Maw Maw is Virginia Chance's grandmother, Barbara June, who raised Virginia and lets her live in her home with her husband, Burt, and their son, Jimmy.
Maw Maw doesn't have many lucid moments. As a result, she often walks around the house without a shirt on and kisses Jimmy, who she thinks is her dead husband, Wilfred.
When Burt tries to make Maw Maw quit smoking, she keeps burning him with lit cigarette butts. In order to protect himself and rid the house of fumes, Burt built Maw Maw a bubble to smoke in.
Maw Maw is unstoppable at the game Jenga as long as the song "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" is playing in the background. This skill comes in handy when baby Hope crawled into a precariously cluttered shed and Maw Maw was able to rescue her.
Even though she thinks her husband, Wilfred, is still alive, Maw Maw started an affair with a man she meets at Shelley's day care. When Virginia tried to stop Maw Maw from cheating, Mel moved on to another woman and broke her heart.
In her more delusional moments, the octogenarian thought she was in labor, tried to breastfeed baby Hope, and believed that she was still in the USO. But when she was in a more sensible frame of mind, she knew that the U.S. was at war with Iraq and Afghanistan, and she reminded Jimmy that there are lots of other fish in the sea.
As time went on, Maw Maw almost seemed to be getting more lucid. She was having fewer topless run-ins in public, and her commentary seemed more connected to what's going on around her. She was still prone to mischief, like swallowing her gold tooth and stealing the mayor's car.
And it was not surprising to discover that Maw Maw once had a very conniving streak. Twenty years ago she paid someone to lure Burt away, hoping to put an end to Burt and Virginia's marriage, but she vowed never to interfere with their union again.
That doesn't mean Maw Maw lives free of her moments of confusion. When Virginia and Burt leave her in Jimmy's care, she once again mistook her grandson for her late husband, Wilfred. Even though she started off feeling randy, she soon turned on him, believing that Wilfred forgot their anniversary. Jimmy discovered that her outbursts could be calmed with a nice necklace and a spritz of water.
Cloris Leachman is a celebrated American actress of stage, film and television. She has won eight Primetime Emmy Awards - more than any other female performer - and one Daytime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and numerous other awards. She also earned an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1971 for her role as "Ruth Popper" in "The Last Picture Show." In 2011, she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on RAISING HOPE.
Leachman is best known for playing the nosy, self-centered and manipulative landlady "Phyllis Lindstrom" on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and later on the spin-off series "Phyllis."
Her additional film credits include the Mel Brooks films "Young Frankenstein" and "High Anxiety," as well as "American Cowslip," "Ponyo," "Inglorious Basterds," "New York, I Love You," "Expecting Mary," the upcoming "The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure" and "The Fields." She became popular in recent years for her recurring role on the hit FOX series "Malcolm in the Middle" and appearances on "The Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget," "Love Takes Wings," "The Office," "Phineas and Ferb" and "HawthoRNe."
The 86-year-old Leachman competed on "Dancing with the Stars" in 2008 and served as Grand Marshal of the 2009 New Year's Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, CA, where she presided over the 120th annual parade and the 95th Rose Bowl football game. In March 2010, Leachman became a published author with the release of her bestselling memoir, "Cloris: My Autobiography."
Leachman currently resides in Los Angeles.