Leonard Harris (actor)

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Leonard Harris
Leonard Jerome Harris

(1929-09-27)September 27, 1929
DiedAugust 28, 2011(2011-08-28) (aged 81)
OccupationActor, critic, author
Years active1976–1980
Mary Ann Wurth
(m. 1961; div. 1973)

Leonard Harris (September 27, 1929 – August 28, 2011)[1] was an American actor, critic and author. He is known for his roles as Senator Charles Palantine in Taxi Driver (1976) and the mayor in Hero at Large (1980).


Leonard Jerome Harris was born in the Bronx on Sept. 27, 1929. He graduated from City College and served in the Army at Fort Dix during the Korean War. In 1961 he married Mary Ann Wurth. They had two children: Sarah and David Harris. They divorced in 1973. He also had homes in Stanfordville, N.Y., and West Palm Beach, Fla.

Mr. Harris began his career writing obituaries and book reviews for the Hartford Courant in 1958. In 1966 he became a culture critic at WCBS-TV in New York City, a position he held until 1974. He had three novels published and worked as a television writer later in his career. He served on the Tony Award Nominating Committee in the later 1980s and early 1990s.

Mr. Harris also played the mayor in a 1980 romantic comedy, Hero at Large. He wrote three novels published in his lifetime. His first, The Masada Plan, was called "gripping, fast-moving, expertly engineered" by the novelist Meyer Levin in The New York Times Book Review. A fourth novel was published posthumously.

He died on August 28, 2011, in Hartford, Connecticut, aged 81, from complications of pneumonia.[1]



Year Title Role Notes
1976 Taxi Driver Senator Charles Palantine
1980 Hero at Large Mayor (final film role)


Year Title Role Notes
1967 Eye on Art Narrator Documentary series
Episode: "The Walls Come Tumbling Down"
1973 What's My Line? Himself 1 episode


  • The Masada Plan. 1976. ISBN 0517527995.
  • Don't Be No Hero. 1978. ISBN 0517532506.
  • The Hamptons. 1981. ISBN 0671610007.[2]
  • War Songs. 2014. ISBN 978-0-9914438-0-2.


  1. ^ a b Slotnik, Daniel E. (August 31, 2011). "Leonard Harris, Television Critic, Dies at 81". The New York Times. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  2. ^ Thomas, Phil (September 27, 1978). "Writer Says Running Exercises Mind Also". Ludington Daily News. Retrieved August 31, 2011.

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