Bloggers note: “WHO”S THE FADDAH OF THE BABY????”
Miss Cleo, the psychic whose infomercials featured prominently on TV in the 1990s, has died, her rep confirmed to TMZ. She was 53.
Cleo, whose birth name was Youree Harris, was battling colon cancer that spread to her liver and lungs, her rep told TMZ. She died on Tuesday morning at a hospice center in Palm Beach County, Florida.
A “pillar of strength,” Cleo died surrounded by family and friends, her rep said.
Famous for her faux-Jamaican accident, Cleo promised Psychic Readers Network callers that she’d use “the power of the tarot to show you the way.”
Actually born in Los Angeles, Cleo maintained her television personality until 2003 – when the network collapsed under a federal probe – before going on to do voice work, including a stint for game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, according to Vice.
In 2006, Cleo – a mother of two – came out publicly as a lesbian, explaining to the Advocate, “This is me. I don’t want to hide. Fear only impedes you on your journey.”
Cleo’s long role as a spiritual advisor was rooted in her heritage, she said, telling Vice in 2014, “I come from a family of spooky people.”
“I come from a family of Obeah – which is another word for voodoo,” she said. “My teacher was Haitian, [a mambo] born in Port-au-Prince, and I studied under her for some 30 years and then became a mambo myself. So they refer to me as psychic – because the word voodoo scares just about everybody. So they told me, ‘No, no, no, we can’t use that word; we’re going to call you a psychic.’ ”
Despite fallout from the Psychic Readers Network’s demise at the hands of the Federal Trade Commission – a suit later settled out of court – Cleo said she still had callers as of just a few years ago.
“I have clients in New Zealand, Australia, a few here in Toronto, a bunch all over the US, Jamaica, obviously,” she told Vice. “Honey, that’s how I make my money. I’ve got kids and grandchildren; I like being able to help.”