Cloris Leachman died of natural causes, but COVID-19 was a complicating factor

Cloris Leachman photographed in front of a pink background in 2004.
Cloris Leachman, photographed in 2004, died in late January.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Actress Cloris Leachman died from a stroke that was complicated by her battle with COVID-19, a spokesman for the San Diego medical examiner’s office confirmed Friday.

While the manner of death was natural, precluding an investigation by the medical examiner, her cause of death was listed officially as a cerebrovascular accident. COVID-19 was listed as another significant condition, he said.

The actress died at home on Jan. 27 at age 94. She was cremated Feb. 7, according to ET, which first reported the cause of death after obtaining a death certificate.

Dinah Englund, one of Leachman’s four children with the late editor-producer-director George Englund, has her mother’s remains at her Encinitas home, ET said.


Cloris Leachman, who worked well into her 90s and became the oldest contestant on “Dancing With the Stars,” has died at 94.

Leachman, who won a a supporting actress Oscar for “The Last Picture Show” and took home a daytime Emmy and eight Primetime Emmys for roles that included playing Phyllis Lindstrom on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and Grandma Ida on “Malcolm in the Middle,” worked steadily from the late 1940s up until her death.

She is slated to be seen in two upcoming films — “High Holiday” with Tom Arnold and “Not to Forget” with Karen Grassle and Louis Gossett Jr. — and most recently voiced Gran in the 2020 release “The Croods: A New Age.”

“Nothing I could say would top the enormity of my love for you,” Ed Asner tweeted upon hearing of Cloris Leachman’s death. The actor’s reaction was one of many.