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Yale Acting Students To Receive Julie Harris Scholarships

Hartford Courant

Julie Harris loved acting and actors and now that love will manifest itself in the Julie Harris Scholarship that will benefit an acting student at the Yale School of Drama.

A scholarship has been established by friends of the six-time Tony Award winning actress and Yale School of Drama alumna in memory of Harris' life and career. Harris died in August at the age of 86 in her home in Chatham, Mass. on Cape Cod. 

The scholarship, which will provide annual support to an actor studying at the School of Drama, was announced by fellow alumna Joan van Ark at a memorial service at Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Dec 3. James Bundy, dean of the Yale School of Drama, was in the audience for the announcement.

Ms. van Ark credited Harris, a member of the Yale School of Drama Class of 1947 and a 2007 recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Yale, for helping to launch her own acting career by recommending her to the School of Drama in the early 1960s. Harris remained a colleague (she played Harris’s daughter on the prime-time sudser "Knots Landing"), mentor and friend 

“Julie Harris had a profound impact on generations of actors,” said Ms. van Ark. “The Julie Harris Scholarship at Yale School of Drama is a unique way for all of us who loved Julie to pay our gratitude forward by supporting actor training for generations to come.”

Ms. van Ark personally recruited the initial donations to establish the scholarship fund from her Knots Landing cast mates. Alec Baldwin, who played Harris’s son, made the first contribution through The Alec Baldwin Foundation.

 “Alec is the true angel of this project,” continued Ms. van Ark. “His immediate generosity inspired many others of our Knots Landing family to support the scholarship. It’s our hope that others will join us in honoring Julie’s truly extraordinary contributions to the American theatre by making their own gift.”

Information: Deborah Berman, Director of Development & Alumni Affairs, at or (203) 432-2890. Contributions also can be made online at


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