Born: June 1, 1977
Birthplace: Plainview, New York, U.S.
Danielle Andrea Harris (born June 1, 1977) is an American actress, voice actress, and film director. She is known as a "scream queen" for her roles in multiple horror films, including four entries in the Halloween franchise: Halloween 4 and 5, as Jamie Lloyd (1988-89); and the Halloween remake and its sequel, as Annie Brackett (2007-09). Other such roles include Tosh in Urban Legend (1998), Belle in Stake Land (2010), and Marybeth Dunston in the Hatchet series (2010-17). In 2012, she was inducted into the Fangoria Hall of Fame.
Harris began her career as a child actress, with various appearances on television and prominent roles in films such as Marked for Death (1990), Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991), The Last Boy Scout (1991), Free Willy (1993), and Daylight (1996). She is also known for her voice work, which includes playing Debbie Thornberry for the entire run of the Nickelodeon series The Wild Thornberrys (1998-2004), and in the related films The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002) and Rugrats Go Wild (2003). In recent years, she has worked mainly in independent films.
In 2013, Harris made her feature directorial debut with the horror film Among Friends, after previously directing a segment from the anthology film Prank (2008) and a Stake Land companion short film (2010).Harris was born in Plainview, New York and was raised by her mother Fran, along with her sister Ashley. Harris is Jewish. While living in Florida during elementary school, Harris won a beauty contest, winning a trip to New York City for ten days. While there, she was offered various modeling jobs, but turned them down because they were all far from her home. Her mother was eventually transferred back to New York due to her job and Harris began work as a model. She also began appearing in television commercials.
In 1985, at age seven, Harris was cast in the role of Samantha "Sammi" Garretson in the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, and she stayed on the program for three years. Her character was considered a "miracle child", extracted as an embryo from the womb of her deceased mother and implanted in a family friend, whom her father later married. In 1987, Harris made an appearance in the series Spenser: For Hire, portraying a girl named Tara.
Following her early television work, Harris successfully auditioned for the role of Jamie Lloyd from the fourth edition of the Halloween franchise, beating out several other young actresses, Melissa Joan Hart among them. Harris celebrated her eleventh birthday on set. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers was released in October 1988 to critical and commercial success. It went on to gross over $17 million worldwide, $6,831,250 in its opening weekend alone. On doing this type of film at such a young age, Harris stated:
It was fun for me. I knew we were making a movie and I knew that it was make believe. I was more worried about being a good, little actress and being able to cry and scream really good. I think everybody made such an amazing effort to make sure that I knew that it wasn't real. In between takes we would joke around and it was just fun. It didn't really bother me until I got to be older.
Harris returned the following year for the sequel, titled Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, which was not as successful as its predecessor. Harris portrayed Jamie Lloyd once again, but her character was mute for the first half of Halloween 5 owing to events in the previous film.
In 1990, Harris appeared in her third film, Marked for Death, as protagonist John Hatcher (Steven Seagal)'s niece Tracey. The action film had a $12 million budget and earned $43 million domestically and $57 million worldwide. It has a 22% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and Entertainment Weekly gave it a letter grade of "C". 1991 saw Harris partake in several film and television projects, including the made-for-television films Don't Touch My Daughter, as a young girl who is kidnapped and molested, and The Killing Mind, where she portrayed main character Isobel as a child. Later that year, Harris made an appearance on the sketch-oriented show In Living Color.
Harris' next major role was in the 1991 comedy film Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, as Melissa Crandell, with the story revolving around five siblings whose mother goes to Australia for two months, only to have her children's babysitter die. The young protagonists choose not to tell their mother and attempt to live on their own. The film has a 31% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes. Harris had a guest role in the 1991 series Eerie, Indiana, portraying a character who receives a heart transplant then begins to act like the heart's original owner. She also guest starred in an episode of Growing Pains, as Susie Maxwell. Harris had the role of Darian Hallenbeck in the 1991 action film The Last Boy Scout, alongside Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans. The film grossed $7,923,669 in its opening weekend, and the total gross was $59,509,925. Reviews were mixed, and some critics cited the Christmastime release for such a violent film as a reason for its somewhat underwhelming box office.
