Barbara Harris Freaky Friday.JPG

Barbara Harris, star of the original Freaky Friday, dies at 83

Contributed by
Aug 22, 2018

Barbara Harris, the actress known for her role in the original Freaky Friday, has died at the age of 83, according to The Chicago Sun-Times. She passed away early Tuesday morning in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she'd lived for several years. 

Harris was born on July 25, 1935, in Evanston, Illinois. She was active in the Chicago theater scene after high school, and in 1959 co-founded the groundbreaking improv troupe The Second City. 

After finding success on stage, Harris moved on to television, where she landed roles in Naked City and Alfred Hitchcock Presents throughout the 1960s. In 1976 she played Ellen Andrews in Disney's first big-screen take on Freaky Friday. The body-swapping comedy let Harris show off her penchant for comedy with her co-star, an up-and-coming Jodie Foster, who played Ellen's daughter, Annabel. 

That same year, she got the chance to work with Hitchcock again, this time on his last-ever feature film, Family Plot. Her co-star in that film, veteran actor Bruce Dern, took to Twitter today to mourn the loss of Harris, who he called his generation's "true female comic genius and a girl for the ages."

Harris also appeared in Francis Ford Coppola's 1986 time-travel/romance movie Peggy Sue Got Married. She last appeared on screen in the 1997 hitman comedy Grosse Point Blank as Mary Blank, the mother of John Cusack's Martin Q. Blank. 

After leaving Hollywood, Harris relocated to Scottsdale in 2000, where she taught acting for a spell before retiring from the industry completely. Though she was married to Second City co-founder Paul Sills in the late 1950s, she never remarried.

Ms. Harris will be laid to rest alongside her family in Markesan, Wisconsin. She is survived by niece Allison Becker, nephew Reid Galbraith, and cousins Mary Lynn Fisher, Phyllis Spencer, David Knipfel, Jan Otterlei, and Gretchen Lambert.

(Via Chicago Sun-Times)

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