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Rosemary Harris

At The Tribeca Film Festival, April 2007
Born Rosemary Ann Harris
September 19, 1927 (1927-09-19) (age 82)
Ashby-de-la-Zouche, Leicestershire, England, U.K.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1954–present
Spouse(s) Ellis Rabb (1959-1967)
John Ehle (1967-present)

Rosemary Ann Harris (born September 19, 1927) is an English actress and a member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame.[1]


Early life

Harris was born in Ashby-de-la-Zouche, Leicestershire, England, the daughter of Enid Maude Frances (née Campion) and Stafford Berkley Harris.[2] Her grandmother was Romanian.[3] Her father was in the Royal Air Force and as a result, Harris' family lived in India during her childhood.[3] She attended convent schools, and later studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from 1951 to 1952.


Early in her acting career, she gained experience in English repertory theatre (In 1948, she acted in Kiss and Tell at Eastbourne with Tilsa Page and John Clark) before training at RADA. She first appeared in New York in 1951 in Moss Hart's Climate of Eden, and then returned to England for her West End debut in The Seven Year Itch which ran for a year at the Aldwich. She then entered a classical acting period in productions with the Bristol Old Vic and then the Old Vic.

Her first film followed, Beau Brummel with Stewart Granger and Elizabeth Taylor, and then a touring season with The Old Vic brought her back to Broadway in Tyrone Guthrie's production of Troilus and Cressida. She met Ellis Rabb who had plans to start his own producing company on Broadway. By 1959, the Association of Producing Artist (APA) was established, and she and Rabb were married in December of that year. Over the next two years their energies were combined into making the APA a ten year success. In 1962, she returned to England and Laurence Olivier's Chichester Festival Theatre, and in 1964 again, when she was Ophelia to Peter O'Tooles's Hamlet, for the inaugural production of the new Royal National Theatre of Great Britain.

Returning to New York, she worked further with the APA, and then was cast as Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter, a performance that garnered her a Tony Award in 1966. Rabb directed her one last time as Natasha in War and Peace in 1967, the same year they agreed to divorce. A little while later, Harris married the American writer John Ehle. They settled in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where their daughter, Jennifer, was born in 1969. Jennifer Ehle followed in her mother's footsteps by becoming a noted film, television and Broadway actress. Ehle and Harris played the young and elderly incarnations, respectively, of the same character in István Szabó's movie Sunshine, about a Hungarian-Jewish family. In 2007, she received the North Carolina Award for fine arts. Her husband, John Ehle, won the same award in 1972 for literature.[4]


  • Academy Award Nomination, Tom & Viv.
  • Theatre World award, The Climate of Eden, 1953.
  • Tony award, best actress in a play, The Lion in Winter, 1966.
  • Drama Desk award, outstanding actress in a play, Old Times, 1972.
  • Drama Desk award, outstanding actress in a play, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Merchant of Venice, 1973.
  • Drama Desk award, outstanding actress in a play, The Royal Family, 1976.
  • Drama Desk award, best actress in a play, Pack of Lies, 1985.
  • Emmy Award, outstanding lead actress in a limited series, 1976, Notorious Woman (Masterpiece Theatre, PBS).
  • nomination for the Emmy Award, outstanding lead actress in a limited series, 1978, Holocaust (NBC).
  • Golden Globe Award, best television actress—drama, 1979, Holocaust (1978, NBC).
  • Golden Satellite Award, best performance by an actress in a supporting role, drama, Sunshine, 2001 (shared with her daughter, Jennifer Ehle).
  • NBR Award, National Board of Review, best supporting actress, 1994, Tom & Viv.
  • Obie award, performance, All Over, 2002.

Many other nominations for theatre, film and television awards.




  • The Royal Family [Oct 8 - Dec 13, 2009] - Fanny Cavendish [Broadway-Revival]
  • Oscar and the Lady in Pink [Jan 15 - Feb 10, 2008] - George Street Playhouse
  • Oscar and the Lady in Pink [Sep, 2007]- Solo performance Old Globe Theatre, San Diego]
  • Waiting in the Wings [Dec 16, 1999 - May 28, 2000] - May Davenport [Broadway-Original Play]
  • A Delicate Balance [Apr 21, 1996 - Sep 29, 1996] - Agnes [Broadway-Revival]
  • An Inspector Calls [Apr 27, 1994 - May 28, 1995] - Sybil Birling [Broadway-Rivival]
  • Lost in Yonkers [Feb 21, 1991 - Jan 3, 1993] - Grandma Kurnitz [Broadway-Original]
  • Hay Fever [Dec 12, 1985 - Mar 29, 1986]- Judith Bliss [Broadway-Revival]
  • Pack of Lies [Feb 11, 1985 - May 25, 1985] - Barbara Jackson[Broadway-Original]
  • Heartbreak House [Dec 7, 1983 - Feb 5, 1984] - Hesione Hushabye [Broadway- Revival]
  • The Royal Family [Dec 30, 1975 - Jul 18, 1976] - Julie Cavendish [Broadway-Revival]
  • A Streetcar Named Desire [Apr 26, 1973 - Jul 29, 1973] - Blanche Du Bois [Broadway-Revival]
  • The Merchant of Venice [Mar 1, 1973 - Apr 7, 1973] - Portia [Broadway-Revival]
  • Old Times [Nov 16, 1971 - Feb 26, 1972] - Anna [Broadway-Original]
  • War and Peace [Mar 21, 1967 - Jun 17, 1967] - Natasha [Broadway-Original]
  • You Can't Take It With You [Feb 10, 1967 - Feb 1967]- Alice Sycamore [Broadway-Revival]
  • The Wild Duck [Jan 11, 1967 - Jun 17, 1967] - Gina (alternate)[Broadway-Revival]
  • We, Comrades Three [Dec 20, 1966 - Dec 1966] - Young Woman (Alternate) [Broadway-Original]
  • Right You Are If You Think You Are [Nov 22, 1966 - Dec 1966] - Signora Ponza (Alternate) [Broadway-Revival]
  • The School for Scandal [Nov 21, 1966 - Jan 1967] - Lady Teazle, Epilogue [Broadway-Revival]
  • The Lion in Winter [Mar 3, 1966 - May 21, 1966] - Eleanor [Broadway-Original]
  • You Can't Take It With You [Nov 23, 1965 - Jun 18, 1966] - Alice Sycamore[Broadway-Revival]
  • Uncle Vanya 1963, Chichester Festival Theatre
  • The Tumbler [Feb 24, 1960 - Feb 27, 1960] - Lennie [Broadway-Original]
  • The Disenchanted [Dec 3, 1958 - May 16, 1959]- Jere Halliday [Broadway-Original]
  • Interlock [Feb 6, 1958 - Feb 8, 1958] - Hilde [Broadway- Original]
  • Troilus and Cressida [Dec 26, 1956 - Jan 12, 1957]- Cressida [Broadway-Revival]
  • The Climate of Eden [Nov 13, 1952 - Nov 22, 1952 - Mabel [Broadway-Original]



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