In spite of her recent passing in August, Julie Harris DRA ’47’s legacy will live on at the Yale School of Drama.
The Julie Harris Scholarship was established at a memorial service for the legendary actress on Dec. 3, when it was announced by Harris’s friend and colleague Joan van Ark DRA ’64 at Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theater. YSD Director of Development and Alumni Affairs Deborah Berman said the she anticipates that the scholarship will support one acting student at the YSD every year starting next academic year, but noted that the YSD faculty and financial aid committee ultimately decide the number of recipients.
During her career, Harris won six Tony Awards, three Emmy Awards and one Grammy Award. But aside from her own achievements, Harris also served as a mentor to many other actors, van Ark said, noting that Harris played an influential role in her own career by recommending her to the YSD decades ago.
“Julie Harris had a profound impact on generations of actors,” van Ark said. “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.”
In cooperation with the YSD, van Ark began fundraising for the scholarship by reaching out to former cast members of the television series “Knots Landing,” which included herself, Harris and actor Alec Baldwin. Van Ark said that Baldwin made the first donation to the scholarship fund through his namesake foundation.
“Knots Landing” ran from 1979 to 1993.