Jessica Harper '67 (2002)

Jessica Harper's contributions as an artist have reached people of all ages and through several art forms: as an actress, as a writer and performer of award-winning children's music, and as author of a number of award-winning children's books. Jessica is a 1967 graduate of North Shore Country Day School and attended Sarah Lawrence College.

Jessica's contribution as an artist has been far-reaching and impressive. She is viewed as one of today's most exciting children's artists who delights the child and adult alike. Her career began in film with more than ten features, including co-starring roles in Stardust Memories with Woody Allen, Pennies from Heaven with Steve Martin, My Favorite Year with Peter O'Toole and most recently Minority Report with Tom Cruise.

Jessica Harper's contributions as an artist have reached people of all ages and through several art forms: as an actress, as a writer and performer of award-winning children's music, and as author of a number of award-winning children's books. Jessica is a 1967 graduate of North Shore Country Day School and attended Sarah Lawrence College.

Jessica's contribution as an artist has been far-reaching and impressive. She is viewed as one of today's most exciting children's artists who delights the child and adult alike. Her career began in film with more than ten features, including co-starring roles in Stardust Memories with Woody Allen, Pennies from Heaven with Steve Martin, My Favorite Year with Peter O'Toole and most recently Minority Report with Tom Cruise.

She has also experienced tremendous success on television as represented by her Cable Ace Award for the Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in It's Garry Shandling's Show. She has guest-starred in a variety of television series, and her theatrical credits are extensive including roles in various Broadway and off-Broadway productions including Hair, Dr. Selavy's Magic Theatre and National Anthems with Al Pacino. Other artists, including Bette Midler, have also recorded Jessica's songs.

After 25 years in front of the camera, she made her way back to music, which had been a part of her early career, where she has produced six award-winning CDs for children. Critics across the nation have celebrated her music. Her debut album in 1994, A Wonderful Life, won both a Parent's Choice Gold Award and a National Association of Parenting Publications Silver Award and was featured in numerous magazines and newspapers including Entertainment Weekly, Parenting, Family Fun, Billboard and TV Guide's Parent's Guide. Since 1994, Jessica has produced five additional albums, each winning Parent's Choice and National Association of Parents Publications awards as well as the N.A.I.R.D. INDIE Award for Best Children's Album of the Year. She has received rave reviews including from the L.A. Times "children's music doesn't get better than this." TV Guide Parents' Guide stated, "her lyrics amaze and delight...they rank with the best of contemporary children's poetry."

Jessica's reach to children expanded beyond the world of music beginning with her first children's book in 1999, I Forgot My Shoes. She has continued in collaboration with her sister, Lindsay Harper DuPont '71 the illustrator for these books, with three additional books and two more soon to-be-published books. She has received high praise for these children's books. Kirkus Reviews says, "with keen insight and a comic touch, Harper spearheads the elemental truth of parenting; amid the squabbles and strife is the steadfast love a parent and child share."

Jessica has demonstrated a lifetime commitment and dedication to her profession as an actress, songwriter, vocalist and children's author and is recognized for this with the Francis R. Stanton Alumni Recognition.

Presented October 4, 2002
Christopher Avery '87, President Alumni Board
The North Shore Country Day School
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North Shore Country Day School is a junior kindergarten through 12th grade, college-preparatory school founded in Winnetka, Illinois in 1919.  With rigorous academic pursuit as the cornerstone, North Shore provides many opportunities for all students to excel – in the classroom and the laboratory, on the stage and the playing field, in their communities and beyond.

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