Harriet White Medin

Harriet White Medin (March 14, 1914 – May 20, 2005) was an American actress and dialogue coach who worked in Italian and American films. She appeared in the cult filmsDeath Race 2000 (1975) and The Terminator (1984).

Harriet White Medin
Harriet White

(1914-03-14)March 14, 1914

Died May 20, 2005(2005-05-20) (aged 91)

Occupation Actress, dialogue coach
Years active 1946–1996
Spouse(s) Gastone Medin

. . . Harriet White Medin . . .

Born to Dr. and Mrs. Edward P. White of Winthrop, Massachusetts, Harriet, one of five children graduated from Winthrop High School in 1932 where she appeared in many school plays. She later performed in many amateur theatrical productions in the area. She graduated from The Forsyth Institute where she studied dentistry and worked for five years as a dental assistant where some of her patients included John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy.[1]

Harriet moved to New York City to engage in work as an actress. During World War II she became an entertainer with the United Service Organizations where she toured American military bases in the US and Europe as part of a production of Junior Miss.[2]

Following the war she was one of a group of American actors recruited by Rod E. Geiger to go to Italy to film Paisan for Roberto Rossellini. She remained in Italy to become one of the first American actresses who made Italian films in the postwar era.

Offered film work in Italy, Harriet met her director Roberto Rossellini and Paisans dialogue coach Federico Fellini.

Harriet appeared in several films, acted as a dialogue coach, dubbed films into English and worked as a coach and personal assistant to Gina Lollobrigida.[3]

She met Orson Welles on the set of Prince of Foxes (1949) with Welles hiring her to teach diction to the actress Lea Padovani who Welles wished to play Desdemona in his ongoing production of Othello (released in 1951).[4] Harriet was originally to have played Emilia but the lengthy time of production led to her to drop out.

During this time she met and married her husband Gastone Medin and remained with him until they separated, but not divorced in 1964. In addition to dubbing Italian films in English, Harriet also acted as a dialogue coach and cast such films as Beat the Devil (1954) and The Hills Run Red (1966) as well as acting as a film extra. Harriet’s last film in Italy was John Huston‘s Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967); she accompanied Gina Lollobrigida to America to coach her on The Private Navy of Sgt. O’Farrell (1968).

She stayed in Hollywood with her friend director Andrew Marton and his wife where she guest starred in several American television series and made several films. One was for John Landis (Schlock) who she knew through the Martons. She believed she scored her role in Death Race 2000 when Shelley Winters turned down the role, with Harriet doing an impression of Eleanor Roosevelt.[5]

. . . Harriet White Medin . . .

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. . . Harriet White Medin . . .