Cloris Leachman has a regular role on the Fox sitcom Raising Hope, has parts in at least six upcoming movies, and regularly pops up in unexpected places like Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D List and the MTV Video Music Awards.
As if that wasn't enough for the 85-year-old, she's also taking her show on the road.
"I never quite know what it's going to be, but it's always fun," Leachman said during a break from shooting Raising Hope. "My former husband decided that I should write a book, do a one-woman show, do some talks and do something else I can't remember. So he wrote everything and I did it, and I'm still doing it."
On Saturday, she brings Cloris! A One-Woman Show to Centre College's Norton Center for the Arts in Danville, a location that piques the interest of the Des Moines, Iowa, native because of its proximity to Fort Boonesborough, where she says she has some family history.
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"An ancestor named Sampson Leachman came with Daniel Boone to build that fort, and his brother Leonard, who was my ancestor, built a log house there, and I went to see it. It's a two-story log house. ... Then I read that he and his daughter went to visit the fort and he won a hunting knife for being the ugliest man in the fort. And his daughter won a prize for being the prettiest girl in the fort."
Leachman enjoys her family history, and she's made plenty herself with a stage and screen career marked by huge achievements.
On Christmas Eve 1962, she appeared as a guest star on three TV shows: Stoney Burke, Saints and Sinners and The New Loretta Young Show. The former Miss Chicago went on to win the 1972 Academy Award for best supporting actress in The Last Picture Show, saying, according to the Internet Movie Database, "Some Oscar winners have dropped out of sight as if they were standing on a trapdoor. Others picked it up and ran with it. I'm going to run with it."
Run she did, rolling up an impressive list of TV and film credits and earning nine Emmy Awards, out of 19 nominations. Among her wins were two for playing landlady Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show; one of those trophies, in 1975, was coupled with an Emmy for her recurring role on Cher. Her last Emmy win was in 2006 for playing an evil grandmother on Malcolm in the Middle. She was nominated for guest actress earlier this year for Raising Hope but lost to Gwyneth Paltrow in Glee.
"I'm greedy to earn a 10th," Leachman says.
She could very well find herself contending with another celebrated octogenarian, Betty White, who's also working steadily, including her starring role on TV Land's Hot in Cleveland.
But Leachman is not wild about comparisons to White.
"I can't do an interview without Betty White being mentioned, and the only thing we share is that we're both in our 80s," Leachman says. "She has her own humor and her own career, and I've got mine. We barely know each other. I think we've worked together five times in 80 years.
"She's lovely, and I like her fine. But there's nothing to connect us that I can think of, except we're in our 80s, and going into our 90s."
Both have recently forged reputations for taking on raunchy and unexpected topics, and Leachman says that extends to her live show.
"I love having people to look at and play with," Leachman says. "Sometimes it makes for too long a show, but so what?"
At an age where most people are well into enjoying retirement, Leachman says there are still things she'd like to do, including drama, something she says she doesn't get to do much after being pegged as a comic actress.
And if that's surprising, she fails to see why people are bowled over by how active she is into her golden years.
"I don't like that word busy because I don't feel like I'm busy," Leachman says. "I get called to do something, I go do it, and then I'm back in bed again. But I don't feel like I'm busy."