Julie Harris, Stage Icon and Primetime Emmy Winner
Beyond her long list of television and film credits, Harris was an icon of the stage and was sometimes referred to as the "First Lady of Broadway."
Julie Harris, an actress regarded as an icon of the American stage who won three Primetime Emmys for her television work, died August 24, 2013, in Chatham, Massachusetts. She was 87.
According to news reports, the cause was congestive heart failure.
Born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, an affluent suburb of Detroit, Harris developed a passion for performing in her youth. Her acting ambitions were regarded in part as an act of rebellion against her wealthy, socially elite parents, who would have preferred a more conventional path.
She took drama classes at Miss Hewitt’s Classes, an all-girl’s prep school in New York City and later enrolled at Yale. As a student at Yale, she made her Broadway debut in the comedy It's a Gift. This led to many other productions in the late 1940s, in both New York and London.
In 1952 she won her first Tony Award for I Am a Camera, an adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s novel Goodbye to Berlin, which later inspired the musical smash Cabaret.
In all, she received 10 Tony nominations for individual performances and won five. In 2002 she received a Tony for Lifetime Achievement. Notable productions included The Lark (as Joan of Arc), The Last of Mrs. Lincoln (as Mary Todd Lincoln) and The Belle of Amherst (as Emily Dickinson).
Harris began appearing on television in the early 1950s with roles in such programs as Actors Studio and Goodyear Playhouse and The United States Steel Hour. Over the next five decades appeared in dozens of series, miniseries and made-for-TV movies. They included Rawhide, Laredo, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, Tarzan, Daniel Boone, Bonanza, The Name of the Game, Hallmark Hall of Fame, Anastasia, The Last of Mrs. Lincoln, Thicker Than Water, Columbo, The Family Holvak, The Love Boat, Knots Landing, The Civil War and Scarlett.
She won two of her three Emmys for Hallmark Hall of Fame productions — Little Moon of Alban in 1959 and Victoria Regina in 1962. She won her third for her voice-over work in the 1999 PBS production Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony. She received 10 nominations in all.
Her notable feature films included The Member of the Wedding, East of Eden, The Haunting, Reflections in a Golden Eye, Harper, You're a Big Boy Now, Voyage of the Damned and Gorillas in the Mist.
She received an Oscar nomination for her supporting performance in her first film, The Member of the Wedding.
In 2005, she was a Kennedy Center honoree
More about Harris, her life and her work is available at: