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      Actor, Recording Artist, Broadway Performer
      Sam Harris' career has spanned more than two decades in the public eye and run the gamut from singer/songwriter to stage, film, television actor to writer, producer, director. Born in Oklahoma, Sam performed in his first play when he was five and was known to jump on any makeshift stage, be i... read more
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      Sam Harris' career has spanned more than two decades in the
      public eye and run the gamut from singer/songwriter to stage, film,
      television actor to writer, producer, director. Born in Oklahoma, Sam
      performed in his first play when he was five and was known to jump on
      any makeshift stage, be it a wooden crate or a dining room table, and
      belt out a tune.

      He left home at the age of 15 to pursue his career, learning the ropes
      through regional and repertory theatre. He finished high school
      through correspondence courses and then attended UCLA in Los Angeles,
      where he co-wrote (with Bruce H. Newberg) and starred in Hurry! Hurry!
      Hollywood!, the first original musical in which the theatre and music
      departments collaborated. He also received the Frank Sinatra Pop
      Singing Award where the legendary Chairman of the Board said to an
      enthusiastic audience, "This kid's got `it'! Sam, don't get any better
      till I get out of the business." It was the validation he needed to
      leave school for the real world.

      For the next two years, Sam played "every dump and dive in LA," for a
      measly $25 a set. From these shows emerged his first solo stint, Out
      of Control, which opened with Sam singing "God Bless the Child" in a
      straight jacket. The show garnered a kind of cult following that Los
      Angeles Magazine called "Harrisites," and caught the attention of
      talent scouts from an upcoming new television talent show. In an
      oversized tailcoat and Converse sneakers, Sam became a household name
      on Star Search in its premiere season. 25 million viewers tuned in
      week after week to follow him as he created his own pop, gospel and
      theatre brand of emotionally charged performances, finally winning the
      grand prize and the hearts of America.

      His phenomenal "overnight" rise catapulted him into recording
      industry, where he sold over a million copies of both Sam Harris and
      Sam-I-Am, which he also produced. Concert tours, including a legendary
      performance at Carnegie Hall, replaced his Mac-n-Cheese days and the
      little white kid with the soulful voice was suddenly in every magazine
      and on every talk show. Worldwide, he headlined at the San Remo
      Festival, the Montreaux Festival, and played London to standing

      Simultaneously, he created and wrote the TBS sitcom, Down to Earth
      with college cohort Bruce H. Newberg, which ran for 4 years. At the
      request of Elizabeth Taylor, Sam became one of the first celebrities
      to lead the fight against AIDS. It would mark the beginning of his
      work as an activists for human rights, for which he has performed in
      countless benefits. (Sam has personally collected funds in every major
      theatre in the country for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. He has
      also worked to raise funds and awareness for a number of children's
      health organizations and he continues to fight for equal rights and
      campaign for fair-minded politicians daily.)

      After touring in concert for several years, Sam began itching for the
      theatre again, and he starred in productions of Cabaret, Joseph and
      the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and the self-penned shows Different
      Hats and, most notably, Hard Copy, in which he portrayed six different
      characters frequenting an all night news stand. The show was a huge
      success, garnering myriad awards, and Sam's writing and acting skills
      were now coming to the fore front.

      He continued to record, this time reflecting his love of classics and
      Broadway songs on the critically acclaimed cds, Standard Time and
      Different Stages, both produced, arranged and conducted by the
      legendary Peter Matz. This cd was recorded the old fashioned way -
      live with the orchestra - and the result was two records which have
      appeared on numerous "best of" lists and have become classics of the

      Broadway called and Sam moved to New York, where he received a Drama
      Desk nomination for his role in Tommy Tune's Grease. Immediately
      following, he toured for 15 months in the Broadway National tour of
      Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,
      where sales records were broken all over the country. Soon after, Sam
      next starred in Cy Coleman's The Life, for which he received the
      Drama-League Award as well as Tony, Outer Critic's Circle and Drama
      Desk nominations. Soon after, Sam went to work on the development of
      The Jazz Singer, playing the legendary Al Jolson, known as "the
      greatest entertainer in the world." While the Broadway production was
      thwarted, Sam was clearly in a new league when the New York Times
      remarked, "Who else could play this role? Sam Harris is the only
      performer today whose charisma and raw magnetism is absolutely

