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Julie Harris: 5 of Her Most Powerful Performances

Posted By Patrick Kiger On August 26, 2013 @ 2:21 pm In Legacy | Comments Disabled

Julie Harris in 1973 [1]

Julie Harris in 1973

Julie Harris took up acting because she was self-conscious about her looks as a young girl. “I looked so plain – bands on my teeth, bird legs, mouse face, hair that wouldn’t curl,” she once explained in an interview.

That self-deprecating description didn’t really do justice to the red-haired actress’s delicate, almost fragile appearance. But what really resonated about Harris, who died on Aug. 24 at age 87 [2] in Chatham, Mass., was her masterful power and amazing versatility as a stage and screen performer.

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In an career that spanned six decades, the Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. native appeared in nearly 100 [4] movies and TV episodes, and more than 30 dozen roles on Broadway. In that time, she portrayed a dizzying range of characters - from a talkative adolescent tomboy in Broadway’s The Member of the Wedding in 1950, to Mary Todd Lincoln and Emily Dickinson, to eccentric country singer and neglectful mother Lilimae Clements [5] in the prime-time soap opera Knots Landing in the 1980s.

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While Harris did some of her finest work on the stage – work that went unrecorded, sadly except in the memories of theatergoers – here are five scenes from her greatest performances on film and television:

  • I Am a Camera (1955). Harris portrayed the fictional singer Sally Bowles, who was subsequently portrayed by Liza Minnelli in the screen version of the musical Cabaret. YouTube Preview Image [7]
  • East of Eden (1955). Harris won accolades for her role as Abra, the  girl who falls in love with a tormented young man played by James Dean.YouTube Preview Image [8]
  • The Haunting (1963). Harris portrays a meek spinster named Eleanor who becomes ensnared by the supernatural in this classic psychological horror film. YouTube Preview Image [9]
  • Run for Your Life (1968). In this episode of the TV drama about a man with a terminal illness, Harris goes toe-to-toe with the late, talented Ben Gazzara. YouTube Preview Image [10]

 

Also of Interest

 

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URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/08/26/julie-harris-5-of-her-most-powerful-performances/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Julie_Harris_1973.jpg

[2] died on Aug. 24 at age 87: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/25/arts/julie-harris-celebrated-actress-of-range-and-intensity-dies-at-87.html?ref=theater&pagewanted=all

[3] Share your one-tank road trip for a chance to win $100: http://www.aarp.org/online-community/forums.action/travel_tips_share-favorite-one-tank-road-trip-chance-win-100?intcmp=AE-IL-CONT-COMM

[4] nearly 100: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0364915/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

[5] Lilimae Clements: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilimae_Clements

[6] Check out the latest at AARP Movies for Grownups: http://www.aarp.org/entertainment/movies-for-grownups/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-DOTORG

[7] Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7jBfFzsGKg

[8] Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du9jH9jPTMs

[9] Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBgb2g0kU_I

[10] Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0T_H5Kw8YE

[11] The Gummer Girls Follow Mom, Meryl Streep, Into Acting: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/08/19/the-gummer-girls-follow-mom-into-acting/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL

[12] Linda Ronstadt Discloses Her Battle With Parkinson’s Disease: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/08/23/linda-ronstadt-discloses-her-battle-with-parkinsons-disease/?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS

[13] Join AARP: https://appsec.aarp.org/MSS/join/application?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-MEM

[14] AARP home page: http://www.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-HP

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