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Julie Harris

Performer
( b. Dec 02, 1925 Grosse Point Park, Michigan, USA - d. Aug 24, 2013 Chatham, Massachusetts, USA ) Female
Julie Harris was the unprepossessing anti-diva who, in the guises of Joan of Arc, Mary Todd Lincoln, Emily Dickinson and many other characters both fictional and real, became the most decorated performer in the history of Broadway.

Sometimes called the first lady of the American theater, she made her first Broadway appearance while she was still in college, and over the next half century-plus earned 10 Tony nominations, more than any other performer. The last was in 1997 for a revival of The Gin Game, D. L. Coburn's mordant comedy about the contentious friendship between two isolated denizens of an old age home that emerges over a card table.

She didn't win, though she'd been there and done that five times, the first performer to be so honored so often. Angela Lansbury and Audra McDonald have since matched this total, but in 2002, Ms. Harris won for the sixth time, a special Tony for lifetime achievement, putting her in a class by herself.

She got her first Broadway role in a short-lived comedy It's a Gift. But Ms. Harris made herself known in 1950 as a 24-year-old playing a 12-year-old, Frankie Addams, in Carson McCullers's adaptation of her own novel The Member of the Wedding.

She reprised the role of Frankie in the 1952 film before returning to Broadway that year in a role that couldn't be more different, in I Am a Camera, as the first Broadway incarnation of Isherwood's bawdy, bohemian nightclub singer Sally Bowles. She won exultant reviews, and for her performance, she won her first Tony, and once again she recreated the role in the movies.

Over the next 25 years, Ms. Harris essayed a remarkable variety of roles onstage. In the 1950s, she appeared in Jean Anouilh's Mademoiselle Colombe. She played a lusty young adulteress in the Restoration comedy The Country Wife, followed by a small-town Minnesota girl in The Warm Peninsula.

On television, she gave an Emmy-winning performance in James Costigan's "Little Moon of Alban," and then played the role again on Broadway in 1960 when Costigan adapted his work for the stage.

Later in the 1960s, she played a loose woman who is also a murder suspect in a stylized French farce, A Shot in the Dark. She also starred in her first musical, Skyscraper, and she opened in the comedy Forty Carats, a show that turned out to be her biggest hit, running for nearly two years (though not the whole time with Ms. Harris in it), and winning her a third Tony.

In 1955, she won her second Tony in The Lark, an adaptation by Lillian Hellman of Anouilh's retelling of the martyrdom of Joan of Arc. In December 1972, she opened in The Last of Mrs. Lincoln, in which she played Mary Todd Lincoln at the end of her life, and won the Tony for best actress in spite of the play's having been critically excoriated and closing after only six weeks.

Most famously, Ms. Harris portrayed the poet Emily Dickinson at home as a fiercely observant, proudly literary and deeply self-conscious near-agoraphobe in The Belle of Amherst, a one-woman show written by William Luce that appeared on Broadway in 1976 and was filmed for public television. The Belle of Amherst was widely admired as a tour de force by Ms. Harris.

Her film credits include "East of Eden"; "Requiem for a Heavyweight"; "The Haunting"; "Harper"; "Reflections in a Golden Eye"; "The Bell Jar"; "Gorillas in the Mist" and "HouseSitter." On TV, she appeared in "Knots Landing," "Family Ties," "The Love Boat," "Columbo," "The Name of the Game," "Tarzan" and "Medical Center."

But it was clear that the stage was where she was most at home. Unusual among performers of her stature, she was not averse to taking shows on the road, and she toured in, among other plays, The Belle of Amherst, Lettice and Lovage, Driving Miss Daisy and The Gin Game.

