School of drama

School Notes: David Geffen School of Drama
March/April 2014

James Bundy ’95MFA |

Honoring Julie Harris

The Julie Harris Scholarship has been established by friends of the six-time Tony Award–winning actress and Yale School of Drama alumna in memory of her life and career. The scholarship, which will provide annual support to an actor studying at the School of Drama, was announced by fellow alumna Joan van Ark ’64Dra at a memorial service at Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in December.

In her remarks at the service, Ms. van Ark credited Julie 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 University, for helping to launch her own acting career by recommending her to the School of Drama in the early 1960s. Years later, she played Harris’s daughter on the long-running television series Knots Landing. In the days following Harris’s death this past August, Ms. van Ark was eager to find a way to honor the legacy of her mentor, colleague, 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.”

In cooperation with Yale School of Drama, 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 theater by making their own gift.”

For more information about the Julie Harris Scholarship, please contact Deborah Berman, director of development & alumni affairs, at or (203) 432-2890. Contributions also can be made online at

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