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Cloris Leachman Did "Everything Humanly Possible" to Save Her Son & Failed - Meet Her 5 Grown-up Kids

Olawale Ogunjimi
May 05, 2022
06:30 P.M.
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Award-winning actress Cloris Leachman was a loving mother onscreen and offscreen until her death. In reality, she loved her kids but suffered a tragedy despite trying to avoid it‐ Meet her grownup kids and grandkids.

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Cloris Leachman was only a teenager when she began exhibiting her passion for a successful career. Although after competing in Miss America's beauty pageant and making a professional debut in 1948, it took about two decades for her to become a notable actress.

Following her appearances on hit shows and the big screens, Leachman became a consistent nominee for the Primetime Emmy Awards, where she eventually bagged eight awards, among other movie accolades.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show the situation comedy television series. Cloris Leachman portrays character Phyllis Lindstrom in June 18, 1970. | Source: Getty Images

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Leachman's brilliant personality influenced her lifestyle as much as her career. She knew how to play motherly roles and loved doing it on TV, in "Lassie," and in real life. The actress was married to a man named George in 1953, with whom she shared three sons.

The eldest was four-and-a-half, followed by a three-year-old and a one-and-a-half-year-old. While she loved parenting, her relationship with George often experienced conflict as he questioned her parenting tactics. 

Eventually, she moved to Darien to live with her sister. They lived comfortably in the home, as the family welcomed them. Soon, the mother-of-three purchased a tiny house for her and the kids.

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Actress and comedienne Cloris Leachman on the variety show called "The Frank Sinatra Show" on April 18, 1958. | Source: Getty Images

LEACHMAN'S MOTHERHOOD JOURNEY AND HOW HER KIDS GREW UP

After the experience in Darien, the kids reunited with their dad. George Englund is a producer and director.

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He planned that his sons would accompany him to Thailand to experience a new culture, as he intended to stay in the country for some time following the "The Ugly American" shooting. 

Leachman was needed to care for the boys, and although she was upset at George over his affair with Joan Collins, they resolved things, and the actress agreed to follow him.

Cloris Leachman at home with her husband, George Englund. | Source: Getty Images

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The couple vowed to behave respectfully in front of their kids, and eventually, the trip made them feel like a family again.

According to the actress, they had a blast in Thailand. Her sons visited kickboxing gyms, religious temples, and the market. They also enjoyed a daily ride around town in a three-wheeled pedicab.

She maintained that their truce worked like magic, and after the Thailand experience, they were excited to live like one big happy family.

Cloris Leachman with her husband, George Englund and their sons George jr., Adam and Bryan. Julia Harris is the children's nurse. | Source: Getty Images

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Once they returned to the US, the couple moved into their Brentwood Park home, where they experienced a vibrant social life with other residents. They decided to welcome another child, Morgan, following the peace between them.

Coming back together did not automatically stop George from philandering. However, the couple never discussed his romance with Collins even though it persisted. Instead, George assured his wife that he was focused on the family's stability

Cloris Leachman and daughter Dinah Englund during 50th Annual Academy Awards Rehearsals at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images

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Soon, the couple changed their home, moving into a place in West Los Angeles, where they remained for a year before separating.

After that, Leachman went to New York while George lived in an English cottage above the Sunset Strip.

Once again, the couple reunited and moved to Rockingham, where they enjoyed marital bliss, the wonderment of healthy growing kids, and successful careers. 

Actress Cloris Leachman, with her husband George Englund, son Brian and his girlfriend Mary, holding her award for 'The Last Picture Show' at the Academy Awards, Los Angeles, April 1972. | Source: Getty Images

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Like before, the happiness in the air made it easier for the couple to think about expanding their family, and that was when their fifth child, which also happens to be their first daughter, was born. 

When the kids became older, Leachman and her husband were conscious of teaching them musical instruments. So they employed teachers for their three eldest sons, Adam, Bryan, and George Jr.

Over time, as expected, the boys gained perfection with their respective instruments. Adam started with a flute and later a guitar. Bryan preferred the trombone but grew to love drums and was an excellent drummer.

