Cloris Leachman Confirms YOUNG FRANK Offer on 'The View'
Cloris Leachman confirmed this morning on ABC's The View that she did indeed get the offer to reprise her film role of Frau Blucher for the Broadway production of Young Frankenstein. The news of Mel Brooks' about face regarding her joining the musical was first reported in yesterday's New York Post. After discussing her recent turn on 'Danincing With the Stars', View hostess Sherri Shepard asked if it was true about her being offered the chance to re-created her iconic Fran Blucher for the stage and Leachman's answer was..."Yes!"
Last year, Mel Brooks, creator and producer of the Broadway musical comedy, told Leachman that, at 81, she was too old for the role of Frau Blucher (the character she originated in his 1974 movie) but has since changed his "tune" on the matter.
Brooks was concerned that Leachman didn't have the "stamina" for eight shows a week, but, after watching her dancing and audience popularity on the ABC hit "Dancing With the Stars," Brooks might have reconsidered his earlier opinion when it comes to having Leachman join the stage version of his comedy masterpiece.
Leachman, now 82, became the latest contestant to be voted off the "Dancing with the Stars", the Oscar winner and her pro dance partner Corky Ballas had received the lowest score from the judges, 15 out of 30, for their Cha-Cha, on Monday's show.
When the scores were combined with viewers' votes, crowd favorites Leachman and Ballas were still at the bottom of the board. On hearing the news, Leachman said: "You know, I'm not leaving. I'm going to get a pretty costume and be here next week."
According to Broadway gossip site billymasters.com, "Mel has reached out to Leachman to see if they could make a deal - which I'm sure has nothing to do with the show's somewhat soft box office."
But Leachman, reports The New York Post's PAGE SIX, is being inundated with offers - including a role in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Bastards," an eponymous one-woman show, and the grand marshal gig in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day - is taking her time in deciding if she'll accept the reported offer to join Young Frankenstein'. Her exit from ‘Dancing' might just speed her choice in regards to a decision.
Leachman's reps told the Post, "Cloris has received several interesting offers. We cannot confirm that 'Young Frankenstein' is one of them. For the time being, Cloris is focusing all her attention on dancing." Press reps for Young Frankenstein didn't return calls to the New York Post.
Leachman, who originated the role of Frau Blucher in Mel Brooks' classic film Young Frankenstein – was reportedly let go from the show. She had previously performed as Frau Blucher in the musical's workshop.
Leachman, who won an Oscar for 1971's The Last Picture Show, has won eight Emmy Awards, with one for "Malcolm in the Middle" being her latest. She famously played Phyllis on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," and her many Broadway credits include A Touch of the Poet, King of Hearts and As You Like It.
Young Frankenstein, inspired by the famed Mary Shelley novel, concerns the skeptical neurosurgeon grandson of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, who returns to Frankenstein's castle to find that the legendary monster was more than just a myth. The comedy, which was directed by Brooks with a screenplay by Brooks and Gene Wilder, starred Wilder, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Leachman, Teri Garr and Kenneth Mars. It is considered a comedic classic to this day.
Photo of Cloris Leachman and Corky Ballas courtesy of ABC Television.