PASADENA, Calif., Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Hollywood actress Cloris Leachman has been named the 2009 grand marshal of the Tournament of Roses festivities, organizers announced Friday.
As grand marshal, Leachman will ride in the 120th Rose Parade and toss the coin before the 95th Rose Bowl Game Jan. 1, 2009.
"Cloris Leachman is perfect for our theme, 'Hats Off to Entertainment.' As an actress of stage, screen and television, a comedian and now even a dancer, she is more than representative of the vast world of entertainment," Corky Conzonire, president of the Tournament of Roses, said in a statement. "I can't think of an individual who better personifies the spirit of our theme and can hardly wait to see the energy, wit and smiles she'll bring to our favorite New Year's Day celebration."
"It is truly an honor to be a part of one of our country's most beloved New Year's Day traditions," added Leachman. "My grandkids are thrilled that I'm going to be part of a parade that is actually older than I am. I can't wait to see all of the smiling faces along the parade route in the morning and then toss the coin for those handsome young football players at the Rose Bowl Game."
Leachman is an Emmy and Oscar-winning actress best known for her roles on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and in Mel Brooks' movie "Young Frankenstein." She is currently competing on "Dancing With the Stars."