'Freaky Friday' actress Barbara Harris dies at 83
The actress was in Scottsdale, Ariz at the time and the cause of death has been identified as lung cancer.
'Freaky Friday' actress Barbara Harris died on Tuesday, at the age of 83, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The actress was in Scottsdale, Ariz at the time and the cause of death has been identified as lung cancer.
An iconic name on Broadway, she has appeared in movies such as 'A Thousand Clowns,' 'Plaza Suite,' 'Nashville,' 'Family Plot,' 'Peggy Sue Got Married,' and 'Grosse Pointe Blank.'
Harris won the Tony award for Best Actress Leading In a Musical in 1967 for her stellar performances as Eve, Passionella, and Princess Barbara in 'The Apple Tree.' A series of three musical playlets with music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, the musical was nominated in 6 categories but won only in this one.
She was also nominated for two other Tony awards, including a best-featured actress for her Broadway debut in 'From the Second City' and another best actress award for her performance as Daisy Gamble in 'On a Clear Day You Can See Forever' in 1965. The character was that of a New Yorker who seeks out the help of a psychiatrist to stop smoking. Under hypnosis, the apparently kooky, brash, and quirky character reveals unexpected hidden depths. During her hypnotic trances, she becomes fascinating to the psychiatrist as she reveals herself as a woman who has lived many past lives, one of them ending tragically.
Born in Evanston, Illinois, she was the daughter of Natalie (née Densmoor), an accomplished pianist, and Oscar Graham Harris, an arborist who later became a businessman. She began her stage career as a teenager at the Playwrights Theatre in Chicago. From 1961 through 1964, she appeared as a guest star on popular television series like 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents,' 'Naked City,' 'Channing' and 'The Defenders.'
In 1965, she made her feature film debut as social worker Sandra Markowitz in the screen version of A Thousand Clowns. She co-starred opposite Jason Robards Jr., who played the freewheeling, eternally optimistic guardian of his teenage nephew, the custody of whom is threatened by authorities' dim view of his bohemian lifestyle.
She earned an Oscar nomination for the 1971 film which co-starred Dustin Hoffman 'Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?.' The film was about a rich, successful, womanizing pop songwriter suffering a debilitating but oddly liberating mental crisis. The script was by Herb Gardner, who also wrote 'A Thousand Clowns.' Her last films were 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' and 'Grosse Pointe Blank.'
Towards the later part of her life, she was a teacher and had completely retired from acting.