1992 saw Harris participate in the pilot for the potential CBS series 1775, although it was not picked up. Between 1992 and 1993, Harris had the recurring role of Molly Tilden on the sitcom Roseanne, then joined Roseanne Barr again in 1993 for the made-for-television film The Woman Who Loved Elvis, this time as daughter Priscilla. She appeared in an episode of Jack's Place the same year, portraying a teenage runaway. Also in 1993, Harris portrayed Gwenie in the film Free Willy, which had a US gross of $7,868,829 in its opening weekend and went on to make $77,698,625 in the US and $153,698,625 worldwide. In 1994, she appeared on the drama series The Commish, playing the role of Sheri Fisher for one episode. The same year, Harris portrayed the main character's daughter Jessica in the television film Roseanne: An Unauthorized Biography, based upon her former co-star Roseanne Barr. She then guest starred in the sitcom Boy Meets World, as Theresa "T.K." Keiner.
In 1995, Harris learned that producers of then-upcoming Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers were looking for an actress over the age of 18 to play the role of Jamie Lloyd. Only 17 at the time, Harris got emancipated in order to participate, but was dissatisfied with the fate of the character in the script and the low salary offered. She abstained from reprising her role and was replaced by J. C. Brandy, although she can still be seen in The Producer's Cut of the film, which replays Halloween 5's ending. Harris has since admitted to being glad she did not rejoin the series at this point, believing that this allowed her to make her later return in the 2007 remake of the original Halloween.
In 1996, Harris shared two characters with Katherine Heigl for the made-for-television film Wish Upon a Star: Harris played Hayley Wheaton, a nerdy girl who switches bodies with her older, more popular sister Alexia (Heigl). Also in 1996, Harris starred in the films Shattered Image and Back to Back, and, the same year, she had the role of young survivor Ashley Crighton in Daylight, the disaster film toplined by Sylvester Stallone. While Daylight has a 26% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed $33 million in the United States, it took in over $126 million overseas, resulting in gross earnings of $159,212,469 worldwide. In 1997, Harris appeared in two episodes of the medical drama ER as Laura Quentin. In 1998, Harris had the lead role of Lulu in the film Dizzyland, where she portrayed a sexually abused teenager, and also appeared in an episode of Diagnosis: Murder. She then appeared in the popular slasher Urban Legend, her first horror film since her early Halloween credits. She portrayed Tosh, a goth girl who is murdered while her roommate Natalie (Alicia Witt) is resting on the other side of the room.
Beginning in 1998, Harris was among the main cast of Nickelodeon's animated children's series The Wild Thornberrys, chosen to voice Debbie Thornberry, the sister of a girl who can talk to animals. The protagonist, Eliza, travels the world with her family and uses her special ability to help the animals. The series lasted for five seasons, with a total of 92 episodes. It spawned several animated films early in the next decade, with its series finale airing in 2004. Harris would continue to make film and television appearances while doing The Wild Thornberrys. She portrayed a teenage witch named Aviva in a 1998 episode of Charmed, starred in the 1999 film Goosed as protagonist Charlene in her younger years, and appeared as Justine in the television film Hard Time: Hostage Hotel.
Harris had a supporting role in the crime and comedy film Poor White Trash in 2000, and went on to star in the 2001 comedy Killer Bud. Between 2000 and 2002, Harris was a cast member of the series That's Life. Her character, Plum Wilkinson, featured in all but eight episodes and was involved in a romantic relationship with Kevin Dillon. Her animated series The Wild Thornberrys had spin-off movies in the early 2000s: the television film The Origin of Donnie from 2001 was followed by the 2002 theatrical release of The Wild Thornberrys Movie, which grossed $40,108,697 in the US, and a further film, Rugrats Go Wild, dealt with the Thornberrys meeting the characters from the popular series Rugrats. Released in 2003, it opened at #4 at the box office and grossed $39 million in the US, about the same as the Thornberrys Movie. Harris also appeared in an episode of The West Wing, had a supporting role as Leila in the 2003 television film The Partners and was in the theatrically released films Debating Robert Lee and Em & Me (both 2004). From 2004 to 2005, she was a main cast member of the computer-animated sitcom Father of the Pride, appearing in all 14 episodes.
