Youree Dell Harris, the struggling actress who rose to fame as pitchwoman Miss Cleo on the Psychic Readers Network, died on Tuesday due to cancer.
It can be recalled that Harris, 53, became popular when she was cast as a psychic in TV infomercials in the 1990s, wherein she was seen exuding her Jamaican accent and head wraps.
Her enthusiastic way of saying “Call Me Now!” after reading the tarot cards and gave out her insights about the future eventually became a household tagline in the said era.
According to CNN, the TV personality reportedly died in Palm Beach, Florida, while being surrounded by her family and some close friends, as relayed by her family’s lawyer, William J. Cone.
“She remained a pillar of strength throughout. She has touched so many lives, both within her family and in the community,” the attorney said about Miss Cleo in a statement. “She will be dearly missed by us all.”
The report noted that the company advertisement at the time described her as someone who surely has psychic gifts, which she kept on honing since she was a little girl in the Caribbean.
While the company claimed that she was born in the Trelawny section of Jamaica, it was later discovered that Miss Cleo was actually born in Los Angeles.
It was discovered by the Federal Trade Commission after the Access Resource Services (ARS), the company behind the hotline, was accused of committing a number of consumer violations, together with the Psychic Readers Network.
In the meantime, USA Today reported that the supposed free calls to the toll-free number actually cost consumers more than $1 billion.
As explained by the Federal Trade Commission, whenever consumers would call the toll-free number to get a free psychic reading, they were directed to a different number that charged $4.99 per minute.
Based on the FTC’s estimates of the calls involving Miss Cleo, each of the around six billion callers was charged $60.