Lifetime Pass: Harriet Sansom Harris

There are actors who always give a great performance, even if it's in the midst of a terrible show/movie. Helen Mirren springs to mind. There are actors that have genuine talent, but seem to lack the ability or power to pick quality scripts, and seem to be doomed to languish in whatever horrible show/movie they're trapped in. Amanda Seyfried would be a good example of that. But what do you call an actor who always manages to not only be a standout in whatever show/movie she happens to be in at the time, but actively makes the entire enterprise better? You call her Harriet Sansom Harris.

Six Feet Under. The Lost Room. Memento. Frasier. All of these were acclaimed or popular to some degree, and yet all of them got even better when Harriet Sansom Harris appeared on screen. Even Desperate Housewives, which could get patently ridiculous at times, benefited from her stopping by to add her own special brand of crazy.

There are some actors who excel at comedy, and some at drama, but I'm hard-pressed to think of many that are experts at both. And yet Harris handles it effortlessly. She makes dramas more dramatic. She makes comedies funnier. She makes thrillers more thrilling. And let's not forget that she's not limited to screens. She's also a Tony-award-winning stage actress, and oh, how I wish I could see her in a play.

In looking at her IMDb page, it seems she hasn't done much lately, and that is simply unacceptable. Casting agents, get on top of this. I would watch Harriet Sansom Harris play sentient dental plaque. You're telling me she can't do a guest spot on Mad Men or something?


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