Youree Dell Harris, known to many as Miss Cleo, died Tuesday morning at age 53 in Palm Beach County, FL. TMZ reports she was “originally diagnosed with colon cancer,” but that it spread to her liver and lungs. She was with friends and family when she died.
In the late ‘90s, Harris joined the Psychic Readers Network and instantly became one of the most familiar (and most imitated) personalities on TV with her catchphrase, “Call me now for your free readin’.”
The Psychic Readers Network was sued by the FCC in 2002 for, among other things, “misrepresenting the nature of the ‘free’ readings offered,” and Harris mostly disappeared from our the public eye. Apart from an appearance in a Grand Theft Auto game and an Advocate profile in which she came out as a lesbian, she’s spent the past 15 years laying low.
Two years ago, Harris (who was born in Los Angeles) was interviewed by Vice. During their chat, she said she was still a working psychic (“My clients are international, sweetie”), and that being recognized as Miss Cleo was an “unfortunate” regular occurrence.
So one day I’m in line to pay my phone bill, and there was Jamaican woman there, and we were chatting, and she goes [heavy patois accent], “You know who ya favor?” I say, “Who?” She say, “Miss Cleo.” I say, “Ya, mon, but me hear she not Jamaican.” And she say, “Yeah, me hear that too.”
We’ve gathered a few highlight moments of her show in the video above; watch, enjoy and celebrate her unique life.