Miss Cleo, the Jamaican-accented self-described psychic who rose to fame via ubiquitous informercials in the late 1990s, has died. She was 53. Media reports say she died this morning of cancer at a hospital in Palm Beach County, FL.
Born Youree Harris on August 12, 1962, in Los Angeles, she produced and acted in local Seattle theater before landing the gig that would make her famous. She took a job with the Psychic Readers Network and, dubbed Miss Cleo, became a familiar face on late-night TV. “Call me now,” she’d say in her off-and-on Caribbean island accent as she flipped Tarot cards — and many did. But by the early 2000s, Psychic Readers Network was mired in lawsuits, and the feds charged its owners with false advertising and other illegal practices. Miss Cleo was not indicted but fell from grace once it went public that she was American and not Jamaican as claimed.
She later was the Auntie Poulet character in the popular 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.