Famous TV Psychic Miss Cleo Dies At 53


Famous TV psychic Miss Cleo died in Florida July 26.

Miss Cleo, whose real name is Youree Harris, died at age 53 from colon cancer that spread to her liver and lungs, TMZ reports.

The woman was hospitalized and recently discharged to a hospice center before she passed away.

A representative said Harris acted as a  "pillar of strength" during her illness.

She died surrounded by family and friends.

Although she was actually born in Los Angeles, Harris became famous in the 1990s as the Jamaican psychic Miss Cleo.

She was famous for always urging viewers to “Call me now!” Her voice had also been used in the video game "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.”

While she was a controversial figure, with some accusing her of simply lying to earn millions, Harris said she never wanted to be considered a psychic in the first place.

"I'm not a psychic," Harris said, New Times reports. "I am a mambo, a Haitian high priestess -- that's what I was trained to do. Being a psychic, that was not my idea. That was a package that was put together. And it wasn't me."

"My family had to deal with the lies and the garbage and the misrepresentations," Harris once added about the end of her relationship with the Psychic Readers Network. "People really believed that I owned the company. I'm said to have gazillions of dollars. I wish people would tell me where it is."

Lesser known about Harris is that she was an open lesbian who had faced exile for coming out, but opened up publicly anyway, The Advocate reports.

“In my personal experience, black cultures throughout the world have a more difficult time accepting homosexuality in their family,” she once said.

“I’ve been afraid of the wrath, of the exile,” she added. “When I came out to a number of friends in the late ’80s I had a number of friends who turned their backs on me and walked away. That was really intense. I really believed they were my friends."

Yet she said her godson later inspired her to come out publicly, despite what further discrimination she could face.

“He was afraid of nothing, and I thought, I can’t be a hypocrite. This boy is going to force me to put my money where my mouth is,” she said.

Sources: TMZ, New TimesThe Advocate / Photo credit: C. Stiles via New Times 

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