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Barbara Harris

Barbara Harris

Barbara Harris is an American actress. She was born on July 25, 1935, in Evanston, Illinois, the daughter of Oscar Harris and Natalie Densmoor. Her father was an arborist who later became a businessman, and her mother was an accomplished pianist.

When she was a teenager, Barbara began her career on the stage at the Playwrights Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. Other players included Ed Asner, Mike Nichols, and Elaine May. Harris was also a member of The Compass Players, the first ongoing improvisational theatre troupe in the USA, directed by Paul Sills, her then-husband. Harris is generally acknowledged to be one of the pioneering women in the field of improvisational theatre, along with Elaine May. Scenes that Harris created with Alan Arkin, Severn Darden, Paul Sand, and other celebrated members of the Compass and Second City companies are studied as masterpieces of the form.

The Compass Players later became The Second City. It was a huge hit and moved to New York. Her Broadway debut was in the production From the Second City (1961).

She received a nomination for the 1962 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for From the Second City. She won the Theatre World Award for Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad. She received a nomination for the 1966 Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1965), and won the 1967 Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for The Apple Tree (1966).

Her motion picture debut was in the role of Sandra Markowitz in A Thousand Clowns (1965) opposite Jason Robards at United Artists. Other major movie roles include Muriel Tate in Plaza Suite (1971); Allison Densmore in Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971]); Albuquerque in Nashville (1975); Blanche Tyler in Hitchcock's Family Plot (1976); Ellen Andrews in Disney's Freaky Friday (1976); Trixie Lane in Movie Movie (1978); Evelyn Kelcher in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986); and Fanny Eubanks in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988).

She received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?

She received Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy for A Thousand Clowns; Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture for Nashville; Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy for Family Plot; and Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy for Freaky Friday.

Barbara Harris currently teaches and directs.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.

Barbara Harris Facts

Birth NameSandra Markowitz
OccupationActress
BirthdayJuly 25, 1935 (82)
SignLeo
BirthplaceEvanston, Illinois, USA
Height5' 7" (1m70)  How tall is Barbara Harris compared to you?

Selected Filmography

The Firm
The Running Man
Airplane!
The Reader
Gatling Gun
The Right Stuff
All About Eve
Prison Break: The Final Break
Welcome to Forever
The Midnight Meat Train
Continue » Find more details on the Barbara Harris Movies page