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Cloris Leachman: 2009 Grand Marshal
By: By John Krikorian

Tournament of Roses 120th Rose Parade - 95th Rose Bowl Game.Renowned television and cinema actress, Cloris Leachman, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 2009 Tournament of Roses festivities.  Themed Hats Off to Entertainment, the 2009 Rose Parade will pay tribute to the many genres of entertainment that thrill audiences young and old.     

“Cloris Leachman is perfect for our theme, Hats Off to Entertainment.  As an actress of stage, screen and television, a comedian and now even a dancer, she is more than representative of the vast world of entertainment,” said Corky Conzonire, president of the Tournament of Roses.  “I can’t think of an individual who better personifies the spirit of our theme and can hardly wait to see the energy, wit and smiles she’ll bring to our favorite New Year’s Day celebration.”

“It is truly an honor to be a part of one of our country’s most beloved New Year’s Day traditions,” said Grand Marshal Cloris Leachman.  “My grandkids are thrilled that I’m going to be part of a Parade that is actually older than I am!!  I can’t wait to see all of the smiling faces along the Parade route in the morning and then toss the coin for those handsome young football players at the Rose Bowl Game!”

Leachman  was born April 30, 1926 in Des Moines, Iowa , where she grew up and began appearing on a local radio show when she was 11. By the age of 17, she was a regular in Des Moines area amateur plays. In her early 20s, she was in the original Broadway run of South Pacific, and moonlighting on live TV anthologies such as Actor's Studio, Kraft Television Theatre, and Lux Video Theatre. She has been a regular cast member on at least ten television series, including the original Bob and Ray Show

Leachman is an Emmy and Oscar-winning actress best known for her roles as the self-involved neighbor, Phyllis, on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, and as Frau Blücher in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein.  She is currently paired with professional dancer Corky Ballas, as a contestant on season seven of Dancing With the Stars.  Her list of awards is record-setting, with eight Primetime Emmy Awards-more than any other female performer- and one Daytime Emmy Award; she has been nominated more than 20 times.  She also won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the 1971 film The Last Picture Show.

She began her career in television and films shortly after competing in the Miss America Pageant as Miss Chicago in 1946.  Prior to that, she was very active in theatre starring in many productions at the Des Moines play house.   She made her feature film debut in Robert Aldrich’s film Kiss Me Deadly, and one year later appeared opposite Paul Newman and Lee Marvin in The Rack.

Some of her more recent work includes the role of Grandma Ida on Malcolm in the Middle, and wine-soaked, former jazz singer and grandmother, Evelyn, in the feature film Spanglish opposite Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni.  She earned an Emmy nomination and SAG Award nomination for her performance in the HBO special Mrs. Harris.  Her most recent film, The Women, starring Eva Mendez, Meg Ryan, Deborah Messing, and Annette Benning is still in theatres.  She has also staked her claim in the world of comedy with her many television roles and appearances.  She recently “stole the show” at the Comedy Central “Roast of Bob Saget” with her sassy comebacks and unbeatable wit and outshined the other comedians.  At age 71, she appeared nude, in body paint, on the cover of Alternative Medicine magazine

The 120th Rose Parade themed Hats Off to Entertainment will take place Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009 at 8 a.m. (PST) featuring majestic floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and spirited marching bands .
For additional information on Tournament of Roses please visit the official website at