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ENTERTAINMENT
26 Aug 2013
BROADWAY STAR JULIE HARRIS DIES AGED 87

Harris was best known for her roles on Broadway, where she jointly holds the record for the most Tony Award wins.

Her breakthrough came in the hit 1950 play The Member of the Wedding, which led to an Oscar nomination for a big screen adaptation three years later.

Other films included 1955's East of Eden with James Dean, while on TV she was known for the soap Knot's Landing.

Harris died at her home in Massachusetts of congestive heart failure, actress and family friend Francesca James told the Associated Press (AP) news agency.

Born in Michigan, Harris made her Broadway debut in 1945 and made her name five years later in The Member of the Wedding.

Aged 24, she played the lonely 12-year-old Frankie in Carson McCullers' stage version of her novel.

Harris won her first Tony Award in 1952 for playing Sally Bowles in I Am a Camera, adapted from Christopher Isherwood's book Berlin Stories, which was later the basis of the stage and screen musical Cabaret.

Other Tony wins came for playing Joan of Arc in The Lark in 1956, for Forty Carats, a hit comedy about an older woman and a younger man in 1969, and for her role as Abraham Lincoln's wife Mary Todd Lincoln in 1973's The Last of Mrs Lincoln.

Her final competitive Tony win came for portraying poet Emily Dickinson in her one-woman show The Belle of Amherst in 1977. That performance also won a Grammy Award for best spoken word recording.

Angela Lansbury and Audra McDonald are the only other performers to have won five competitive Tonys.

Harris had five other nominations, making her the most nominated performer in the awards' history, and she received a special lifetime achievement Tony in 2002.

On the big screen, Harris appeared in more than 30 films including playing James Dean's love interest in East of Eden.

On television, she won three Emmy Awards between 1959 and 2000 as well as playing country music singer Lilimae Clements in Knot's Landing in the 1980s.

Harris had a stroke in 2001 followed by another in 2010, Francesca James told the AP.

 

source: www.bbc.co.uk

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