For about six months of my life, in the mid-1990s, I lived in a Houston suburb. I was taking a semester off from college and working a temp job to save up some money. It was here I had the pleasure of meeting a nice, god-loving black woman named Barbara Harris. She was what I consider a true Christian. She was genuinely kind and had no judgments for those of us who were less – shall we say – pious. After I moved back to NYC, she wrote me a couple times (I can only assume I wrote her back), but then I didn’t hear from her again.
Soon after our acquaintance, I began seeing her name in movie credits, mostly as ADR Voice Casting. When I saw “Barbara Harris” scroll by, I simultaneously thought: I hope my Barbara is doing well, I should write her, wouldn’t that be funny if it were the same person, boy that Barbara Harris works on like every movie! Seriously, it seemed like at least 2/3 of the movies I saw had Ms. Harris is the credits, probably more. I saw her name so much, it became a point to me to look at the ADR credit in every movie I saw. For years I’ve been meaning to look her up on IMDb. For one, to convince myself that my Barbara and the Hollywood Barbara are not the same person, and two, to see just how many movies she’s worked on.
Last night I forced myself to watch Hearts in Atlantis. It’s one of only two books by Stephen King I’ve read, and I had really liked it. When I heard that they were making a film out of the book, I immediately picked out what actor should play Ted Brautigan, and it wasn’t Anthony Hopkins. I’ve never been able to figure out his name, but there was an actor on an episode of “The X-Files” that really captured the essence of Ted, I thought, and I really wished for him to get the role. But he’s a no-name actor (almost literally) and I knew in my heart of hearts it would never happen. (The movie wasn’t that great, by the way.)
7/15/08: Seems he’s not a no-name actor after all. He’s just been in things I didn’t watch. As it turns out, he’s John Finn and he’s on the show “Cold Case” which I’ve recently been catching in syndication on Saturday nights. His character on “The X-Files” was Michael Kritschgau, and he was in five episodes.
Anyway, Barbara Harris did the ADR on this movie, too, so I finally looked her up. As per IMDb, her voice casting credits total 659 dating back to 1982. Additionally, she’s got numerous “loop group” and “adr voice” credits. She’s also got a couple dozen acting credits, mostly of the “voice” kind, except for a few key roles. They include “Party Guest” in both Fatal Attraction and Some Kind of Wonderful, and as “Black Customer” on an episode of “Hill Street Blues”.
So my Barbara Harris and the Hollywood Barbara Harris are both black women. I’m still left to think, in a tiny corner of my mind – what if they really are the same person?
You should keep digging. Life will keep bringing back to you the people you are supposed to have along in your journey. I never used to believe that kind of thing when I was younger – but now I’ve seen it too much to doubt it.