Cloris Leachman posing for exclusive portraits at home with her children and grandchildren in August 2000, Los Angeles. | Source: Getty Images

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George Jr., the most amazing of them, started with a tambourine, playing to his mother's piano rhythms in their two-person band.

As he grew older, he became bored of music class in school until one day, in seventh grade, he heard the oboe. After that, he became obsessed with the instrument and soon gained mastery.

George jr. later learned the three iterations of the sax to join his brother's band. But that was not all; he added the piccolo and recorder, making his mom feel confident and proud of his musical prowess.

Actress Cloris Leachman arrives to the 35th AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to Al Pacino held at the Kodak Theatre on June 7, 2007 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

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TRAGEDY HITS LEACHMAN

In 1986, the actress lost her son, Bryan Englund. He was born in 1955 and, like his mother, had a knack for entertainment. He appeared in films like "Prowler," "High Anxiety," and "Crazy Mama."

Sadly, before he could consolidate his mark in Hollywood, he died an untimely death. Bryan struggled with addiction problems, and at age 30, he succumbed to his demons.

The authorities confirmed that he died from an overdose of ulcer medications. He left behind a one-year-old daughter, Portia, and a wife named Pamela Pietri. Following the tragedy, Leachman confessed that she found it unbelievable and would not accept the reality.

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Cloris Leachman and son Bryan Englund during 1st Annual Actors Studio Awards at Waldorf Hotel in New York City, NY, United States. | Source: Getty Images

According to the actress, she was persistently trying to help her son get off the addictions, even though it never involved putting him in chains or behind bars. Leachman maintained that she loved her son, adding that she intended to remain a happy woman, despite the tragedy. In her words

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"I did everything humanly possible...And I know how much he loved me and I know that he knew how much I loved him…I am having an incredible life. I've never felt doom around me."

Cloris Leachman during 1st Annual Actors Studio Awards at Waldorf Hotel in New York City, NY, United States. | Source: Getty Images

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Despite her words, Leachman was aware of how much death could take away—she was also a friend to the Newmans, who lost their son, Paul, to a drug overdose.

However, she believed that Bryan was only dead but not gone. The onscreen star revealed that she always felt his presence, owing to their love. 

Cloris Leachman poses for exclusive portraits at home with her children and grandchildren in Los Angeles, August 2000. | Source: Getty Images

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LEACHMAN'S KIDS ARE ADULTS WITH FAMILIES NOW

Leachman and George divorced in 1979, but they remained close, making their kids a priority. Decades later, the Englund offspring all grew up to be successful people.

Their firstborn, Adam, born the same year they married, found happiness working in the entertainment industry. His film credits include "Out of the Dark," "Lady Avenger," and "Mortuary Academy." He was formerly married to Vicki McCarty.

Georgie, born in 1957, is now a production manager and, as expected, took up a career in music—he works as a composer.

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Actress Cloris Leachman and her son George Englund, Jr. pose backstage at the National Dance Institute's Exploration of John Lennon's Music event at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts on June 21, 2009 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Morgan, who joined the team in 1963, became an actor and writer. His features are "Guiding Light," "Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom," and "Carnosaur 3: Primal Species."

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Dinah, the only girl born in 1966, is also an actress notable for her appearance in "Titanic," "Death Sentence," and "Crazy Mama." Before Leachman's departure, her kids blessed her with six grandkids, namely Portia, Skye, Arielle, Jackson, Hallelujah, and Anabel.

She also has a great-grandchild called Braden. Anabel, one of the grandkids, takes the music business seriously and has already earned many hats on her head as a singer, songwriter, record producer, and DJ.

Cloris Leachman and Dinah Englund at the 26th Genesis Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 24, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

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THE EXIT OF AN ICON

A year ago, Leachman passed away from a stroke, at age 94, after battling coronavirus: the virus contributed immensely to her health.  

Following her death, she was cremated, and her remains were left in Dinah's home in Encinitas, California. Many talked about her loving personality, maintaining that she would forever be in their hearts.

Leachman lived a fulfilling life; even though she suffered the heartbreak of losing a child, she remained a happy mother, always willing to look out for her kids, grandkids, and great-grandchild.

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