Source: The New York Times obituary



Productions Date of Productions
The Gin Game
[Play, Revival]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Fonsia Dorsey]
Apr 20, 1997 - Aug 31, 1997
The Glass Menagerie
[Play, Drama, Revival]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [The Mother]
Nov 15, 1994 - Jan 01, 1995
Lucifer's Child
[Play, Solo, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Isak Dinesen, Baroness Karen Blixen]
Apr 04, 1991 - Apr 27, 1991
Mixed Couples
[Play, Comedy, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Clarice]
Dec 28, 1980 - Jan 03, 1981
Break a Leg
[Play, Comedy, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Gertie Kessel]
Apr 29, 1979 - Apr 29, 1979
The Belle of Amherst
[Play, Solo, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Emily Elizabeth Dickinson, Maggie Maher, Austin Dickinson, James Francis Billings, Abby Wood, Jennie Hitchcock, Uriah Crowell, Edward Dickinson, Mary Lyon, Lavinia Dickinson, Buffy, Susan Gilbert Dickinson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Charles Wadsworth, Emily Norcross Dickinson]
Apr 28, 1976 - Aug 08, 1976
In Praise of Love
[Play, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Lydia Cruttwell]
Dec 10, 1974 - May 31, 1975
The au Pair Man
[Play, Original]
  • Performer: Julie Harris [Mrs. Rogers]
Dec 27, 1973 - Jan 27, 1974
The Last of Mrs. Lincoln
[Play, Original]
  • Performer: Julie Harris [Mary Lincoln]
Dec 12, 1972 - Feb 04, 1973
Voices
[Play, Play with music, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Claire]
Apr 03, 1972 - Apr 08, 1972
And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little
[Play, Drama, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Anna Reardon]
Feb 25, 1971 - May 29, 1971
Forty Carats
[Play, Comedy, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Ann Stanley]
Dec 26, 1968 - Nov 07, 1970
Skyscraper
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Georgina]
Nov 13, 1965 - Jun 11, 1966
Ready When You Are, C.B.!
[Play, Comedy, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Annie]
Dec 07, 1964 - Feb 13, 1965
Marathon '33
[Play, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [June]
Dec 22, 1963 - Feb 01, 1964
A Shot in the Dark
[Play, Farce, Comedy, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Josefa Lantenay]
Oct 18, 1961 - Sep 22, 1962
Little Moon of Alban
[Play, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Brigid Mary Mangan]
Dec 01, 1960 - Dec 17, 1960
The Warm Peninsula
[Play, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Ruth Arnold]
Oct 20, 1959 - Jan 02, 1960
The Country Wife
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Mrs. Margery Pinchwife]
Nov 27, 1957 - Jan 04, 1958
The Lark
[Play, Drama, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Joan]
Nov 17, 1955 - Jun 02, 1956
Mademoiselle Colombe
[Play, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Colombe]
Jan 06, 1954 - Feb 27, 1954
I Am a Camera
[Play, Drama, Original]
  • Starring: Julie Harris [Sally Bowles]
Nov 28, 1951 - Jul 12, 1952
The Member of the Wedding
[Play, Original]
  • Also Starring: Julie Harris [Frankie Addams]
Jan 05, 1950 - Mar 17, 1951
Montserrat
[Play, Original]
  • Performer: Julie Harris [Felisa]
Oct 29, 1949 - Dec 24, 1949
Magnolia Alley
[Play, Comedy, Original]
  • Performer: Julie Harris [Angel Tuttle]
Apr 18, 1949 - Apr 23, 1949
The Young and Fair
[Play, Original]
  • Performer: Julie Harris [Nancy Gear]
Nov 22, 1948 - Jan 08, 1949
Sundown Beach
[Play, Original]
  • Performer: Julie Harris [Ida Mae]
Sep 07, 1948 - Sep 11, 1948
Macbeth
[Play, Tragedy, Revival]
  • Performer: Julie Harris [Witch]
Mar 31, 1948 - Apr 24, 1948
Alice in Wonderland
[Play, Fantasy, Play with music, Revival]
  • Performer: Julie Harris [White Rabbit], Alternate
Apr 05, 1947 - Jun 28, 1947
The Playboy of the Western World
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Performer: Julie Harris [Nelly]
Oct 26, 1946 - Jan 04, 1947
Oedipus Rex
[Play, Tragedy, Revival]
  • Performer: Julie Harris [Ensemble]
May 20, 1946 - Jun 22, 1946
King Henry IV, Part II
[Play, History, Revival]
  • Performer: Julie Harris
May 07, 1946 - Jun 22, 1946
It's a Gift
[Play, Comedy, Original]
  • Performer: Julie Harris [Atlanta]
Mar 12, 1945 - Apr 21, 1945
2005 Drama Desk Award Career Achievement Award
winner Julie Harris (for her commitment to excellence in theater) [winner]
2002 Tony Award® Special Lifetime Achievement Tony Award
nominee Julie Harris [recipient]
1997 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Play
 The Gin Game [nominee]
Starring: Julie Harris
1991 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Play
 Lucifer's Child [nominee]
Starring: Julie Harris
1977 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Play
winnerThe Belle of Amherst [winner]
Starring: Julie Harris
1976 Drama Desk Award Unique Theatrical Experience
 The Belle of Amherst [nominee]
Starring: Julie Harris
1974 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Play
 The au Pair Man [nominee]
Performer: Julie Harris
1973 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Play
winnerThe Last of Mrs. Lincoln [winner]
Performer: Julie Harris
1973 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Performance
winnerThe Last of Mrs. Lincoln [winner]
Performer: Julie Harris
1969 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Play
winnerForty Carats [winner]
Starring: Julie Harris
1966 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Musical
 Skyscraper [nominee]
Starring: Julie Harris
1964 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Play
 Marathon '33 [nominee]
Starring: Julie Harris
1956 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Play
winnerThe Lark [winner]
Starring: Julie Harris
1952 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Play
winnerI Am a Camera [winner]
Starring: Julie Harris
1949 Theatre World Award
nomineeSundown Beach [recipient]
Performer: Julie Harris
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