Julie Harris may not be a name that most movie goers immediately recognize. Most of her achievements were in the theater where she received an unrivaled TEN Tony nominations and set a record of five wins equaled only by Angela Lansbury and Audra McDonald.
However, during her movie career she managed to co-star with James Dean, receive an Oscar nomination for Best Actress (The Member of the Wedding) and have a decades long career.
Julie Harris died on August 24, 2013 but her stunning gifts as an actor can be appreciated forever in her many films. Savor these highlights.
Director Elia Kazan's loose and hyper emotional adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel. It contains Dean's famous star making performance and, as a counterpoint, the lyrical and restrained work of a young Julie Harris. This film is Harris at her most beautiful and bewitching.
This is my second reference to this film within a month. Harris plays Eleanor, the most mentally fragile of a group of parapsychologists who come to investigate the haunting of Hill House. The brilliance of Harris' performance is showing us how Eleanor's longing and decaying mental state bring her closer and closer to the something that is lurking in Hill House.
In this little known film based on a true story, Julie Harris gives a superb performance as part of a Dutch family hiding Jewish people after the Nazi invasion in 1940. The family is eventually arrested as traitors and sent to a concentration camp. A riveting film.
Happily there is a filmed performance of Julie Harris' most acclaimed stage triumph as poet Emily Dickinson. William Luce's one woman play draws from the letters, diaries and poetry of Dickinson. Harris' performance is so complete in both her speech and her body language she seems utterly transformed. It is a stunning achievement and sums up this incredible performer's abilities.