Cloris Leachman

The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night 2014 Celebrating the 86th Annual Academy Award Nominees - Arrivals

Leachman in 2014, photo by Prphotos

Date of Birth: April 30, 1926

Place of Birth: Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.

Date of Death: January 27, 2021

Place of Death: Encinitas, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, one quarter Bohemian/Czech, distant Scottish and German, remote French

Cloris Leachman was an American actress and comedian. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Last Picture Show (1971). She was also known for her roles in the films Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, WUSA, Dillinger, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, Prancer, Bad Santa, Spanglish, Scary Movie 4, and Ponyo, and television’s The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cher, and The Woman Who Willed a Miracle, among many other works.

Cloris was the daughter of Cloris Votruba (Wallace) and Berkeley Claiborne “Buck” Leachman. Her sister was actress and cabaret performer Claiborne Cary. Her father had English ancestry, as did her maternal grandfather, with other roots including distant Scottish and German, and remote French. Cloris’ maternal grandmother was from a Bohemian Czech family. She had five children with her former husband, editor, director, producer, and actor George Englund. George’s uncle was actor Jack Albertson. Cloris’ granddaughter is singer and songwriter Anabel Englund.

Cloris was a second cousin, twice removed, of vaudeville performer and voice actor Pinto Colvig. Cloris’s maternal great-great-great-grandparents, Allen “Allyn” Woodford and Alphia/Aphia Woodruff, were also Pinto’s paternal great-grandparents.

Cloris’s paternal grandfather was Robert Parker Leachman (the son of William Leachman and Sarah Parker). Robert was born in Illinois. William was the son of Leonard Leachman and Sarah Sanford. Cloris’s great-grandmother Sarah was the daughter of Calvin S. Parker and Sarah A. “Sally” Sparks.

Cloris’s paternal grandmother was Rose/Rosa Claiborne (the daughter of Charles Baring Eugene “C.B.E.” Claiborne and Rosalthe/Rosa/Rosaltha/Rose Gleason Thompson). Cloris’s grandmother Rose was born in Iowa. Charles was born at sea between England and Australia, the son of The Rev. Richard Baring Claiborne, a clergyman for the Episcopalian church, who was of English parentage, and of Sarah Frances Woodward. Cloris’s great-grandmother Rosalthe was born in Massachusetts, the daughter of Archibald Thompson, who was born in Maine, and of Olive Gleason, who was born in Vermont.

Cloris’s maternal grandfather was Everett Oren Wallace (the son of Andrew/Asa Clinton/Chipon Wallace and Elmira/Almira/Myra Wiley). Everett was born in Iowa. Andrew was the son of George W. Wallace and Narcissa Choate. Elmira was the daughter of Jacob Anson Wiley and Mary Leve Woodford.

Cloris’s maternal grandmother was Bertha Votruba (the daughter of Matthis/Mathis/Matthew/Matěj Votruba and Mary/Marie Bratrsovsky/Bratršovská/Brothers/Barthers). Bertha was born in Iowa, to Bohemian Czech parents. Matthis was the son of John Votruba and Dorothy/Dorota Ibeck. Mary was the daughter of Josef/Joseph Bratršovský/Bratrsovscheho and Josephine Ibeck/Abel.

Sources: Genealogies of Cloris Leachman –

Marriage record of Cloris’s paternal grandparents, Robert Parker Leachman and Rose/Rosa Claiborne –

Cloris’s paternal grandmother, Rose/Rosa Claiborne, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Cloris’s maternal grandparents, Everett Oren Wallace and Bertha Votruba –

Cloris’s maternal grandmother, Bertha Votruba, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Death record of Cloris’s maternal great-grandfather, Matthis/Mathis/Matthew/Matěj Votruba –

Death record of Cloris’s maternal great-grandmother, Mary/Marie (Bratrsovsky/Bratršovská/Brothers/Barthers) Votruba –


Curious about ethnicity

5 Responses

  1. Devil says:

    Her parents on findagrave:

    I found through the link that through Allen Woodford and Aphia Woodruff (parents of Mary Leve Woodford), she appears to be a second cousin twice removed of Pinto Colvig, the original voice of Goofy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    She has ancestors that were born In England. You an check her Genealogy here. The link i submitted above seems not to be working

  3. anna says:

    how is she anglo-american with this german surname?

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