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Barbara Harris, Actress in ‘Freaky Friday,’ ‘Family Plot,’ Dies at 83

Actress Barbara Harris, known for roles in films like the original “Freaky Friday” and multiple stints on Broadway, died on Tuesday at age 83, the Chicago Sun Times reported. The actress was in Scottsdale, Ariz. when she died of lung cancer.

Harris launched her career when she co-founded the Second City comedy troupe in Chicago, Ill., later participating in the now world-renowned group’s first ever show. But her Second City performances were just the beginning of Harris’ flourishing career on the stage.

In 1967, Harris scored a best actress Tony award for her chameleon performances as Eve, Passionella, and Princess Barbara in “The Apple Tree.” She was also nominated for two other Tony awards, including a best featured actress nod for her Broadway debut in “From the Second City” and another best actress nod for her work as Daisy Gamble in 1965’s “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.”

Onscreen, Harris enjoyed a long film career working with some of the industry’s top directors, including Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola, and Robert Altman. In 1972, she received a supporting actress Oscar nomination for her role as Allison Densmore in 1971’s “Who is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?,” and she was also nominated for four Golden Globes.

Her first Golden Globe nomination came 1966 for best actress in a comedy or musical as Sandra in “A Thousand Clowns.” She later scored a supporting actress nod for playing Albuquerque in Altman’s “Nashville,” while her final two noms arrived in the same year and category in 1977 — two best actress noms for “Freaky Friday” and “Family Plot.”

“Family Plot” (1976) was Hitchcock’s final film. Harris’s co-star in the film, Bruce Dern, on Tuesday tweeted “With the passing of Barbara Harris today, our generation lost its true female comic genius and a girl for the ages.”

Among her other films were “Grosse Pointe Blank,” which was her last role; “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” “Peggy Sue Got Married” and “Plaza Suite.”

 

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