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Milpitas Library

160 North Main Street
Milpitas, CA 95035


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Remembering Julie Harris

Actress Julie Harris

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.

East of Eden

East of Eden

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. 

Golden Age of Television DVD Cover

The Golden Age of Television The Golden Age of Television

Harris plays a lonely free spirited Irish woman in the television play, "A Wind from the South".  A guest at her and her brother's bed and breakfast ends up changing her life in surprising ways. 

This is just one of the excellent early television plays preserved in this DVD set that also includes the original productions of "Marty", "Requiem for a Heavyweight" and "The Days of Wine and Roses".

The Haunting

The Haunting

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.

The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place

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.

The Belle of Amherst

The Belle of Amherst

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.

Discover more about great movies and music by checking out the SCCLD Music & Movies blog!

--Don

 

 

Image from Boston.com

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