Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

RIP - Julie Harris

It was to be expected at 87 and she had been in ill-health, but this is one celebrity death that I am truly sad about. I always loved Julie Harris (1925-2013), ever since her wonderful Abra in EAST OF EDEN (where she was just 5 years older than Dean). Her Sally Bowles is tremendous too in I AM A CAMERA, and of course her 12 year old (when she was 26) in THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING.

She excelled in so many things. In 1977 she brought her Emily Dickinson show to London, THE BELLE OF AMHERST, and a friend and I had booked, but I felt unwell on the night with a bad cold and did not think I was up to it, but he persuaded me. Of course I loved it and her as Emily, and without thinking anything more about it, I wrote her a note to tell her so, posted to the theatre. It must have been towards the year's end but some days later I received a lovely handwritten note from her, thanking me and wishing me all the best for 1978, as shown at link below. 
RIP to one of the great ladies of the American theatre and a much-loved iconic film actress and star.
It was enjoyable seeing her in recent re-runs of HARPER, REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE, YOU'RE A BIG BOY NOW, THE HAUNTING. I never saw her later tv work such as KNOT'S LANDING, but its good it provided a retirement fund for her later years.
As said on IMDb: She was one of a kind and, like Kim Stanley, Geraldine Page, and Marlon Brando, was an actor's actor. She will be missed and remembered. What a gift she was to the art she loved. 

She was one of my 'People We Like' profiles here, back in 2010:
Brando visits Kazan, Harris & Dean on EAST OF EDEN.


  1. A wonderful actress and from what I've heard a lovely person. A friend with whom I use to work had helped her often where he used to work and said she was always kind and friendly whenever she came in.
    About a dozen years ago I took my mother and sister to see her in The Belle of Amherst in a small theatre in Wilmington, DE, I guess it was just before her first stroke, and she was brilliant. It was a small theatre and she was under the weather that day but she made the cold a part of her performance and wove a spell over the entire audience. My mother talks about how great it was to this day.

  2. Lovely, thats how I felt when I saw her AMHERST show, and I was the one with the bad cold! That was in 1977, good to see she was still playing it decades later.

  3. She was actually the only actress/star I wrote to (so it was nice to get a reply) apart from back in 1966 when Barbra Streisand was doing FUNNY GIRL on the stage in London, I had seen it, as had a few other friends, but we could never get to see Streisand at the stage door, so I sent her a letter, which of course never got replied. Babs managed to elude us even though some of us were staking out the theatre - her co-star Kay Medford was pleasant to meet though!