Lesbian TV Psychic Miss Cleo Dead at 53

Cleo

Los Angeles-born Youree Harris — who found fame in the 1990s when she donned a headdress and Jamaican accent to portray Miss Cleo, a mystic who'd tell your fortune for $2.99 a minute — died on Tuesday in Florida after battling cancer. 

Miss Cleo's late night commericals were iconic for not only Harris's distinctive look and sound, but phrases like "The cards never lie" and "Call me now!" The last commercials aired in the early 2000s, but Harris had already established a mini-mystic empire of tarot readings, clothes, and even a dating website. 

After weathering lawsuits and accusations of fraud, Harris decamped to Florida to raise her children. Harris released a CD of poetry, provided a voice for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and established a private psychic practice.

Harris came out to The Advocate in 2006, saying she was inspired by a gay godson. Even after moving to Florida, Harris couldn't always escape Miss Cleo, though she maintained a good sense of humor about her fame.

"People want to get to you for one reason: They think that you can help them," Harris told The Advocate. "It was very chaotic. They'd tell me what was going on in their lives, wanting some direction, and that got intense. That's one of the reasons why I moved from Miami Beach out here to Davie, where there are ranches and horses. People would just knock on my door. I had to get a bodyguard; I had to get dogs. I'm a mom, gay or straight, and for a mom, it's all about protecting her cubs."

Harris faced cancer bravely and passed away surrounded by family and friends, according to TMZ.

[RELATED: Miss Cleo Comes Out]

Tags: Women, Obituaries

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