Harriet Sansom Harris

Actor
An in-demand character actress in both film and televison possessed of devislish comedic timing, Harriet Sansom Harris is perhaps best known for a pair of recurrring TV roles, first as Frasier Crane's gleefully ... Read more »
Born: 01/08/1955 in Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Filmography

Actor (54)

Love Is Strange 2014 (Movie)

Honey (Actor)

Wilfred 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Desperate Housewives 2005 - 2006, 2010 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Shake It Up! 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Moonlight Serenade 2008 (Movie)

Angelica (Actor)

Help Me Help You 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Ghost Whisperer 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Lost Room 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

Monster-in-Law 2005 (Movie)

Therapist (Actor)

Sex, Love & Secrets 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Strong Medicine 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Frasier 1993 - 1998, 2000 - 2001, 2003 - 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

It's All Relative 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Quintuplets 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Six Feet Under 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Ally McBeal 1993 - 1998, 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Caroline in the City 1993 - 1994, 1996 - 1998, 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Chicago Hope 1993 - 1998, 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Diagnosis Murder 1993 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Ellen 1993 - 1994, 1996 - 1997, 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Family Law 1993 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Good Advice 1993 - 1994, 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Memento 2001 (Movie)

Mrs Jankis (Actor)

Millennium 1993 - 1998, 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Sisters 1993 - 1998, 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Beast 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

The George Carlin Show 1993 - 1994, 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Lot 1999 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The Man Who Came to Dinner 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The One 2001 (Movie)

Nurse Besson (Actor)

The X-Files 1993 - 1998, 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

God, the Devil and Bob 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Voice

Love & Money 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Nurse Betty 2000 (Movie)

Ellen (Actor)

Stark Raving Mad 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Show & Tell 1998 (Movie)

(Actor)

Union Square 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Romeo + Juliet 1996 (Movie)

Susan Santandiago (Actor)

Space: Above and Beyond 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The Crew 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The Five Mrs. Buchanans 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Quiz Show 1994 (Movie)

Enright's Secretary (Actor)

Addams Family Values 1993 (Movie)

Ellen Buckman (Actor)

Dead Drunk: The Kevin Tunell Story 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Dottie Gets Spanked 1992 (Movie)

(Actor)

Law & Order 1991 - 1992 (Tv Show)

Actor

Naked Obsession 1990 (Movie)

Elderly Lady (Actor)

Transylvania Twist 1989 (Movie)

Granny (Actor)

An Element of Truth (TV Show)

Actor

Fool's Fire (TV Show)

Actor

Friends 'til the End (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

An in-demand character actress in both film and televison possessed of devislish comedic timing, Harriet Sansom Harris is perhaps best known for a pair of recurrring TV roles, first as Frasier Crane's gleefully unscrupulous agent Bebe Glazer on the NBC sitcom "Frasier," then as Wisteria Lane resident Felicia Tilman on ABC's hit primetime drama "Desperate Housewives. "

Raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Harris began in the theater after graduating from Juilliard, spending three years as a member of The Acting Company. She also appeared in regional theater productions at the Long Wharf and Yale Rep. In 1986, Harris was Ophelia to Kevin Kline's "Hamlet" (with future "Frasier" co-star David Hyde Pierce as her brother Laertes). Paul Rudnick wrote the female roles in his 1993 Off-Broadway hit "Jeffrey" especially for the actress. (She also appeared in the L.A. premiere).

By the late 1980s, Harris had broken into TV, appearing in episodic guest shots on such series as "Doctor, Doctor" and "Law & Order". In 1993, Harris made her TV-movie debut in "Dead Drunk: The Kevin Turrell Story" for HBO. Her feature appearances, however, have been limited. Harris briefly appeared as one of the mothers whose children were attending camp in "Addams Family Values" (1993), scripted by Rudnick, and was secretary to producer Dan Enright (David Paymer) in Robert Redford's Oscar-nominated "Quiz Show" (1994).

