Who Was Theresa Harris, A Forgotten and Overlooked Star?



Theresa Harris was a television film actress, dancer, and singer from the United States. Harris made her film debut with the song “Daddy Won’t You Please Come Home” in Thunderbolt.


Harris was born on December 31, 1906, to sharecropper parents Isaiah and Mable Harris from Louisiana. When she was 11, her family moved to southern California. She attended the UCLA Conservatory of Music and Zoellner’s Conservatory of Music after graduating from Jefferson High School.


She moved to Hollywood and began her acting career. In the 1930s, she began playing maids to fictional Southern belles, socialites, and female gangsters played by Ginger Rogers, Bette Davis, Sylvia Sidney, and others. Many of Harris’ roles have gone uncredited over the years.


Harris continued to land minor roles as the years passed, but she did not let this hinder her work. Harris also played blues singers, Indian women, prostitutes, and waitresses. She also appeared in the 1932 film “Hold Your Man” as a friend to Jean Harlow. Regardless of role, she remained with Warner Bros for several years.


Harris appeared on a number of radio shows, including Hollywood Hotel. Eddie Rochester Anderson, who played her on-screen boyfriend, was frequently paired with her. Harris married and left the stage in the late 1950s. She died in 1985 of an unknown illness.


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