She remains the only Broadway performer to win five Tony Awards in the lead category(both Angela Lansbury and Audra McDonald have garnered five, but with some of the victories being in the Featured Actress category). All of Julie’s wins were accomplished before I turned twelve years old, so unfortunately I never got to experience one of her legendary performances live(I have attended some of the award-winning work of Lansbury and McDonald, however). A 2002 Lifetime Achievement Tony gave Ms. Harris #6. What a career on the stage! Thankfully, she is also preserved on film—and her legacy there includes some of my favorites. Who could ever forget her wondrous work as Abra in 1955’s “East of Eden”—the iconic James Dean’s motion picture starring debut. And then there’s her perfect performance as Grace Miller, the love interest to Anthony Quinn’s “Mountain” Rivera in 1962’s marvelous “Requiem for a Heavyweight”. The following year she was Eleanor Lance, in the great 1963 haunted house thriller, “The Haunting”(based on Shirley Jackson’s incredible book, “The Haunting of Hill House”). That’s the big three for me…and I’d love to find time to visit them all again, now that Ms. Harris unfortunately took her final bow just three days ago. There’s plenty more film and television work to choose from, of course, with prominent roles in movies as diverse as 1988’s “Gorillas in the Mist” and 1993’s “The Dark Half”, also among those that I’ve considerably enjoyed(both of them on the big screen, at an actual movie theater, btw), so there’s an eclectic collection available for your Netflix queue. Farewell Ms. Julie…your legend will thrive forever!
Julie Harris dies at 87…a Broadway and silver screen legend