Rosemary Harris

Actress, Nurse
This sensitive, expressive leading and supporting player is best known for her stellar stage work and occasional yet indelible film and TV appearances. Rosemary Harris frequently played secure, formidable women; strong ... Read more »
Born: 09/19/1927 in Suffolk, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (41)

This Means War 2012 (Movie)

Nana Foster (Actor)

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

Is Anybody There? 2009 (Movie)

Elsie (Actor)

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead 2007 (Movie)

Nanette (Actor)

Spider-Man 3 2007 (Movie)

May Parker (Actor)

Being Julia 2004 (Movie)

Mrs. Lambert (Actor)

Broadway: The Golden Age 2004 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Spider-Man 2 2004 (Movie)

Aunt May Parker (Actor)

Spider-Man 2002 (Movie)

Auntie May Parker (Actor)

Blow Dry 2001 (Movie)

Daisy (Actor)

Sunshine 2000 (Movie)

Older Valerie Sors (Actor)

The Gift 2000 (Movie)

Annie's Granny (Actor)

My Life So Far 1999 (Movie)

Gamma (Actor)

Hamlet 1996 (Movie)

Player Queen (Actor)

Looking for Richard 1996 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

The 50th Annual Tony Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Performer

Tom & Viv 1994 (Movie)

Rose Haigh-Wood (Actor)

The Bridge 1991 (Movie)

Aunt Jude (Actor)

The Delinquents 1989 (Movie)

Isobel (Actor)

The Old Reliable 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Crossing Delancey 1988 (Movie)

Pauline Swift (Actor)

The Ploughman's Lunch 1982 (Movie)

Ann Barrington (Actor)

The Chisholms 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Holocaust -- The Story of the Family Weiss 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

The Boys From Brazil 1978 (Movie)

Mrs Doring (Actor)

Trailblazers of Modern Dance 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Voice

A Flea in Her Ear 1968 (Movie)

Gabrielle Chandebisse (Actor)

Profiles in Courage 1964 - 1965 (TV Show)

Actor

A Tale of Two Cities 1957 - 1958 (TV Show)

Actor

The Prince and the Pauper 1957 - 1958 (TV Show)

Actor

The Shiralee 1956 (Movie)

Lily Parker (Actor)

Beau Brummell 1954 (Movie)

Mrs Fitzherbert (Actor)

Heartbreak House (TV Show)

Actor

Notorious Woman (TV Show)

Actor

Strange Interlude (TV Show)

Actor

The Chisholms (TV Show)

Actor

The Little Riders (TV Show)

Actor

The Royal Family (TV Show)

Actor

To the Lighthouse (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

This sensitive, expressive leading and supporting player is best known for her stellar stage work and occasional yet indelible film and TV appearances. Rosemary Harris frequently played secure, formidable women; strong adversaries or staunch supporters. Her delicate features and petite frame belied a fiercely determined, fully evolved persona. After growing up in India and preparing for a career in nursing, she changed course and began acting studies at London's prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Harris made her stage debut in NYC in the Broadway production of Moss Hart's "Climate of Eden" (1951) and then returned to her native England where she debuted on the West End in the British premiere of "The Seven Year Itch" (1952).

Relationships

Stafford Berkley Harris

Father
Was in the Royal Air Force

Enid Maude Frances Harris

Mother

John Ehle Source Material (from novel)

Husband

Jennifer Ehle Actor

Daughter
Born Dec. 29, 1969; father, John Ehle Played the young and elderly incarnations of the same character in István Szabó's "Sunshine" (1999)

Ellis Rabb

Husband
He directed Harris in several plays

EDUCATION

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

London , England 1951 - 1952

Milestones

2012

Landed a supporting role in "This Means War," an action comedy starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, and Tom Hardy

2011

Starred in the Broadway production of "The Road to Mecca," based on a play by South African playwright and novelist Athol Fugard

2009

Returned to co-star in the Broadway revival of "The Royal Family" playing the role of matriarch Fanny Cavendish; earned a Tony Award nomination for Featured Actress in a Play

2007

Once again teamed with Tobey Mcguire and director Sam Raimi for "Spider-Man 3"

2007

Joined Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke and Albert Finney in Sidney Lumet's crime thriller "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"

2004

Played the title character's mother in the period drama "Being Julia" opposite Annette Bening

2004

Reprised role of Aunt May Parker in "Spider-Man 2"

2002

Cast as Aunt May Parker in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man," starring Tobey Maguire

2002

Appeared in a stage revival of Edward Albee's "All Over"

2000

Had cameo as Cate Blanchett's grandmother in "The Gift"

1999

Shared the role of Valerie with daughter Jennifer Ehle in Istvan Szabo's historical epic "Sunshine"

1999

Portrayed the matriarch of a Scottish family in "My Life So Far"

