Barbara Harris of ‘Nashville,’ ‘Family Plot,’ ‘Freaky Friday’ Dead @ 83

Barbara Harris, the delightfully quirky star of Freaky Friday (1976), died today of lung cancer, Variety reports.

Barbara Harris, July 25, 1935—August 21, 2018 Image via GIPHY)

She was 83.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Harris took to the stage as a teenager, cofounding the Second City troupe and making her Broadway debut in 1961 and winning the Tony in 1967 for The Apple Tree (1966).

Harris was more serious about acting than she was about the theater, abandoning the stage in the early '70s in favor of one of the most diverse film careers of her era.

Nobody did cerebrally ditzy like Harris, who patented that type in A Thousand Clowns (1965). For 1971's Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?, Harris received her first and only Academy Award nomination.

Psychic friend in Family Plot (Image via Universal)

With or without Oscars and other accolades, Harris tore up the '70s, making beautiful music as Albuquerque, a country singer, in Robert Altman's (1925-2006) Nashville (1975); as a phony psychic in Alfred Hitchcock's (1899-1980) last film, Family Plot (1976); as a woman who swaps bodies with her rebellious teen daughter (played by Jodie Foster, b. 1962) in Freaky Friday (1976); and as a whacky church lady in The North Avenue Irregulars (1979).

Highlights of the latter part of Harris's career include Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), and her swan song, Grosse Pointe Blank (1997).

1 Response

  1. I have to put a plug in for another great Barbara Harris performance in a Broadway Show written expressly for her. She was the original Daisy Gamble in “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”!

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