Skip to content

    Health & Balance

    Font Size

    Cloris Leachman's Latest Chapter

    The author, actress, and dancer talks about aging, cooking, her new book -- and why she never gets stressed out.
    WebMD Magazine - Feature

    The winner of nine Emmy Awards and one Academy Award, actress and comedienne Cloris Leachman has charmed American audiences for more than 60 years. This past year, she pushed her creative powers even further when she both competed as the oldest contestant on Dancing with the Stars and published her autobiography: Cloris. When WebMD Magazine caught up with her in the spring of 2009, she had just finished a film role, too. How does an 82-year-old find the time and energy to do all that? Read on to find out.

    You seem to be going stronger than ever at 82. Not only are you starring in Quentin Tarantino’s new film Inglourious Basterds, but you just penned your autobiography, Cloris, and danced with the stars last year. Is it true that Dancing with the Stars producers rejected you twice before they let you on the show?

    They said I was too old. But when my son became my manager, he asked me what I wanted to do and I told him Dancing with the Stars. He arranged a talk with them, and after seeing five or six doctors and spending three hours with a dance instructor in front of the cameras, they said OK.

    Was it difficult for you physically?

    I had gained weight and it was shockingly surprising how that was such an issue. I could not imagine hopping even one hop. I also had a bad left knee and high blood pressure. But they put a shot of steroids in my knee, and they took my blood pressure at the beginning of every rehearsal. I could not do anything if my blood pressure went above 140/80. I’d have to sit and wait it out until it went down.

    You are famously funny. How do you think your sense of humor has influenced your point of view on life’s ups and downs?

    Oh, thank God for a sense of humor. I’m not witty or anything. Mostly, I’m just silly. But I have a lot of fun in life.

    1 | 2 | 3

    Today on WebMD

    woman in yoga class
    6 health benefits of yoga.
    beautiful girl lying down of grass
    10 relaxation techniques to try.
    mature woman with glass of water
    Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
    coffee beans in shape of mug
    Get the facts.
    Take your medication
    Hand appearing to hold the sun
    Hungover man
    Welcome mat and wellington boots
    Woman worn out on couch
    Happy and sad faces
    Fingertip with string tied in a bow
    laughing family