1999

Co-starred with Lauren Bacall in the Noel Coward comedy "Waiting in the Wings"; received eighth career Tony Award nomination

1996

Appeared alongside George Grizzard and Elaine Stritch in the revival of Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance"; received a Tony nomination

1996

Cast as the Player Queen opposite Charlton Heston's Player King in Kenneth Branagh's all-star full-length film version of "Hamlet"

1994

Played the mother of the troubled, mentally disturbed Vivienne Haigh-Wood in the biopic "Tom & Viv"; received a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination

1994

Acted on Broadway in the acclaimed revival of "An Inspector Calls"

1992

Portrayed the aged Calypso, a character played as a young woman by daughter Jennifer Ehle, in the BBC production of "The Camomile Lawn"

1992

Succeeded Irene Worth as the grandmother in Neil Simon's Pulitzer-winning "Lost in Yonkers"

1991

Starred in the London production of "Steel Magnolias"

1988

Had featured role in the feature romantic comedy "Crossing Delancy"

1988

Was featured in "The Old Reliable," a segment of the PBS miniseries "Tales from the Hollywood Hills"

1988

Supported Glenda Jackson in the PBS miniseries version of Eugene O'Neill's "Strange Interlude"

1987

Acted alongside John Gielgud and Ray McAnally in "The Best of Friends"

1986

Headed the cast of the spirited revival of Noel Coward's "Hay Fever"; earned sixth Tony Award nomination

1985

Offered tour de force performance as an ordinary British housewife who discovers her neighbors are spies in "Pack of Lies"; nominated for fifth Tony Award

1984

Delivered a brilliant turn as Mrs. Ramsay in a TV adaptation of Virginia Woolf's novel "To the Lighthouse" (PBS)

1984

Co-starred as Hesione Hushabye opposite Rex Harrison's Captain Shotover in George Bernard Shaw's revival of "Heartbreak House"; received fourth Tony Award nomination; reprised role in the 1985 Showtime adaptation

1983

Had rare film role in "The Ploughman's Lunch"

1979

Made debut as a series regular on the CBS drama "The Chisholms," playing the matriarch of a frontier family

1978

Had supporting role in "The Boys From Brazil," starring Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck

1978

Played the matriarch of a German Jewish family in the acclaimed NBC miniseries "Holocaust"; received an Emmy nomination

1975

Played Julie Cavendish, an Ethel Barrymore-like actress in the revival of "The Royal Family"; garnered third Tony Award nomination; reprised role in 1977 for the PBS production

1974

Portrayed author George Sand in the seven-part BBC production of "Notorious Woman" (aired in the U.S. on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre" in 1976)

1973

Played Blanche DuBois in a Broadway revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire"

1970

Starred in Harold Pinter's "Old Times"; earned Tony Award nomination

1968

Cast opposite Paul Rogers in Neil Simon's "Plaza Suite"

1968

Featured in the film adaptation of "A Flea in Her Ear"

1966

Created the role of Eleanor of Aquitaine in the Broadway production of "The Lion In Winter"; earned her first Tony Award nomination

1966

Cast as Elvira in NBC's "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation of Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit"

1963

Reprised Ilyena in the TV adaptation of "Uncle Vanya," featuring Laurence Olivier

1963

Joined London's National Theatre playing Ophelia and Ilyena opposite Peter O'Toole and Laurence Olivier (respectively) in productions of "Hamlet" and "Uncle Vanya"

1962

Appeared in Laurence Olivier's Company at the Chichester Festival Theatre for its first season

1960

Joined the newly-formed APA Company in New York and appeared in many of its wide-ranging productions performed in repertory; remained affiliated with company until 1967

1958

Appeared as Cathy to Richard Burton's Heathcliff in a CBS production of "Wuthering Heights"

1958

Co-starred with Jason Robards in "The Disenchanted"

1957

Portrayed Olivia in NBC "Hallmark Hall of Fame" production of "Twelfth Night"

1955

Joined the Old Vic Theatre in London; played Desdemona opposite Richard Burton in "Othello"

1954

Made her feature acting debut in "Beau Brummell" as Mrs. Fitzherbert, the mistress of the Prince of Wales (Peter Ustinov)

1953

London stage debut, "The Seven Year Itch"

1952

First appeared on the New York stage in "Climate of Eden"

1951

Made onscreen acting debut in the TV-movie "A Cradle of Willow" (BBC)

1948

Made her stage acting debut with a bit part in "Winter Sunshine"

Raised in India

Bonus Trivia

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Harris received honorary doctorates from Smith College, Wake Forest University and from North Carolina School of the Arts.

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According to Harris, she and her daughter did not discuss the role of Valerie in "Sunshine." After viewing the film, she told Tom Brook of BBC News Entertainment (April 29, 2000): "I was amazed when I saw the similarities we bear and which I wasn't aware of. I think it's in the hand gestures or something."

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