Julie Harris, the multi-Tony award winning Broadway actress, died on Saturday of congestive heart failure at her West Chatham, Mass., home. She was 87.

Harris suffered her first stroke in 2001 during her run in a production of Claudia Allen’s Fossils in Chicago. She suffered a second stroke in 2010, according to Harris family friend and fellow actress Francesca James, who confirmed her death.

During her illustrious career upon the stage, Harris proved herself a versatile thespian with her take on a number of interesting roles. She played the sentient Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst and the more outrageous character of Sally Bowles in I Am a Camera She also appeared in The Member of the Wedding, The Lark, Forty Carats and The Last of Mrs. Lincoln.

After winning five Tony awards during her heyday, she won a sixth in 2002 for lifetime achievement. In 2005, she received Kennedy Center honors – only one of five to do so.


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Julie Harris with James Dean in 'East of Eden'

Off the stage and on the small screen, Harris, starred as Lilimae Clements on prime-time soap opera Knots Landing. She also had roles on the short-lived Thicker Than Water and The Family Holvak and made-for-TV movies Little Moon of Alban and Victoria Regina. On the big screen, she appeared in East of Eden opposite James Dean, as well as Requiem for a Heavyweight, The Haunting and Reflections in a Golden Eye.

Harris is survived by a son, Peter Gurian, from her second marriage to stage manager Manning Gurian.

– Chelsea Regan

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