Actress who played TV psychic Miss Cleo dies at 53

(WPLG/CNN)

The actress who became famous playing the Jamaican psychic Miss Cleo in television infomercials has died.

Youree Dell Harris died Tuesday in Palm Beach, Florida, of cancer. She was 53. Her lawyer, William J. Cone Jr., confirmed the death.

The Los Angeles-born Harris was a struggling actress when the Psychic Readers Network hired her in the late 1990s to play Miss Cleo. She adopted her family's Jamaican heritage for the role, persuading viewers to call for allegedly free psychic readings.

The federal government said those calls cost consumers about $1 billion. The Psychic Readers Network's parent company forgave $500 million in customer charges in a 2002 settlement.

Harris later voiced a character in the "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" video game.

The death was first reported by TMZ.

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