      Sam returned to his pop roots on the cd, Revival, and performed the
      show of the same name at New York's famed The Bottom Line, further
      displaying his writing, comic and now, political prowess in
      conjunction with an eclectic mix of music, which has now become his
      trademark. Though humor had always been a part of a Sam Harris show,
      comedy/storytelling and social commentary were fast becoming as
      important an aspect as his singing.

      The Best of the Motown Sessions was also released and followed by his
      first holiday recording, On This Night, as well as a double cd of love
      songs, entitled Always, and his second holiday recording,The Best of
      Christmas - Sam Harris Live!

      While he continued to tour nationally, Sam also co-produced the
      television special "Love Letter to New York" and supervised and arranged
      several songs and supervised segments of "Michael Jackson's 30 Year
      Anniversary Special". Sam then moved back to Los Angeles and had barely
      unpacked when he returned to New York in Mel Brook's smash hit The
      Producers on Broadway.

      Throughout his career, Sam has made appearances on numerous television
      shows and specials and in countless live productions, working with the
      legends who influenced him such as Stevie Wonder, Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr.,
      Elton John, Al Green and, most importantly, a long time collaboration
      and friendship with the great Liza Minnelli. He has performed at the
      White House. He has made guest appearances on every talk show. (In the
      80's a very young Sam appeared on shows such as Arsenio Hall, The Joan
      Rivers Show, Merv Griffin, Geraldo, American Bandstand, Soul Train,
      etc.) As the "Star Search Poster Boy" image finally began to take a
      back seat to other aspects of his career, he has appeared on numerous
      shows such as The Tonight Show, The Today Show, Rosie, The View,
      Barbara Walters Show, and, in an historic time, performed a stirring
      "You'll Never Walk Alone" on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the week
      following September 11th, 2001.

      Sam's found great triumph in the live show which bared the title he
      can now claim: SAM. Critics shouted unequaled praise, making it the
      single most lauded show of the season. He has toured major cities with
      SAM., accompanied by his long time music director, the brilliantly
      talented Todd Schroeder. Sam also appears with popular symphonies such
      as The Boston Pops. He also participated in Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" Tour and makes guest appearances on television and at numerous, charity, political and social awareness events close to his heart.

      As "Perry Pearl" on the CBS sitcom, "The Class", Sam's chameleonic career took a new
      turn as a series regular on network television. Popular columnist Liz
      Smith wrote, "Sam Harris is the comic breakout of the television

      Soon after, Sam began "vlogging" (video blogging) on and became an internet phenomenon, receiving millions of views, following his life on stage/set and off as well as his opinions, comic social observations and political perspectives. When Sam returned to the studio to record his the cd, "Free," his original material reflected a fearless openness about his life and views, including the single, "Change Is On The Way," which was written and used for the President Obama campaign.

      Another monumental influence of this creative shift was the adoption of Cooper Atticus Harris-Jacobsen, and the subsequent marriage to his long time partner, Danny. The couple have been together for 16 years. The adoption and their marriage was covered by every major news source and Sam became an icon of the modern family and equal rights. With the passing of Proposition 8, Sam was moved to co-write and record "My Reclamation" - which is quickly becoming the anthem for equal marriage rights.

      Sam now maintains a busier life than ever - balancing his roles as father, husband, actor, recording artist, writer and all around entertainer. He recently completed a recurring role on "Rules of Engagement," an appearance on "Tyra" about marriage rights, created an original role in the musical "The First Wives Club," and is currently developing a television series and the now, re-ignited musical in which he stars as the darkly complex and charismatic Al Jolson, while he continues to perform in concert all over the country.

      Categories: Music | Pop

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