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Farewell to a '90s TV icon: 'Miss Cleo' reportedly dead at 53

26

July

At some point in the mid-'90s a mysterious and astronomical charge of $67 appeared on my dad's phone bill. He wasn't mad as much as he was puzzled about why I'd called the 1-800 number for the Psychic Readers Network (although, don't get me wrong, he was mad).

I was mad, too, because I hadn't made the call. The charge came courtesy of my friend, who'd quietly dialed the hotline while hanging out at my house after school in order to get some psychic advice on whether or not a girl we knew liked him. I don't think she did, but apparently it took like 23 minutes to get to that answer, and the meter was running. 

I knew it was this particular friend, because he was the one who'd been repeating (in an over-the-top Jamaican accent), "Call me now." That was the catchphrase of "Miss Cleo," the spokeswoman for the Psychic Readers Network and, by virtue of her once-omnipresent TV commercials, '90s pop culture icon.

She died at 53 today, according to published reports. Her real name, according to a 2015 Associated Press story about a lawsuit against General Mills over a cereal commercial that allegedly ripped off the Miss Cleo copyright, was Youree Dell Cleomili Harris.

Her commercials and faux-patois accent haven't been on the air for years, but they'll live on forever via YouTube.

The psychic hotline spokeswoman known as Miss Cleo has reportedly died at 53.

YouTube

The psychic hotline spokeswoman known as Miss Cleo has reportedly died at 53.

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 26, 2016 4:05pm]

    

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