Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman) (1970–75), is Mary's snobbish friend and neighbor. She is married to an unseen character, Lars, a dermatologist, and has a precocious daughter, Bess. Phyllis is controlling and often arrogant. She is actively involved in groups and clubs, is a political activist and a supporter of Women's Liberation. Rhoda and Phyllis are usually at odds with each other and often trade insults. After five seasons, Phyllis is widowed and moves to San Francisco in the spinoff series Phyllis.
Phyllis Lindstrom is a fictional character on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off, Phyllis, portrayed by Cloris Leachman. Phyllis Lindstrom is the snobbish and spoiled wife of dermatologist Dr. Lars Lindstrom. Phyllis managed the apartment building in which both Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern lived. Also living with Phyllis was her daughter, Bess, with whom both Mary and Rhoda developed a close relationship.
Throughout the series, Rhoda and Phyllis maintained an adversarial-but-friendly relationship. Phyllis also developed a dislike for Sue Ann Nivens, who hosted "The Happy Homemaker" on WJM-TV, after Sue Ann had an affair with Phyllis's husband.
In 1975, Leachman left The Mary Tyler Moore Show to star in its spin-off series, Phyllis. The series takes place in San Francisco, Phyllis's hometown, where Phyllis and Bess relocated after the death of Lars. Phyllis first worked at a photography studio then later as an administrative assistant for a City Supervisor.
While there, she and Bess lived with Lars' mother, Audrey, and Audrey's new husband, Judge Jonathan Dexter. Phyllis's major nemesis by this time was Jonathan's mother, Sally "Mother" Dexter (Judith Lowry). Mother Dexter was, by far, the best of everyone at insulting Phyllis.