August 26th, 2008
02:10 PM ET

Cloris Leachman, 82, goes 'Dancing'

The list of contestants for the latest edition of “Dancing With the Stars” featured few surprises. There was the bombshell reality star (Kim Kardashian), the pro football player (Warren Sapp), the unlikely actor (Ted McGinley) and someone for the teenyboppers (“Hannah Montana’s” Cody Linley).

But then there was Cloris Leachman: Oscar winner (“The Last Picture Show”), comic actress (Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” and “High Anxiety”), TV regular (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Malcolm in the Middle”).

And - oh yes - she’s 82.

Now, “Dancing With the Stars” can be plenty to handle for even its youthful contenders. Witness dancing professional Mark Ballas’ dislocated shoulder or Cristian de la Fuente’s arm injury.

So will Leachman be able to hold her own?

CNN spoke to Lisa Perkins, Leachman’s publicist. Perkins said that Leachman actually received two medical clearances to appear on the show, one from her personal physician and one from a physician affiliated with ABC.

Perkins says her client was listed in perfect health by both, but as a precaution Leachman will be monitored weekly throughout the seventh season of the show.

And don’t underestimate Leachman: She’s a former Miss America contestant, a veteran of TV’s frantic live drama broadcasts in the 1950s - and we all know what happens to horses who hear the name of her “Frankenstein” character, Frau Blucher.

“Dancing with the Stars” premieres September 22.

- Todd Leopold and Jennifer Wolfe, CNN

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