Harris' profile escalated dramatically when she took on the role of the conniving Bebe during "Frasier's" first season in 1993, making regular appearances throughout the series' 11-year run. She then started snaring regular roles, playing the obnoxious class-conscious daughter-in-law Vivian Buchanan on clever but low-rated sitcom "The Five Mrs. Buchanans" (CBS, 1994-95), returned to the weekly series format as Suzanne, an embittered real estate agent, on the NBC sitcom "Union Square" (1997-98), had a recurring roll on the short-lived sitcom "Stark Raving Mad" (NBC, 1999-2000) and appeared in the brief ABC journalism drama "The Beast" (2001) as Mrs. Sweeny, the primary manager of the life of the head of a 24-hour TV news network, whose edgy wit and brutal honesty keeps the staff in tow. She next appeared as a regular on "It's All Relative" (ABC, 2003) as the blue-collar mother who's son is in love with a woman raised by two gay men. In between gigs, Harris racked up dozens of guest-starring credits o n a slew of televison comedies and dramas, including "The X-Files," "Murphy Brown," "Sisters," "Chicago Hope," "The Practice," "Ally McBeal," "Six Feet Under" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." At the end of 2004 she began a string of appearances on the smash hit "Desperate Housewives" as a character who may hold answers to the mysteries that drove the series.

Televison wasn't the only medium to embrace Harris. She appeared in a diverse array of feature films, including Baz Luhrrman's eye-popping modernization of Shakespeare, "Romeo + Juliet" (1996), the appealing dark comedy "Nurse Betty" (2000), Christopher Nolan's inventively told thriller "Memento" (2000), the Jet Li action-fest "The One" (2001) and the Jennifer Lopez-Jane Fonda comedy "Monster-In-Law" (2005).

Her busy Hollywood schedule was balanced with a steady roster of stage work. She appeared in the Roundabout Theater Company's 2000 New York revival of the classic Kaufman-Hart comedy "The Man Who Came to Dinner" about a famous (and famously acid-tongued) theater critic who is forced to stay in a Midwestern couple's home. Harris appeared opposite Nathan Lane and Jean Smart as Maggie Cutler, Lane's devoted secretary and Smart's nemesis, and one of the performances was broadcast live on PBS's "Stage on Screen" program. Harris took home 2001-02 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her work as Mrs. Meers in the stage version of "Thoroughly Modern Millie," and she made her debut with the New York Philaharmonic in April 2003 in the role of Beatrice,in the concert staging of Berlioz's opera "Beatrice and Benedict" opposite her "Frasier" co-star David Hyde Pierce.

EDUCATION

The Juilliard School

New York , New York
graduated

Banff School of Fine Arts

Alberta
studied during the summers as a child

Milestones

2005

Played Wisteria Lane's resident evil Felicia Tillman on "Desperate Housewives" (ABC)

2002

Made Broadway musical debut as Mrs. Meers in "Thoroughly Modern Millie"

2002

Appeared as a not-so grieving widow on the HBO funeral drama "Six Feet Under"

2001

Co-starred in the ABC summer series "The Beast"

2000

Had featured role as the wife of a man with short-term memory loss in "Memento"; released in the USA in 2001

2000

Appeared alongside Nathan Lane in the stage revival of "The Man Who Came to Dinner"

1997

Co-starred in the ensemble NBC sitcom "Union Square"

1994

Debut as TV series regular, the snooty Vivian, one of "The Five Mrs. Buchanans" (CBS)

1993

Played the female roles in original production of Paul Rudnick's Off-Broadway hit "Jeffrey"

1993

Made screen debut in "Addams Family Values", scripted by Rudnick

1993

Made first of yearly appearances as Bebe Glazier agent to "Frasier" (NBC); in 2001, character handed client of Frasier Crane over to a younger agent; returned for the final two episodes

1993

Had supporting role in Todd Haynes' short "Dottie Gets Spanked"

1989

Had early TV work in episode of "Doctor, Doctor" (CBS)

1986

Played Ophelia to Kevin Kline's "Hamlet" at the New York Shakespeare Festival; production also featured David Hyde Pierce

Raised in Fort Worth, Texas

After graduation from Juilliard, spent three years as member of The Acting Company

Bonus Trivia

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"... I would gladly spend the rest of my life in her service. Harriet is that sublime rarity: a great classical actress who is also, through some genetic frazzle, an inspired clown ... Watching her in rehearsal and onstage is a privilege; she is dazzling, inventive, Medea one moment and Bert Lahr the next." --Paul Rudnick in Vanity Fair, November 1993.

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