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Rosemary Ann Harris|
19 September 1927
Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, England
(m. 1959; div. 1967)
(m. 1967; d. 2018)
Harris began her stage career in 1948, before making her Broadway debut in 1952. For her New York stage work, she is a four-time Drama Desk Award winner and nine-time Tony Award nominee, winning the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play in 1966 for The Lion in Winter. On television, she won an Emmy Award for the 1974 TV serial Notorious Woman, and a Golden Globe Award for the 1978 miniseries Holocaust. For the 1994 film Tom & Viv, she received a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination. She is the mother of actress Jennifer Ehle.
Harris was born in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, the daughter of Enid Maude Frances (née Campion) and Stafford Berkely Harris. One of her grandmothers was Romanian. Her father was in the Royal Air Force and as a result, Harris' family lived in India during her childhood. She attended convent schools, and later studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from 1951 to 1952.
Early in her acting career, she gained experience in English repertory theatre. In 1948, she acted in Kiss and Tell at Eastbourne with Tilsa Page and John Clark and later with Anthony Cundell's company at Penzance, where she played the mother in Black Chiffon. She went from Penzance to train at RADA. She first appeared in New York in 1951 in Moss Hart's Climate of Eden, and then returned to Britain for her West End debut in The Seven Year Itch which ran for a year at the Aldwich.
Harris then entered a classical acting period in productions with the Bristol Old Vic and then the Old Vic, appearing at the latter as Ophelia in the National Theatre Company's opening production of Hamlet in October 1963, alongside Peter O'Toole in the title role. Writing in UK newspaper The Guardian in 2003 as part of a series on landmark theatre productions, playwright Samantha Ellis noted of the National Theatre's opening night:
Olivier gloomily anticipated bad reviews. But RB Marriott, in The Stage, found O'Toole to be "a magnificent Prince" and Rosemary Harris "the most real and touching Ophelia". (In contrast, Felix Barker, in the Evening News, called her "an embarrassing deb who has had too much gin".) And Harold Hobson, in The Sunday Times, was overcome.
Her first film followed, Beau Brummell (1954) with Stewart Granger and Elizabeth Taylor, and then a touring season with the Old Vic brought her back to Broadway in Tyrone Guthrie's production of Troilus and Cressida. She met Ellis Rabb who had plans to start his own producing company on Broadway. By 1959, the Association of Producing Artist (APA) was established, and she and Rabb were married in December of that year.
In 1962, she returned to Britain and Chichester Festival Theatre during its opening season when the director was Laurence Olivier; she appeared as Elena in Olivier's celebrated 1962–63 Chichester production of Uncle Vanya. In 1964, she was Ophelia to Peter O'Toole's Hamlet in the inaugural production of the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain.
Returning to New York, she worked further with the APA, and then was cast as Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter, a performance that garnered her a Tony Award in 1966. Rabb directed her one last time as Natasha in War and Peace in 1967, the same year they agreed to divorce. A little while later, Harris married the American writer John Ehle. They settled in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where their daughter, Jennifer, was born in 1969. Jennifer Ehle followed in her mother's footsteps by becoming a noted film, television and Broadway actress.
In 1974, Harris starred in the BBC TV serial Notorious Woman, which aired on PBS in the US as part of Masterpiece Theatre. For this role, she won the 1976 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series. She won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – TV Drama for the 1978 NBC miniseries Holocaust, which also starred Meryl Streep. Reviewing the BBC's 1983 production of To the Lighthouse, an adaptation of Virginia Woolf's novel of the same name, The New York Times' John J. O'Connor wrote: "A luminous, flawless performance by Miss Harris makes Mrs. Ramsay as memorable on film as she is on the printed page." She received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for the 1994 film Tom & Viv. Harris and her daughter Ehle, played the young and elderly incarnations, respectively, of the same character in István Szabó's 1999 film Sunshine, about a Hungarian Jewish family. They had previously played the young and old Calypso in the Channel 4 production of The Camomile Lawn (1992).
