East of Eden star Julie Harris dies

Aug 25, 2013 at 11:53 a.m. ET

Tony winner and Oscar nominee Julie Harris has died. As a veteran of stage and screen, she starred opposite Ethel Waters, Laurence Harvey and James Dean.

Julie Harris

Alongside Natalie Wood and Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Harris was one of the few actresses to work with James Dean. The duo heated up the screen in 1955's East of Eden, a classic drama that exposes a pristine family's dirty secrets.

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Saturday it was confirmed that Harris had passed away at the age of 87. According to the Los Angeles Times, family friend Francesca James cited the cause of death as congestive heart failure. Harris was born in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, but died at home in West Chatham, Massachusetts.

Over the course of her career, Harris accumulated nearly 100 screen credits. In addition to East of Eden, she starred in 1952's The Member of the Wedding and 1955's I Am a Camera. Most of her earlier films were based on stage plays, which she also performed in.

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Harris' heart was always in the theater. She won a record five Tony Awards for best actress in a play, plus an additional lifetime achievement award in 2002.

She also made a name for herself on television. Most of us know her as Lilimae Clements on the prime-time soap Knots Landing. She appeared on the series for seven seasons, starting in 1980.

No matter where you saw her, Harris left an impression. Her last on-screen credit was 2009's The Lightkeepers. Harris enjoyed acting in all mediums, but she thrived onstage.

"The theater has been my church," she once said. "I don't hesitate to say that I found God in the theater."

What was your favorite performance from Harris?

Photo credit: WENN