Tuesday, August 27, 2013
julie harris



The Broadway Theatre and America, has lost one of it's truly great great "STARS".
The sublime Julie Harris, has died.
She won 5 Tony Awards in her more than 60 year career, and was awarded a 6th Tony for Life Achievement In The Theatre.
No one else has achieved this distinction.She was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors; a  well deserved recognition of her singular place in the American theatre.
She won a couple of Emmy's, too.....
She was dedicated to her craft in ways that one rarely sees, today....
I admired her more than I can say for being such an amazing role model to the nobility of a life in the theatre and what great personal rewards it could bring---forget all the possible honors----the rewards which she valued the most were in just doing 'the work' wherever it took her; she was so completely devoted to The Theatre and all that went with it....She always retained her Integrity and her Humanity, in every respect.
Julie Harris was a rare and beautiful example of "excellence" in every respect.


I was lucky enough to see her create the role of 'Frankie', in the Original Broadway Production of Carson McCullers, "The Member Of The Wedding", playing a twelve year old, (She was 24 at the time)---a tour de force performance, (for which she should have won a Tony....)---and a part she repeated on Film, and for which she was Nominated for The Academy Award.
Julie Harris was an 'old school' actress, like The Lunts, and Katherine Cornell, only with modern training....A member of the actors studio, her work ethic was always connected to her devotion to the Theatre.
There were many other plays...."The Lark",
and 'I Am A Camera",

and "Forty Carats",


and "The Last Of Mrs. Lincoln",


and "The Belle Of Amhearst"---


Each of these plays won her the coveted Tony Award......




She would open in a play on Broadway, and stay in it 


for two years, or more....and then would take It 'On the Road', and play the play all over the country for another two or more years----something no star of her caliber does today...(And in truth, there are no Theatre Stars of her caliber, today....) In fact, I think she was the last of the Great Theatre 'stars' to do this....And the thing is....She LOVED it!
She was always quoted as saying:

“The theater has been my Church.....






don't hesitate to say that I found God, in 


the Theatre.”  

And indeed, the theatre was her Church! 

We have lost another one of our true 'greats'.....the last of her kind----Another important and meaningful part of my early life in the theatre.....And, it makes me terribly, terribly sad. This third act, and it's losses, continue, I'm sorry to say.....



But I do feel very very lucky that I lived during the Golden Age of Broadway and know what all of that phrase truly means....

And it was a "Golden Age',and the very magnificent Julie Harris was an enormous part of that time.
RIP, dear wonderful Julie. 
More To Come......







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15 Comments:
had this to say:

Lovely tribute Naomi. I never was lucky enough to see her live but saw most of her movies and TV work. Whenever I saw her name as a cast member, I knew I was in for an extremely well done piece of work. She added instant credibility.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 6:14:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

To convincingly play a 12 year old at 24 is nothing short of astonishing, and I always wished I could have seen her play The Belle of Amherst too. It feels like everyone I grew up with is passing. I guess I'm getting to that age when this starts happening more and more.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 4:18:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

The lights and marquees of Broadway will dim tonight at 7:45 for one minute on her behalf. That kind of says it all.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 5:07:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

That was a wonderful film, "The Member of the Wedding." That must have been so wonderful to have been in the midst of the Golden Age of Broadway. I feel your loss.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 5:37:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

she was a gem
I never saw her live but every movie, every TV appearance was art

hugs dear friend, I know these losses weigh on your heart

Hope sends even more hugs

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 7:44:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Another Great One gone – it is so sad Naomi to see them go. As you say though you lived during the Golden Age of the theater where you met and worked with all these wonderful actresses and these memories cannot be taken away from you. But I agree with you, it is hard to be in that 3rd act…

On another note, I answered your comment on my blog. I respect and value your opinion, but in this case I did disagree with you – but my husband was pleased that you agreed with him. I still feel that there was too much importance placed by the studio PR on the “truth” of the movie The Butler, when it was more “truthiness” at best.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 8:00:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

You are so good at tributes! I'm sorry the "third act" has been so relentless.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:08:00 PM PDT 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

Everything about her - her voice, her elfin presence, her stillness were/are unforgettable.
She is irreplaceable and totally deserves your tribute.
I wish I had seen her on stage.

Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 2:24:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Dear Naomi, I am so sorry that Julie Harris, has died and you loss a great friend and an important person that was part of your life in the theatre.
You did a so beautiful and moving tribute to her.
Many hugs and much love to you.

Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 7:56:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

One of those rare big stars, who everybody respects their work and never a negative word about their personal life. Sorry for her loss but it's a life to celebrate as you so well told.

Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 4:26:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I wonder, each time we loose such creative and wonderful people, if those who had no "personal" attachment will ever realize what they've lost?

I am sad to feel your loss once again , and so soon! But like you, when it's someone I have known I instantly feel glad inside that I knew that person..and knew their wonderful talent.

Friday, August 30, 2013 at 3:45:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I have always been very fond of Julie Harris. She was a magnificent talent and your tribute honors her so very beautifully. It's a loss for the theatre world.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 6:41:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a range! I remember her from East of Eden and I just looked her up and discovered she was from Cape Cod, Chatham Massachusetts, not far from where I grew up.

Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 8:22:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I loved her in the film East of Eden with James Dean. I have some photos of the two of them together in one of my books. What a sad loss. Lovely tribute to her as usual.

Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 3:31:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I loved her. You are so right--none like her.

Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 7:54:00 PM PDT 

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