Harris appeared in the rotating cast of the Off-Broadway staged reading of Wit & Wisdom. In 2007, she received the North Carolina Award for fine arts. Her husband, John Ehle, won the same award in 1972 for literature.
|1954||Beau Brummell||Mrs. Fitzherbert||film debut|
|1957||The Shiralee||Lily Parker|
|1968||A Flea in Her Ear||Gabrielle Chandebisse|
|1978||The Boys from Brazil||Mrs. Doring|
|1983||The Ploughman's Lunch||Ann Barrington|
|1988||Crossing Delancey||Pauline Swift|
|1992||The Bridge||Aunt Jude|
|1994||Tom & Viv||Rose Haigh-Wood|
|1999||My Life So Far||Gamma|
|2000||The Gift||Annie's Granny|
|2002||Spider-Man||Aunt May Parker|
|2004||Being Julia||Julia's mother|
|2007||Spider-Man 3||Aunt May Parker|
|2007||Before the Devil Knows You're Dead||Nanette|
|2008||Is Anybody There?||Elsie|
|2008||The Monday Before Thanksgiving||Lillian Cotlo||Short film|
|2010||Radio Free Ablemuth||VALIS (voice role)|
|2012||This Means War||Nana Foster|
|2015||The von Trapp Family: A Life of Music||Older Agathe von Trapp|
|1952||A Cradle of Wlllow||Tansy Clampett||television debut
|1952||Studio One in Hollywood||Herself||Episode: "The Great Lady"|
|1957||Twelfth Night||Viola||Television Movie|
|1958||Suspicion||Sybil Merton||Episode: "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime"|
|1958||Omnibus||Cordelia||Episode: "Moment of Truth"|
|1958||Dial M for Murder||Margot Wendice||Television Movie|
|1958||Folio||Dynamene||Episode: "A Phoenix Too Frequent"|
|1959||Encounter||Norah Marsh||Episode: "The Land of Promise"|
|1964||Profiles in Courage||Mary S. McDowell||Episode: "Mary S. McDowell"|
|1966||Blithe Spirit||Elvira Condomine||Television Movie|
|1967||Uncle Vanya||Jelena Andrejewna||Television Movie|
|1974||Notorious Woman||George Sand||Television Miniseries; 7 episodes|
|1977||The Royal Family||Julie Cavendish||Television Movie|
|1978||Holocaust||Berta Palitz Weiss||Television Miniseries; 4 episodes|
|1979–1980||The Chisholms||Minerva Chisholm||Television Miniseries; 13 episodes|
|1983||To the Lighthouse||Mrs. Ramsay||Television Movie|
|1992||The Camomile Lawn||Calypso (older)||Television Miniseries; 2 episodes|
|1994||Under the Hammer||Hester Bovington||Episode: "The Spectre at the Feast"|
|1996||The Little Riders||Grandma Roden||Television Movie|
|1996||Death of a Salesman||Linda||Television Movie|
|2010||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Francine Brooks||Episode: "Wet"|
|2014||The Money||Ellen Knox||Television Movie|
|1952||The Climate of Eden||Mabel|
|1956||Troilus and Cressida||Cressida|
|1957||The Glass Eye||Dorothy Witley|
|1957||I Killed the Count||Louise Rogers/Countess Helen Mattoni|
|1957||The Prince and the Pauper||Lady Edith|
|1958||The Disenchanted||Jere Halliday|
|1958||The Man in Authority||unknown|
|1958||A Tale of Two Cities||Lucie Manette|
|1958||Wuthering Heights||Catherine Earnshaw|
|1962||The School for Scandal||Lady Teazle|
|1965||Man and Superman||Violet Robinson|
|1965||War and Peace||Natasha Rostova|
|1965–1966||You Can't Take It With You||Alice Sycamore|
|1966||The Lion in Winter||Eleanor|
|1966–1967||The School for Scandal||Lady Teazle|
|1966||Right You Are If You Think You Are||Signora Ponza|
|1966||We, Comrades Three||Young Woman|
|1966||Eh, Joe?||Woman's Voice|
|1967||The Wild Duck||Gina|
|1967||You Can't Take it With You||Alice Sycamore|
|1967||War and Peace||Natasha Rostova|
|1967||Uncle Vanya||Ilyena, the nurse|
|1967||Dear Friends||Charlotte Marshall|
|1973||The Merchant of Venice||Portia|
|1973||A Street Car Named Desire||Blanche Du Bois|
|1975–1976||The Royal Family||Julie Canvendish|
|1983–1984||Heartbreak House||Hesione Hushabye|
|1985||Pack of Lies||Barbara Jackson|
|1985–1986||Hay Fever||Judith Bliss|
|1988||Strange Interlude||Mrs. Amos Evans|
|1988||Tales from the Hollywood Hills: The Old Reliable||Adela Shannon|
|1991–1993||Lost in Yonkers||Grandma Kurnitz|
|1994||Summer Day's Dream||Margaret Dawlish|
|1994–1995||An Inspector Calls||Sybil Birling|
|1996||A Delicate Balance||Agnes|
|1999–2000||Waiting in the Wings||May Davenport|
|2003||All Over||The Wife|
|2003||Wit & Wisdom||unknown|
|2007||Oscar and the Lady in Pink|
|2009||The Royal Family||Fanny Cavendish|
|2011–2012||The Road to Mecca||Miss Helen|
|2018||My Fair Lady||Mrs. Higgins|
