The creator of Knots Landing, David Jacobs, remembers Julie Harris:
We’re at a Knots Landing cast reading in my office at MGM. The scene is primarily a quarrel between Gary and Val, but when Gary says something sensible, Lili Mae puts in her two cents. “Score one for the blond kid,” she says with contempt, which is what the script says and how it says to say it. But as soon as she hears the words come out of her mouth, Julie Harris hesitates, frowns.
“May I say ‘Score one for you?’” she asks.
“Sure,” I say.
“Because it sounds… I don’t know…”
“Fine, Julie, it’s done,” I say, grandly crossing out the words “the blond kid” in the script and replacing them with “you”.
After the script is read, Julie stops at my desk to further explain her discomfort with the line. And I suggest that there is a possibility, however remote, that this is not the first time an actor on Knots Landing has wanted a line changed.
“In fact,” I say, “It’s better. ‘You’ is better.”
A week or so later, the scene in question comes up in dailies. And when we get to the line, Julie Harris says, “Score one for the blond kid.”
She couldn’t not do it.
She was a professional, and a little old-fashioned, and she thought that was what she was supposed to do—say the lines, make them work.
She was a professional and a fine artist, and she was also charming and a wonderful story-teller and really, really adorable. I think I had a crush on her. I think I always will.