Emmy Award-winning actress Julia Barr grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she caught the acting bug at age 13, and became a star in her hometown. She was acting, singing and dancing in virtually every local production between the Fort Wayne Community Theatre, Civic Theatre, Wagon Wheel Playhouse and Enchanted Hills Playhouse.
She attended Purdue University, where she starred in such productions as Our Town, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Lover, The Killing of Sister George, and Endgame. She soon shuffled off to Buffalo’s Studio Arena Theatre, where she earned her equity card starring in Scapino and in A Girl in My Soup with Van Johnson. Julia then moved to New York and the work never stopped.
In June 1976 she landed the role of All My Children’s Brooke English, and has played it ever since (except for a 15 month break when she toured with Katharine Hepburn and Dorothy Loudon in the national company of West Side Waltz).
Her work on All My Children garnered Julia eight Emmy Award nominations (1980, 1981, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2001), and she won the trophy both in 1990 and 1998 for “Outstanding Supporting Actress.” In 1990, she also took home a Soap Opera Digest Award for “Best Supporting Actress,” and she received another nomination from the magazine in 2002.
Among her other television credits are Gathering of One, The Adams Chronicles, and Ryan’s Hope. Her film credits include I, the Jury, and her off-Broadway credits include Kerouac.
Julia is committed to balancing her passion for acting with her passion for family: husband Dr. Richard Hirschlag (an oral surgeon, to whom she’s been married since 1982) and their daughter Allison (a college student) who played “Lizzie Spaulding” on the daytime drama Guiding Light in 2002. The Barr/Hirschlag household also includes a cat named Goldie and their adorable dog Lucy, a shepherd-lab mix adopted from a shelter in October 2002.
Since 2001, Julia has been a spokesperson for The Fund For Animals, a national organization founded in 1967 by author and animal advocate, the late Cleveland Amory (www.fund.org). They work on education, protection, care facilities and rights for both wild and domestic animals. Through her web site juliarosebarr.com Julia promotes the organization and its cause by featuring topical advice and columns, interviews and information pertaining to the protection of animals.
She also spent several years as an active volunteer for The Coalition For the Homeless’ “First Step” program in New York, a job-readiness program for homeless women, for which she was honored in 1996.
Additionally, Julia studies voice, and in September 1996 made a splash singing the National Anthem to a full house at Yankee Stadium. In September 2002, she released her first music CD, a holiday collection of songs, From Our House … To Yours, on which her husband and daughter also sing. Julia and her husband produced the project for which all proceeds go directly to The Fund For Animals.
In addition to singing, acting and charity work, she is committed to staying healthy and in shape with the help of a fitness trainer and strict exercise program.