Barbara Harris


Barbara Densmoor Harris (July 25, 1935 – August 21, 2018) was an American actress. A life member of the Actors Studio, she won the 1967 Tony Award as Best Actress (Musical) for The Apple Tree. This followed two previous Tony nominations: in 1962, as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Musical) for From the Second City, and, in 1966, as Best Actress (Musical) for On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. From 1961 through 1964, she appeared as a guest star on such popular television series as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Naked City, Channing and The Defenders. She received her first Golden Globe Nomination for Best Actress for her debut film A Thousand Clowns (1965), with Jason Robards, Martin Balsam, Gene Saks, William Daniels, and Barry Gordon.

Harris then appeared in Richard Quine’s Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad (1967), with Rosalind Russell, Robert Morse, Hugh Griffith, and Jonathan Winters; followed by Arthur Hiller’s Plaza Suite (1971), with Walter Matthau, Maureen Stapleton, and Lee Grant; then she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971), with Dustin Hoffman, Jack Warden, David Burns, Dom DeLuise, and Gabriel Dell.

Harris received a second Golden Globe nomination (for Best Supporting Actress) for Robert Altman’s Nashville (1975), with David Arkin, Barbara Baxley, Ned Beatty, Karen Black, Ronee Blakley, Timothy Brown, Keith Carradine, Geraldine Chaplin, Robert DoQui, Shelley Duvall, Allen Garfield, Henry Gibson, Scott Glenn, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Murphy, Allan F. Nicholls, Cristina Raines, Bert Remsen, Lily Tomlin, Gwen Welles, and Keenan Wynn; followed by two more Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress for Alfred Hitchcock’s Family Plot (1976), with Black, Bruce Dern, and William Devane; and Gary Nelson’s Freaky Friday (1976), with Jodie Foster, John Astin, Patsy Kelly, Dick Van Patten and Sorrell Booke.

Other notable films of the 1970s include Melville Shavelson’s The War Between Men and Women (1972), with Jack Lemmon and Robards; Mixed Company (1974), with Joseph Bologna, Tom Bosley, Lisa Gerritsen, Dorothy Shay, Ruth McDevitt, and Haywood Nelson; The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery (1975), with Dell and Huntz Hall, Jackie Coogan, Joyce Van Patten, Anjanette Comer, Will Geer, Booke, Vincent Gardenia, Nita Talbot, and Nicholas Colasanto; Stanley Donen’s Movie Movie (1978), with George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Barry Bostwick, Red Buttons, Art Carney, Eli Wallach, Harry Hamlin, and Ann Reinking; The North Avenue Irregulars (1979), with Edward Herrmann, Susan Clark, Karen Valentine, Michael Constantine, Cloris Leachman, Steve Franken, Patsy Kelly, Douglas Fowley, Virginia Capers, and Ruth Buzzi; and Jerry Schatzberg’s The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979), with Alan Alda, Meryl Streep, Rip Torn, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Kimbrough, and Carrie Nye.

Later films include Hal Ashby’s Second-Hand Hearts (1981), with Robert Blake and Bert Remsen; Francis Ford Coppola’s Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), with Kathleen Turner, Nicolas Cage, Barry Miller, Catherine Hicks, Joan Allen, Jim Carrey, Don Murray, John Carradine, Maureen O’Sullivan, and Helen Hunt; Nice Girls Don’t Explode (1987), with Michelle Meyrink, William O’Leary, and Wallace Shawn; Frank Oz’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), with Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Glenne Headly, Anton Rodgers, and Ian McDiarmid; and Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), with John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Cusack, Hank Azaria, and Mitchell Ryan.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • A Thousand Clowns (1965) – directed by Fred Coe
  • Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad (1967) – directed by Richard Quine
  • Plaza Suite (1971) – directed by Arthur Hiller
  • Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971) – directed by Ulu Grosbard
  • The War Between Men and Women (1972) – directed by Melville Shavelson
  • Mixed Company (1974) – directed by Melville Shavelson
  • The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery (1975) – directed by Dean Hargrove
  • Nashville (1975) – directed by Robert Altman
  • Family Plot (1976) – directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  • Freaky Friday (1976) – directed by Gary Nelson
  • A Doonesbury Special (1977) – directed by John Hubley, Faith Hubley, & Garry Trudeau – short
  • Movie Movie (1978) – directed by Stanley Donen
  • The North Avenue Irregulars (1979) – directed by Bruce Bilson
  • The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979) – directed by Jerry Schatzberg
  • Second-Hand Hearts (1981) – directed by Hal Ashby
  • Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) – directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • Nice Girls Don’t Explode (1987) – directed by Chuck Martinez
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) – directed by Frank Oz
  • Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) – directed by George Armitage