Phyllis Lindstrom

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Phyllis Lindstrom
Ted Baxter for councilman 1974.JPG
Phyllis talks Ted into running for local office.
First appearance "Love Is All Around"
September 19, 1970
Last appearance "The Last Show"
March 19, 1977
Created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns
Portrayed by Cloris Leachman
Gender Female
Occupation Assistant at Erskine Photography Studio
Administrative Assistant to San Francisco City Supervisor
Spouse(s) Lars Lindstrom (deceased)
Children Bess Lindstrom

Phyllis Lindstrom, nee Sutherland, portrayed by Cloris Leachman, is a fictional character on the television sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show and subsequent spin-off, Phyllis.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show[edit]

Phyllis Lindstrom is the snobbish, acid-tongued wife of dermatologist Dr. Lars Lindstrom, who is often referenced but never seen by the audience. The Lindstroms manage the apartment building, actually a Victorian boarding house, in which Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mary and Rhoda develop a close relationship with Phyllis' daughter, Bess.

Throughout the series, Rhoda and Phyllis maintain an adversarial but talkative relationship. Phyllis understandably despises Sue Ann Nivens, who hosts The Happy Homemaker on WJM-TV, after Sue Ann has an affair with Phyllis's husband, Lars.[citation needed]


Audrey and Phyllis in the premiere episode of Phyllis

In 1975, Leachman left The Mary Tyler Moore Show to star in its spin-off series, Phyllis. The series takes place in San Francisco, Phyllis's hometown, where Phyllis and Bess relocate after the death of Lars.

Phyllis first works at Erskine Photography Studio, then later as an administrative assistant for a city supervisor. While there, she and Bess live with Lars' mother, Audrey, and Audrey's new husband, Judge Jonathan Dexter. Phyllis's major nemesis by this time is Jonathan's mother, Sally, a sharp-tongued, irritable, impatient woman known to all as "Mother Dexter" (played by veteran actress Judith Lowry). Despite her animosity towards Phyllis and indifference to Audrey, Mother Dexter gets along well with Bess, and also with Mary Richards when Mary makes a visit to San Francisco, at Phyllis' behest when the latter is having a particularly difficult time.

Lars was also the name of Cloris Leachman's husband-to-be on the 1962 Laramie episode titled "Trial by Fire".[1]