It’s hard to think of late-night television from the ‘90s without paying tribute to one of the finest infomercials to ever exist. Who doesn’t remember psychic, Miss Cleo, saying “call me now” as she urged viewers to phone in to her hotline. Honestly, the woman was a cultural icon during that decade.
Sadly, Cleo lost her battle to cancer prompting both a public outpouring of sadness and more than a few inappropriate jokes about whether she predicted her own premature death.
Just 53 years old. Cleo was referred to as a “pillar of strength” and is said to have been surrounded by friends and family when she passed away in Palm Beach, Florida.
While we knew her as the face of the Psychic Readers Network, she was born Youree Dell Harris in Los Angeles and is survived by two daughters. The burning question that so many seem to be asking on social media today is this – was she really Jamaican? That accent could not have been real!
We may never know but, during a 2014 interview with Vice, Cleo gave some insight into how she got into the pay-per-call business saying: “I come from a family of Obeah — which is another word for voodoo. My teacher was Haitian, 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.’ I said, ‘But I’m not a psychic!”
Interesting! Even she, herself, claims to not have psychic ability but it’s very doubtful that people would have been spending crazy amounts of money to call her to perform voodoo rituals. You’ve gotta go where the money is, right?