In January 2007, it was announced that Harris had been cast as Annie Brackett in the remake of horror landmark Halloween. This marked Harris' first participation in the Halloween franchise since The Revenge of Michael Myers eighteen years prior. The remake, also called Halloween and directed by Rob Zombie, had Scout Taylor-Compton and Malcolm McDowell in main roles. Harris has revealed that Zombie wanted no one from previous Halloweens in the film, but, once she auditioned, he changed his mind. The film, which cost $15 million to make, went on to gross $80,253,908 worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing film in the Halloween franchise in unadjusted U.S. dollars. Unlike in the original version, Annie Brackett survives, due to Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) cruelly using torture instead of killing her quickly. Annie meets her stalker in a short skirt, left shirtless, which marked Harris' first nude appearance. Harris admits that she went without covering her chest while the cameras were not rolling, to best display Annie's vulnerability when facing the monster. On encountering Michael Myers once again and at the same time doing her first nude scene, she also commented:
I had a harder time emotionally with Rob Zombie's Halloween and H2 than I did when I was a kid. When I was a kid, it was totally fun and I didn't understand when I did Rob's Halloween, why it was so hard for me to shake it off. I'm like, "I'm an actress! Why am I getting a feeling like I want to cry? This is weird! I did enough crying when I was there . I don't know why I'm still feeling this way". I think it was because it was the first time I was ever physically touched by him. As a little girl, as Jamie, he never got me, ever. Now as an adult, I don't have my clothes on, doing scenes I've never done before as an actor, and I'm actually being attacked. Even though I should know the guy by now, it's still a weird thing that happens with your psyche I think.
After that, Harris began to appear in more horror productions and fantastic films. The same year, she starred in the also Halloween-themed Left for Dead. For Fearnet, she hosted Route 666: America's Scariest Home Haunts. 2009 saw her in a leading role in Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet, as Felicia Freeze in the comedic superhero film Super Capers and alongside Robert Patrick in The Black Waters of Echo's Pond. Fear Clinic, a Fearnet original web series featuring Harris as well as Robert Englund and Kane Hodder, made its debut the week of Halloween 2009. Also in 2009, Harris reprised her role of Annie Brackett in the sequel Halloween II. Halloween II was officially released on August 28, 2009 in North America, and was met with negative reception from most critics. On October 30, 2009 it was re-released in North America to coincide with the Halloween holiday weekend. The original opening of the film grossed less than that of the 2007 remake, with approximately $7 million. The film would go on to earn $33,392,973 in North America and $5,925,616 in foreign countries, giving Halloween II a worldwide total of $39,318,589.
--Harris on becoming a scream queen
Harris continued to develop her "scream queen" identity with growing genre credits. She starred alongside Lance Henriksen, Bill Moseley, AFI's Davey Havok, and Battlestar Galactica's Nicki Clyne in the illustrated film series Godkiller. Beginning with 2010's Hatchet II, Harris has taken over the leading role of Marybeth in the Hatchet series, after Tamara Feldman declined to reprise her character. Further genre credits include Jim Mickle's second feature film, the vampire/post-apocalyptic epic Stake Land, Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer, ChromeSkull, Havenhurst and Michael Biehn's The Victim, with leading roles in Shiver, See No Evil 2, Camp Cold Brook and others. Similarly, she provided the voice and basis for an animated Barbara in Night of the Living Dead: Darkest Dawn, director Zebediah de Soto's prequel/re-telling of George A. Romero's 1968 original. Harris' directorial debut is the horror comedy Among Friends, in which she also makes an appearance. The film, which was picked up for distribution by Lionsgate, was released on August 27, 2013.
During the 2010s, Harris has had guest appearances in the television shows Psych (as a murder suspect), Bones (as a murder victim), as herself in Holliston and Naked Vegas, and also returned to voice Debbie Thornberry for a saucy Robot Chicken parody of The Wild Thornberrys.
