FILM PRODUCER JACK H. HARRIS HONORED WITH
STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME
Watch Jack H. Harris Walk of Fame star ceremony at the end of this page.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has honored film producer Jack. H. Harris with the 2,517th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. “The Chamber prides itself on selecting people who are innovators of the film world. Mr. Harris’ film “The Blob,” is one great example of the creativity that Hollywood puts forth to the world,” stated Leron Gubler, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President and CEO. “We are thrilled to honor Mr. Harris with a star next to fellow film innovators Dennis Muren and Rick Baker.”
Emcee Leron Gubler, President & CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and guest speakers Larry Cohen and Brian Witten helped Harris unveil the 2,517th star in the category of Motion Pictures at 6764 Hollywood Boulevard in front of The Guinness World Record Museum.
Jack Henry Harris was born in Philadelphia in 1918. His father’s job as a movie theater projectionist and ultimately a booker in a film exchange may have first ignited young Jack’s love of films.
Harris grew up to become a uniquely successful producer-distributor in the film industry and has been involved in nearly every phase of show business for more than 80 years. He has distributed more than 1,000 films in his career.
Jack performed professionally as a child entertainer in the vaudeville theaters. By the time he was nine, he appeared in two silent feature films, capturing hearts in the first as a wide-eyed street urchin grabbing for coins in post World War I Moscow, followed by a performance in “Abie’s Irish Bride.”
Upon graduation from high school, Harris became an usher for a theater circuit, where he earned $10 per week. Within one year, at the tender age of 18, he was promoted to the position of theater manager. In two years’ time, he managed three theaters and his innate showmanship resulted in packed houses, drawing in young viewers who piled in for a bonus event all his own, “Uncle Jack’s Kiddie Show.” Within five years, he presided over 16 theaters.
Harris took a detour from the Hollywood scene to serve in the U.S. army. After 4 ½ years of dedicated service and a distinguished military record, he returned home to Philadelphia, spending the next five years working as a publicity and sales representative for a variety of studios. In 1953, he opened his own sub-distribution office in Philadelphia and later opened two more offices.
In 1954, he acquired the rights to nationally distribute a feature film from the Boy Scouts of America entitled “Jamboree”. This project led him to the eventual production of “The Blob,” a Paramount release which set box office records all over the world. It was in “The Blob” that Harris’ discovery, Steve McQueen, was first brought to the attention of the major studios.
Harris went on to produce a second feature, “4-D Man,” introducing stars Robert Lansing, Lee Meriwether and Patty Duke to audiences in widescreen color and a third, the Cinemascope color adventure-thriller, “Dinosaurus.”
In 1961, Harris started an international distribution company, Jack H. Harris Enterprises. Its premiere release was “Paradisio,” the first nudie movie in 3-D, which became an outstanding box office smash.
Displaying his usual visionary acumen, Harris went on to work on “My Secret Life,” followed by two Jack Nicholson-starring westerns, “The Shooting” and “Ride in the Worldwind.” Later Harris and son Anthony produced “Beware of The Blob” directed by Larry Hagman and starring Robert Walker Jr., Godfrey Cambridge, Carol Lynley and Shelley Berman. This mighty sequel to Jack H. Harris’ first production went into worldwide release.
Additional films on the Harris release schedule included: “Schlock,” “Season of the Witch,” “Bone,” “Teenager,” “Dark Star,” “Ape,” “The Eyes of Laura Mars” “Astro Zombies” and “Star Slammer.”
Harris is still going strong today in both production and distribution, always in step with the latest innovations and trends. In 1991, Harris and his wife writer/producer Judith Parker Harris teamed on the production of “Blobermouth.” This zany comedy utilized the actual 1958 “The Blob” film, enhanced by additional special effects and music, and dubbed with all-new comic dialogue by the famed improv group, Kent Skov’s L.A. Connection.
Currently in development, Harris and his wife are in collaboration with producers, Brian Witten and Richard Saperstein on another remake of the ever popular classic “The Blob.”
All of the Harris titles were transferred to Worldwide Entertainment Corporation in 1974. There’s always something fresh to look forward to from the creative mind of Jack H. Harris. Original productions are also in discussion, including a possible stage musical of “The Blob.” New young producers, directors and screenwriters are continually clamoring to do remakes of “Dinosaurus,” “4-D Man,” and other films in Harris’ library.
ABOUT THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME www.WalkOfFame.com
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an internationally-recognized Hollywood icon. With approximately 24 star ceremonies annually broadcast around the world, the constant reinforcement provided to the public has made the Walk of Fame a top visitor attraction. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce continues to add stars on the Walk of Fame as the representative of the City of Los Angeles. The Walk of Fame is a tribute to all of those who worked diligently to develop the concept and to maintain this world-class tourist attraction. The Walk of Fame is open to the public. No paid admission or assigned seating at star ceremonies.It is understood that the cost of installing a star on the Walk of Fame upon approval is $30,000 and the sponsor of the nominee accepts the responsibility for arranging for payment to the Hollywood Historic Trust, a 501(c)3 charitable foundation. The funds are used to pay for the creation/installation of the star and ceremony, as well as maintenance of the Walk of Fame.
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