Miss Cleo, the famous television psychic who sprung to fame in the 1990s, has died. Born Youree Harris, the star passed away at age 53 in a hospice center. Known for her catchphrase, “call me now!” as the Jamaican psychic on her Psychic Readers Network infomercials, she gave viewers insight into their future – all for entertainment.
Harris’ representatives broke the news to TMZ today admitting the TV personality had been hospitalized recently for colon cancer that spread to her lungs and liver. She was released last week to a hospice center in Palm Beach County, Florida. Her rep told the site Harris was a “pillar of strength” and died surrounded by family and friends.
Though Harris’ claim to fame came from the Readers Network advertisements featuring her thick accent – which ran for seven years from 1997 to 2003 – The New York Daily News reports she was actually born in Los Angeles, California in 1962. Harris also found work in voiceover. She voiced a character in 2002’s Grand Theft Auto: Vice City video game. And in 2003, she signed on as a spokesperson for Fuse Network. Two years later, she appeared as Miss Cleo in ads for Uncle Mel’s Used Cars in Plantation, Florida. Most recently, she revived the character for General Mills’ French Toast Crunch cereal campaign last year.
Chron reports the famous Jamaican character was created in 1996, when Harris worked as a playwright in Seattle, Washington.
Since news of Harris’ death broke, many have reacted social media.
Author Tiffany D. Jackson called Miss Cleo the “greatest fake Jamaican that ever lived!”
— Tiffany D. Jackson (@WriteinBK) July 26, 2016
@_zolarmoon reacted to Harris’ relatively young age at her death.
53 is so young.
I don't like that.
RIP Miss Cleo ?
— Mrs. King❤️ (@_zolarmoon) July 26, 2016
Lexus Holloway similarly remarked the star was gone too soon, reflecting on her commercials.
R.I.P Miss Cleo…As a kid I remember seeing her commercial on tv, she always said "caallllll nooow call miss Cleo" wow smh #GoneTooSoon
— lexus holloway (@tweetbirdLexus) July 26, 2016
Robin E. Beck called Harris’ character the “OG psychic.”
— Robin E. Beck (@aROBINtweeeets) July 26, 2016
D. Scott shared is condolences, adding Miss Cleo was part of his childhood entertainment.
RIP Miss Cleo you were apart of my childhood laughs
— D. Scott (@KOMW97) July 26, 2016
Many jokingly wondered if Harris saw her death coming, but a tweet by @3lone reveals a serious tone, given the current racial climate of America.
RIP Miss Cleo She saw what was in the future for us and decided to opt out.
— (@3lone) July 26, 2016