The respected Tony Award-winning actress Julie Harris has been admitted to a Chicago-area hospital with an undisclosed illness, according to Victory Gardens Theatre, which announced she would be unable to continue in the world premiere play, Fossils.
Harris was admitted to Chicago's Grant Hospital on May 26, and was transferred to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, IL, on May 28, where her condition was listed as stable May 30. Harris is recovering, but "until continuing testing is done and more is known, Ms. Harris, her family and representatives prefer that no information on her medical condition be released," according to a statement.
Harris' understudy, Yolanda Lyon Miller, went on for Harris in the role of Carrie for performances of Claudia Allen's Fossils May 26-27 and will continue to do so until a replacement is announced.
A spokesman for the theatre told Playbill On-Line that Harris was uncharacteristically late for her call the afternoon of May 26. Staff members went to her nearby apartment and found her "semiconscious."
Harris was born in Grosse Pointe, MI, and studied at the Yale School of Drama. She appeared in such Broadway plays as The Member of the Wedding, I Am a Camera, The Lark and is best known, perhaps, for her signature role of poet Emily Dickenson, in the popular touring play, The Belle of Amherst. Classic roles and new parts in regional and stock have punctuated her career. Her most recent Broadway appearance was in a revival of The Gin Game, with Charles Durning. She also appeared in TV's "Knots Landing." Harris won an unprecedented five Tony Awards in her career.
— By Kenneth Jones