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Ellen Burstyn's 9 Second Emmy-Nominated ' Mrs Harris' Performance

In a recent article in the New York Post, Adam Buckman wrote about the growing controversy surrounding Ellen Burstyn's Emmy nomination for her role in the HBO film, 'Mrs Harris.' I happened to watch the flick this weekend on DVD before reading Buckman's article, and had honestly not realized that Burstyn appeared in the film at all. Which is no wonder, considering her bit part in the film lasts only 9 seconds (turns out it's 14 seconds -- see update below).

Burstyn's Emmy-nominated role in the film (which you can watch below in its entirety) hits at about the 18 minute mark, where she appears as a former lover of Scarsdale Diet doctor Herman Tarnower as part of a series of faux documentary interviews:

If you haven't seen the film, and are imagining that perhaps these two sentences of dialogue are somehow crucial to its story -- think again. Burstyn's character is never mentioned again in the film. Which begs the question: did the Academy nominators actually watch the film before casting their ballots, or did they simply vote for the the recognizable name?

As Lori Radcliff correctly points out in our comments section, I overlooked Burstyn's other appearance in the film, which occurs less than a minute later, upping her total Emmy-nominated screen time to 14 seconds. Here is that second clip: (thanks Lori!)


Brett Colbo

This is the worst case of "Judy Dench"ism that has ever happened.

At least make them complete a full monologue.



It's NOT just 9 seconds, as it happens...I've seen it, and Burstyn's appearance is actually closer to 14 seconds (as noted by the Hollywood Reporter and others), because this website is not including the second scene with Burstyn, which airs just a few seconds later...she appears TWICE. Watch it again...you may need to update this website to show her FULL performance, as it cuts too soon. (Not that I'm defending the validity of her silly nomination, mind you -- but since we ARE all nitpicking to the second, we may as well get it right, right?) Thanks for posting this for all the world to see!!!


I don't know what all the fuss is about. Now that I've seen the clips, I think she's amazing in the role and totally deserves the nomination, 14 seconds be damned.

If only...


Genius! Give this woman an Emmy!


What the hey! That's it? What on earth got the Emmy people to nominate this? It's so silly that it completely undermines all the other nominations because, apparantly, you don't really have to make an effort. Geez, completely rediculous. I hope they're ashamed of themselves...

Stan Beasley

Maybe the Academy nominated Ms. Burstyn for 'Mrs. Harris' because Ms. Bening seemed to be channeling Ms. Burstyn's performance from the 1981 TV movie 'The People vs. Jean Harris'. I had to keep reminding myself throughout 'Mrs. Harris' that I wasn't watching Ms. Burstyn portray Jean Harris again.

Well Hung

I had a sneezing fit and everytime I played the clip I missed it...but it has to be good or else they would not have nomiated her tho'

However if she wins I would love to hear her speech, it might last longer than her scene...


I'm speechless. and not regarding her "preformance"

Sandvik Kunt

Well she was robbed of that oscar for requiem so this is badass...


Ellen Burstyn was indeed robbed by that overexposed troll called Julia Roberts a few years ago, so for some odd reason Ellen's nomination here doesn't upset me as much as it probably should have.

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