Longtime entertainment journalist Radie Harris, who spent a half-century chronicling show business for the Hollywood Reporter and broadcasting Broadway tidbits for CBS direct from Sardi’s, died Thursday at the Actors Fund Nursing Home in Englewood, N.J. She was 96.
Although she wrote about show business from both the East and West coasts, Harris spent most of her career based in New York City. Early in her career, she was a fixture on CBS radio, often broadcasting from the famous New York City theater-row restaurant Sardi’s, or from Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel.
From 1940 until the early 1990s she wrote the “Broadway Ballyhoo” column for the Hollywood Reporter from an office in midtown Manhattan.
She is also credited with being one of the originators of the Stage Door Canteen, Broadway’s counterpart to the Hollywood Canteen during World War II.
Laurence Olivier once said of Harris, “In one of the toughest rackets in the world, Radie has managed to keep her integrity and femininity intact.”
Harris was on the executive board of the American Theatre Wing and was on the nominating committee for the Tonys.
She was honored in 1982 by the Publicists Guild of America with a Special Citation of Merit in recognition of her service to the entertainment industry through her column.
She is survived by two nieces.