Category Archives: Carson McCullers

RIP Julie Harris

Ethel Waters, Carson McCullers, Julie Harris
Julie Harris, a great actress and one of my true idols, has died.  She was an actor who seemed to have not so much skin as a scrim which barely contained her soul, so available were her emotions.  She’s seen above with the author/playwright Carson McCullers and another great actress, Ethel Waters during the run of McCullers’ own adaptation of her novel “The Member of the Wedding”.  My stepfather Oliver Rea produced the play, which, while not her first appearance on Broadway, was the first big landmark in Harris’ brilliant career.  It was 1950, ten years before I was born, thirteen before the opening of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis which Oliver founded, and seventeen before he ran away with my mother Georgann and we moved to the Dakota.  When I began acting in the early eighties I used one of Harris’ character Frankie’s speeches as an audition piece for way too long–I so loved it and her.