In an interview in February 2018, Harris discussed an upcoming return to directing, saying "I’m just trying to put my team together and I hope that within the next year I will make it happen."
Harris has been referred to as "horror's reigning scream queen", by the New York Daily News and various other outlets, and was called "the Natalie Portman of Horror" by director Sylvia Soska. She has provided the cover feature for such publications as Girls and Corpses, Gorezone magazine, Invasion magazine and Scream Sirens as well as a subject for the photo-book The Bloody Best Project, a collection of artistic pictures showcasing the celebrities of the horror film industry. Harris was also featured in Five Finger Death Punch's first music video, "The Bleeding", in 2007. In 2011, Harris won the Best Actress Award at the Shockfest Film Festival for her starring role in the short Nice Guys Finish Last. The 2012 Burbank International Film Festival gave Harris its Best Actress Award for her portrayal of literary heroine Wendy Alden in Shiver.
In 2013, Harris became engaged to David Gross. The couple married in a private ceremony in Holualoa, Hawaii on January 4, 2014, and had a son in 2017. Their second son was born in late 2018.
Harris was stalked in 1995 by an obsessed fan, Christopher Small, who wrote letters threatening to kill her. Small was later arrested after bringing a teddy bear and a shotgun to her home. On January 29, 2007, Harris appeared on an episode of the Dr. Phil show, sharing her experience with other equally affected people. The stalker was obsessed with her character of Molly Tilden from the television series Roseanne. In October 2009, Harris was granted a restraining order against Small, who began sending her messages on Twitter.
|1988||Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers||Jamie Lloyd|
|1989||Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers||Jamie Lloyd|
|1990||Marked for Death||Tracey|
|1991||City Slickers||Classroom student|
|1991||Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead||Melissa Crandell|
|1991||The Last Boy Scout||Darian Hallenbeck|
|1995||Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers||Young Jamie Lloyd||Archive footage in The Producer's Cut|
|1996||Back to Back||Chelsea Malone||Also known as American Yakuza 2|
|1998||Urban Legend||Tosh Guaneri|
|1999||Goosed||Young Charlene Silver|
|2000||Poor White Trash||Suzi|
|2001||Killer Bud||Barbie||Also known as Totally Irresponsible|
|2002||The Wild Thornberrys Movie||Debbie Thornberry||Voice role|
|2003||Rugrats Go Wild||Debbie Thornberry||Voice role|
|2004||Debating Robert Lee||Liz Bronner|
|2004||Em & Me||Emily Davenport||Also known as Moondance|
|2004||Life After||Lauren||Short film|
|2005||Race You to the Bottom||Carla|
|2007||Left for Dead||Nancy||Also known as Devil's Night|
|2008||Burying the Ex||Olivia||Short film|
|2009||Super Capers||Felicia Freeze|
|2009||Halloween II||Annie Brackett|
|2009||Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet||Alissa Giordano|
|2009||The Black Waters of Echo's Pond||Kathy|
|2010||Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer||Maria Sanchez|
|2010||Hatchet II||Marybeth Dunston|
|2010||The Day I Told My Boyfriend||Belle||Stake Land companion short film|
|2010||Willie||Stake Land companion short film; director|
|2010||Underground Entertainment: The Movie||Herself|
|2011||Nice Guys Finish Last||Kori||Short film|
|2011||ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2||Spann|
|2011||The Trouble with the Truth||Jenny|
|2012||Fade Into You||Woman||Short film|
|2012||Shiver||Wendy Alden||Based on Brian Harper's first novel|
|2012||Among Friends||Jamie Lloyd||Uncredited cameo; director|
