Celebrated US actress Julie Harris dies at age 87

Celebrated US actress Julie Harris dies at age 87
File photo of actress Harris accepting the 2002 Tony Lifetime Achievement Award at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

UNITED STATES - Julie Harris, the diminutive actress who won five Tony Awards for her stage performances and was also honoured for her work in television and film, died on Saturday at age 87, a Massachusetts funeral home said.

Bill Collins, a funeral director at the Nickerson Funeral Home in Chatham, Massachusetts, confirmed the death of Harris, who lived in nearby West Chatham.

Aside from her widely acclaimed theatre work, Harris was known to television audiences in the 1980s for her role in the prime-time soap opera "Knots Landing," in which she played a country music singer and the mother of another key character.

Harris was also nominated for an Oscar and appeared in more than 30 films, including "East of Eden" in 1955, in which she played James Dean's love interest.

She was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Her father was an investment banker and her mother a nurse.

Harris attended the Yale School of Drama for one year before leaving in 1945 to begin acting on Broadway.

After appearing in a number of productions, she was catapulted to fame at age 24 for her role in Carson McCullers' American stage hit "The Member of the Wedding."

Later in her career, Harris for many audiences would come to epitomize 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson, in her performance of William Luce's 1976 one-woman play "The Belle of Amherst."

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