Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Godspeed Barbara Harris

Barbara Harris, the actress who appeared in Nashville (1975) and was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971), died today at the age of 83. The cause was lung cancer.

Barbara Harris was born on July 25 1935 in Evanston, Illinois. She began her career as a teenager as part of the Playwrights Theatre in Chicago. She was a member of the Compass Players and its successor troupe Second City, alongside such names as Ed Asner, Elaine May, and Mike Nichols. She made her television debut on the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "Beth" in 1961. In the Sixties she guest starred on the shows Naked City, Chronicle, Channing, The Defenders, and The Nurses. She made her debut on Broadway in From the Second City. In the Sixties she appeared on Broadway in Mother Courage and Her Children, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, The Apple Tree, and The Penny Wars. She appeared in the film Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad (1967).

In the Seventies Miss Harris appeared in the films Plaza Suite (1971), Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971), The War Betweeen Men and Women (1972), Mixed Company  (1974), The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery (1975), Nashville (1975), Family Plot (1976), Freaky Friday (1976), Movie Movie (1978), The North Avenue Irregulars (1979), and The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979).

In the Eighties Miss Harris appeared in the films Second-Hand Hearts (1981), Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Nice Girls Don't Explode (1987), and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988). She guest starred on the show Middle Ages in the Nineties. She made her last film appearance in Grosse Point Blank in 1997.

Barbara Harris was a versatile actress capable of playing a diverse array of roles. She played ageing actress Allison in Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?. She was the scatterbrained country singer Albuquerque in Nashville.  In Family Plot she played the fake medium Blanche. In Freaky Friday she played the mother who switched bodies with her daughter. Barbara Harris played many very different roles over the years and she always gave a good performance.

1 comment:

angelman66 said...

I loved her so much! What a versatile actor...my three favorites are Freaky Friday, Nashville and Family Plot, which I just recently watched. And she was wonderful on Broadway in On a Clear Day, too, judging from the clips on YouTUbe.

Had the pleasure of meeting Miss Harris in Chicago back in the 1980s while standing in line together at the American Express office...she was a gracious, funny, down-to-earth woman with an irresistible gamine quality...

Thanks for this tribute!