|2012||Fatal Call||Amy Hannison||Also known as Call Me on Tuesday|
|2013||Hatchet III||Marybeth Dunston|
|2013||Crazy Turks Action||Ruth|
|2013||Hallows' Eve||Nicole Bates|
|2014||Camp Dread||Sheriff Donlyn Eldridge|
|2014||Ghost of Goodnight Lane||Chloe||Also known as The Haunting of Goodnight Lane|
|2014||Scream Queens: Horror Heroines Exposed||Herself||Documentary included in European re-release of Graduation Day|
|2014||See No Evil 2||Amy|
|2015||Night of the Living Dead: Darkest Dawn||Barbara||Also known as Night of the Living Dead: Origins; voice role|
|2017||Victor Crowley||Marybeth Dunston|
|2018||To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story||Herself||Documentary|
|2018||Camp Cold Brook||Angela|
|2018||Come, Said the Night||Ranger Stella Woodhouse|
|1985-1987||One Life to Live||Samantha "Sammi" Garretson||First acting role|
|1987||Spenser: For Hire||Tara||Episode: "Thanksgiving"|
|1991||In Living Color||Former drug addict||Episode: "The Jackson Bunch"|
|1991||Eerie, Indiana||Melanie Monroe||Episode: "Heart on a Chain"|
|1991||Growing Pains||Susie Maxwell||Episode: "The Big Fix"|
|1991||Don't Touch My Daughter||Dana Hemmings||Television film; also known as Nightmare|
|1991||The Killing Mind||Young Isobel Neiman||Television film|
|1992-1993||Roseanne||Molly Tilden||7 episodes|
|1993||Jack's Place||Jennifer||Episode: "True Love Ways"|
|1993||The Woman Who Loved Elvis||Priscilla "Cilla" Jackson||Television film; based on Laura Kalpakian's novel Graced Land|
|1994||The Commish||Sheri Fisher||Episode: "Romeo and Juliet"|
|1994||Boy Meets World||Theresa "T.K." Keiner||Episode: "Sister Theresa"|
|1994||Roseanne: An Unauthorized Biography||Jessica Pentland||Television film|
|1996||Wish Upon a Star||Hayley Wheaton/Alexia Wheaton||Television film|
|1997||High Incident||Tiffany||Episode: "Camino High"|
|1997||ER||Laura Quentin||Episodes: "Something New", "Friendly Fire"|
|1997, 1998||Brooklyn South||Willow Mortner||Episodes: "Clown Without Pity", "Tears on My Willow"|
|1998||Diagnosis: Murder||Noelle Andrew||Episode: "An Education in Murder"|
|1998||Charmed||Aviva||Episode: "The Fourth Sister"|
|1998-2004||The Wild Thornberrys||Debbie Thornberry||92 episodes; voice role|
|1999||Hostage Hotel||Justine Sinclair||Television film|
|2000-2002||That's Life||Plum Wilkinson||28 episodes|
|2001||The Wild Thornberrys: The Origin of Donnie||Debbie Thornberry||Television film; voice role|
|2002||The West Wing||Kiki||Episode: "20 Hours in America"|
|2003||The Partners||Leila||Television film|
|2004-2005||Father of the Pride||Sierra||14 episodes; voice role|
|2005||Cold Case||Gina Carroll||Episode: "Yo, Adrian"|
|2007||Route 666: America's Scariest Home Haunts||Herself/host||31-episode web series|
|2009||Fear Clinic||Susan||5-episode web series|
|2010||Psych||Tonya||Episode: "Feet, Don't Kill Me Now"|
|2011||Paranormal Challenge||Herself/guest judge||Episode: "USS Hornet"|
|2012||Nuclear Family||Zoe||20-episode web series|
|2012, 2013||Holliston||Herself||Episodes: "Weekend of Horrors", "Halloween Girl"|
|2013||Bones||Rebecca "Becca" Pearce||Episode: "The Maiden in the Mushrooms"|
|2013||Naked Vegas||Herself||Episode: "Paint the Town, Red"|
|2013||Halloween Wars||Herself/guest judge||Episode: "Zombie Prom"|
|2013||Twisted Tales||Susan||Episode: "To Hell with You"|
|2015||Robot Chicken||Debbie Thornberry||Episode: "Zeb and Kevin Erotic Hot Tub Canvas"; voice role|
|2000||The Wild Thornberrys: Animal Adventures||Debbie Thornberry|
|2000||The Wild Thornberrys: Rambler||Debbie Thornberry||Windows version only|
|2003||Rugrats Go Wild||Debbie Thornberry||Windows version only|
|2007||"The Bleeding"||Ivan's girlfriend||Five Finger Death Punch|