(born May 23 1931
) is an American
Academy Award-nominated actress
and author of children's books
Barrie was born as Barbara Ann Berman
in Chicago, Illinois
, of Jewish
heritage, the daughter of Frances Rose (née
Boruszak) and Louis Berman. She was raised in Texas
. Barrie is a widow and the mother of two children, Aaron and Jane. Her late husband, Jay Harnick (d. 2007), was the brother of the musical lyricist Sheldon Harnick
(Fiddler on the Roof
She was treated successfully for rectal cancer and wrote a memoir, Second Act: Life After Colostomy and Other Adventures, about the experience.
Barrie has had a lengthy career on stage and in film and television. She received the award for Prix d'interprétation féminine (best actress - tied with Anne Bancroft
) at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival for her role in "One Potato, Two Potato
," a breakthrough film about an interracial marriage and institutionalized American anti-miscegenation. Her other high-profile roles have been as Susan's (Brooke Shields
) grandmother on the sitcom Suddenly Susan
, and as the title character's Hal Linden
wife on the comedy-drama Barney Miller
. In the mid-2000s, Barrie played a recurring role on the Showtime cable-TV
drama series Dead Like Me
In 1970, Barrie earned a Tony Award nomination for her role in the original Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's musical Company, in which she played "Sarah", the weight-watching, karate-practicing married friend of the lead character, "Robert". Barrie is the author of two critically acclaimed novels for young adults: Lone Star (1989) and Adam Zigzag (1995).
A near-encounter with Barrie is the subject of Christine Lavin's song "The Moment Slipped Away."