Jessica Harper

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Jessica Harper
Jessica Harper 1977 publicity shot.jpg
Harper in Little Women (1977)
Born (1949-10-10) October 10, 1949 (age 67)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Alma mater Sarah Lawrence College
Occupation Actress, producer, singer, author
Spouse(s) Tom Rothman (1989–present; 2 children)

Jessica Harper (born October 10, 1949) is an American actress and producer, as well as a singer. Harper made her feature film debut in Inserts (1974), followed by a starring role in Brian De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise (1974). She played the lead role in Dario Argento's horror cult classic Suspiria (1977), for which she is best remembered.[1] Other films include Shock Treatment (1981), The Blue Iguana (1988), Safe (1995), and Minority Report (2002). In addition to acting, Harper is also an author of children's music and books.

Early life[edit]

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.[2][3][4] She attended the North Shore Country Day School and Sarah Lawrence College.[5] 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[3] and Diana Harper.


Harper has appeared in more than twenty motion pictures, most notably in My Favorite Year, alongside Peter O'Toole and Mark Linn-Baker; and costarring 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 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. [6]

In December 2010, Harper released a cookbook titled The Crabby Cook Cookbook: Recipes and Rants. In a January 2011 interview[7] 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,[8] where she held a "Lunch and Learn with Jessica Harper".


Harper is married to Thomas Edgar Rothman, Sony's top movie executive.[3] She has two daughters, Elizabeth and Nora, who are featured on her children's albums and books.


  • A Wonderful Life (1994)[9]


Feature films
Year Film Role Notes
1971 NBC Children's Theatre Television series, 1 episode[10]
1972-1974 'Rameau's Nephew' by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen Unnamed character experimental film
1973 The Garden Party Peggy Short film
1974 Inserts Cathy Cake
Phantom of the Paradise Phoenix
1975 Love and Death Natasha
1977 Suspiria Suzy Bannion
Hawaii Five-O Sunny Mandell Television series, 1 episode
Aspen Kit Kendrick Mini-series
1978 Little Women Jo March Television film
1979 The Evictors Ruth Watkins
1980 Stardust Memories Daisy
1981 Shock Treatment Janet Majors
Pennies from Heaven Joan
1982 My Favorite Year K.C. Downing
1985 When Dreams Come True Annie Television film
1986 'The Imagemaker Cynthia
The Equalizer Kate Parnell Television series
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
1995 Safe Joyce
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
2005 Crossing Jordan Dorris Meisner Television series, 1 episode
2015 Proof "Cat's" mother 1 episode
2017 Suspiria Anke [11]


  1. ^ Brown, Nic. "An Interview with Jessica Harper". Rogue Cinema. Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  2. ^ Jessica Harper Biography
  3. ^ a b c Jessica Harper, Actress, Marries T. E. Rothman – New York Times
  4. ^ "The Blue Book: Leaders of the English-Speaking World"
  5. ^ Jessica Harper Biography at Yahoo! Movies
  6. ^ "Dan Hicks Discography". Retrieved January 27, 2017. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Jessica Harper's The Crabby Cook Appearances". 
  9. ^ McCormick, Moria (December 24, 1994). "Child's Play". Billboard. p. 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. 
  10. ^ "Super Plastic Elastic Goggles". The Paley Center for Media. Retrieved November 13, 2016.  Air date was January 30, 1971.
  11. ^ Klein, Brennan (October 31, 2016). "Jessica Harper to Return for Suspiria Remake". Retrieved December 27, 2016. 

External links[edit]