jo, died around the time she was shooting the movie. In the movie, Leachman played the role of a fugitive grandmother, who is traveling around with her dead dog inside her suitcase.
Have you seen her movies? Let us know!