Lisa Harrow (born 25 August 1943) is an actress, noted for her roles in British theatre, films and television.


 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Harrow was born in Auckland and attended Auckland University. She graduated from RADA in 1968, and joined the BBC Radio's Repertory Company.


Her stage career started at the Royal Shakespeare Company; roles there included Olivia in John Barton's production of Twelfth Night opposite Judi Dench, and Portia in The Merchant of Venice opposite Patrick Stewart. Other leading roles in the UK theatre include Juliet opposite John Hurt's Romeo at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, and Ann Whitfield in Man and Superman opposite Peter O'Toole at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.

Harrow has performed on stage all over America. She took over the central role of Vivian Bearing in the Pulitzer Prize winning play Wit in its long-running off-Broadway production in New York. She was named 2001 Performer of the Year in Pittsburgh for Medea. Other roles include: Raynevskya in The Cherry Orchard at Yale Rep and the Chautauqua Theatre Company, where she also played Kate Keller in All My Sons. She played Creusa in the Washington Shakespeare Theatre Company's 3/10/2009–4/12/2009 production of Euripides's Ion[1]

Television and film[edit]Edit

She is known for playing Nancy Astor, the first woman elected to the Parliament of Great Britain, in the 1982 BBC drama of the same name; it aired in the PBS series Masterpiece Theatre in the United States.

In 1978 she starred in a guest role as a formidable counsel arguing at a Court of Inquiry for the disbandment of CI5 in the second season episode 'The Rack', written by Brian Clemens, creator of the hit ITV series 'The Professionals'.

In 1975 Harrow played Helen Alderson in the film adaptation of James Herriot's book 'All Creatures Great and Small'. She starred alongside Anthony Hopkins and Simon Ward.

Harrow played journalist Kate Reynolds in Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981) and Lizzie Dickinson in Lizzie's Pictures (1987), BBC. She won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance inThe Last Days of Chez Nous. Her last TV performance to date was as Lizzie Kavanagh in the series Kavanagh QC starring John Thaw. She left the series in order to move to America. In 1990 she also starred in ABCTV miniseries "Come In Spinner"

Personal life[edit]Edit

She had a relationship with actor Sam Neill. Their son Tim was born in 1983.

She is now married to whale biologist Roger Payne, and lives in Vermont. Payne is founder and President of Ocean Alliance. He and Scott McVay discovered the long, complex and apparently random sounds produced by malehumpback whales are actually rhythmic, repeated sequences, and therefore, are properly called 'Whale songs'. The couple have created a lecture/performance piece called 'SeaChange: Reversing the Tide'.[2]


Harrow is the author of the environmental handbook What Can I Do?, published in separate editions for AustraliaNew Zealand, the UK and the United States. She has a website to promote the book.[3] The U.S. edition:

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