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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Cloris Leachman's sex secrets: Too much information?

March 26, 2009 |  3:50 pm

ClorisleachmanCloris Leachman used to be quite the hot babe. If you don't believe me, go out and rent Robert Aldrich's "Kiss Me Deadly," which she plays a troubled young hitchhiker whose death sparks a great film noir suspense story. But Leachman is now 82 and largely relegated to playing crazy grandmas in such films as "Spanglish" and "Bad Santa," so when you read about her youthful sex-ploits -- as everyone who picked up the New York Post did today -- it's kind of like hearing your mother boasting about her hot college hookups. I mean, with all due respect, YUCK!

(I'm sure my mom would want me to take this opportunity to reiterate that any mention of motherly erotic escapades is strictly a generic literary device, not intended to imply that my mother would ever regale her kids with graphic details about her past high life. You'll just have to wait for my memoirs to read about the times my parents would go see live sex shows in Havana in the late '50s.) 

But discretion is apparently not Leachman's strong suit. To sell a book these days, you apparently have to spill your innermost secrets, so in her new memoir, "Cloris," Leachman reveals that, back in the 1970s, she agreed to have dinner with Gene Hackman while they were shooting films in San Francisco. What happened next? According to Leachman: "Some giant space magnet was pulling us together. We didn't finish the meal. We went upstairs, flew into bed and made love. It was epic. And the next morning, Gene went back to his film and I went back to mine."

Leachman also recounts that Ed Asner, her costar on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," always told her that he loved her. She claims that one day she made an agreement with Asner that she'd have sex with him if he lost 32 pounds. "He almost did it," she writes. "He lost 29 pounds. We both got so disoriented at what we were facing that his weight shot back up and our assignation never happened."

I think if you read that description again you'll find it plausible that, if you look at the bet from Asner's point of view, that when he was just pounds away from jumping into the sack with Cloris, he realized what was about to happen and went off his diet as fast as possible. And that's without even knowing that she was going to write about it 30 years later. 

Photo of Cloris Leachman by Al Seib / Los Angeles Times