Harper on the red carpet at the 62nd Annual Academy Awards, March 26, 1990
October 10, 1949 |
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Tom Rothman (1989–present; 2 children)|
Harper was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Eleanor (née Emery), a writer, and Paul Church Harper, Jr., a painter and the former chairman of the Needham Harper Worldwide advertising agency in New York. She attended the North Shore Country Day School and Sarah Lawrence College. She has three brothers including a twin brother, William Harper, a composer, Sam Harper, a screenwriter and director, Charles Harper, and two sisters, Lindsay Harper duPont and Diana Harper.
Harper has appeared in more than twenty motion pictures, most notably Dario Argento's horror classic Suspiria; My Favorite Year, alongside Peter O'Toole and Mark Linn-Baker; as Phoenix in Phantom of the Paradise (in which she sang several songs); as Cathy Cake in Inserts by John Byrum; and as Janet Majors in Shock Treatment, where she again demonstrated great skills as a singer in the rock/pop style. She costarred with Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters in Pennies from Heaven. Woody Allen featured her in his films Stardust Memories and Love and Death. She appeared in the fourth season of It's Garry Shandling's Show and in the Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise film Minority Report. She was most recently seen in a 2005 episode ("Forget Me Not") of the television series Crossing Jordan.
She has written eleven books for children, and made seven albums of songs for children. She was named by Parenting magazine as "Parent of the Month" in 2004. In 2000, she sang background vocals on selected tracks on the Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks album Beatin' the Heat.
In December 2010, Harper released a cookbook titled The Crabby Cook Cookbook: Recipes and Rants. In a January 2011 interview Harper said, "I thought it was high time there was a book that acknowledged that not everybody experiences the joy of cooking, that sometimes cooking for a family on a daily basis can be really irritating! This book, with 135 easy recipes, is for those people, crabby cooks like me! It's a collection of humor, survival tips and recipes, for the kitchen-challenged!" In March 2011, she was on tour promoting her book. Stops included Chicago, where she held a "Lunch and Learn with Jessica Harper".
- A Wonderful Life (1994)
|1973||The Garden Party||Peggy||Short film|
|Phantom of the Paradise||Phoenix|
|1975||Love and Death||Natasha|
|Hawaii Five-O||Sunny Mandell||Television series, 1 episode|
|1978||Little Women||Jo March||Television film|
|1979||The Evictors||Ruth Watkins|
|1981||Shock Treatment||Janet Majors|
|Pennies from Heaven||Joan|
|1982||My Favorite Year||K.C. Downing|
|1985||When Dreams Come True||Annie||Television film|
|1987||Once Again||Carrie||Television film|
|1988||The Blue Iguana||Cora|
|1989||Big Man on Campus||Dr. Fisk|
|Eat a Bowl of Tea||American prostitute||Uncredited|
|1993||Mr. Wonderful||Funny Face|
|1996||Boys||Mrs. John Baker|
|The Story First: Behind the Unabomber||Linda||Television film|
|1997||On the Edge of Innocence||Alice Walker||Television film|
|2002||Minority Report||Anne Lively|
- Jessica Harper Biography
- Jessica Harper, Actress, Marries T. E. Rothman – New York Times
- "The Blue Book: Leaders of the English-Speaking World"
- Jessica Harper Biography at Yahoo! Movies
- Billboard - 24 Dec 1994 - Page 69 "Probably the most delightful surprise of the year was actress Jessica Harper's debut children's album, "A Wonderful Life," on Alacazam!/Alacazar, label arm of wholesaler Silo Inc. of Waterbury, Vt. "