|1998||Dark Side of the Moon||Miner Woman (voice role)||PC version for Windows 95/98|
Awards and nominations
|1984||The Ploughman's Lunch||British Academy Film Award||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||Nominated|
|1994||Tom & Viv||National Board of Review Award||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|1995||Academy Award||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|2000||Sunshine||Genie Award||Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role||Nominated|
|2001||Satellite Award||Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (shared with Jennifer Ehle)||Won|
|2007||Before the Devil Knows You're Dead||Gotham Award||Best Ensemble Performance||Won|
|2008||Critics Choice Movie Award||Best Acting Ensemble||Nominated|
|1976||Notorious Woman||Golden Globe Award||Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama||Nominated|
|1985||Great Performances||CableACE Award||Actress in a Theatrical or Dramatic Special||Nominated|
- Rosemary Harris Film Reference bio. Filmreference.com. Retrieved on 27 August 2011.
- anti-aircraft corps | august | smyth pigott | 1919 | 1083 | Flight Archive
- "Rosemary Harris". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on 11 May 2006. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- Rosemary Harris and the Picture: Madonna of the Slaughtered Jews Archived 15 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine.. Nmia.com. Retrieved on 27 August 2011.
- Hollywood made in Romania (partea a II-a). eroiiromanieichic.ro (8 December). Retrieved on 13 January 2013.
- "Interview with Actor Rosemary Harris". Broadway World. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- Rosenfeld, Megan (30 March 1986). "Rosemary Harris, Blissfully". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- Welsh, Anne Marie (29 September 2007). "Six decades on, Rosemary Harris' career is still in the 'Pink'". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- Hischak, Thomas S. (2001). American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1969–2000. Oxford University Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-19-512347-0.
- Gussow, Mel (27 May 1996). "For Rosemary Harris, A Delicate Balance Of Her Art and Life". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
- Gerard, Jeremy (27 January 2015). "Rosemary Harris On 'The Holocaust', Tom Stoppard & Liz Taylor: Conversations With Jeremy Gerard". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- Bordman, Gerald; Hischak, Thomas S. (2004). The Oxford Companion to American Theatre. Oxford University Press. p. 293. ISBN 978-0-19-516986-7.
- "National Theatre actress: 'I wasn't a bit nervous'". BBC Online. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- Ellis, Samantha (12 March 2003). "Hamlet, National Theatre, October 1963". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- See the VHS recording of this performance issued by Arthur Cantor Films, New York.
- Reich, Ronni (25 February 2014). "Rosemary Harris returns to the New York stage". NJ.com. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- Sandomir, Richard (12 April 2018). "John Ehle, Who Rooted His Novels in Appalachia, Is Dead at 92". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- Kavanagh, Julie; Avedon, Richard (13 May 1996). "Chameleons". The New Yorker. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- O'Connor, John J. (12 October 1984). "TV Weekend; Virginia Woolf's 'To the Lighthouse'". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- "Synopsis of Wit & Wisdom" at Theater Mania
- North Carolina Award profile Archived 15 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- Salfino, Michael (28 June 2017). "Hold On, You're Spider-Man's Aunt May?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- Monahan, Mark (25 January 2008). "The face is familiar: Rosemary Harris". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- "62". Obie Awards. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- "65". Obie Awards. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- "Search Past Tony Award Winners and Nominees". Tony Awards. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
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