Childhood & Early Life
Danielle Andrea Harris was born on June 1, 1977, in Plainview, New York, US. Her mother, Fran Harris, was a single mother. Soon, Fran moved with Danielle to Florida for work. There, Danielle got enrolled at an elementary school. She grew up with her younger sister, Ashley.
While in Florida, Danielle participated in a beauty competition and ended up winning it. As a prize, she was given a 10-day tour in New York, the city where she was born. During her visit to New York, Danielle was offered several modeling jobs, but she rejected all of them as she did not want to be away from Florida.
However, a few years later, Danielle’s mother got a transfer that brought the family to New York again. Soon, Danielle began accepting modeling offers and modeled for several brands and magazines before she started developing an interest in acting. She also started auditioning for TV and film roles. In 1985, she got her big break when she was called to audition for a role in the soap opera ‘One Life to Live.’
Among the hundreds of girls who were called for the audition from all over the country, Danielle got the role. With that, her career in the entertainment industry began.
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Following her initial TV roles, she auditioned for a key role in the fourth film of the successful ‘Halloween’ film franchise, ‘Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.’ She earned the role of ‘Jamie Lloyd’ in the film. The 1988 film was a major critical and commercial success. Over time, it became a cult classic.
The very next year, Danielle reprised her role of ‘Jamie’ in ‘Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers.’ Owing to the events in the plot of the previous film, her character was now presented as a mute girl. Although the film was not as successful as its prequel, it still made enough profits. It also made ‘Jamie Lloyd’ a popular recurring character.
In 1990, Danielle appeared in the action film ‘Marked for Death,’ where she played the role of the niece of the lead character. The film was a big critical disaster. Despite that, it turned into a box-office success. In 1991, Danielle earned average success with three films, ‘City Slickers’, ‘Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead,’ and ‘The Last Boy Scout.’ She also appeared on TV with ‘Growing Pains’ and ‘The Killing Mind.’
In 1992, she played a major character in the series ‘Roseanne.’ In the years that followed, she appeared more on TV than in films. In 1993, she tasted big success with the release of her film ‘Free Willy.’ In the mid-1990s, she appeared in TV series such as ‘The Commish’ and ‘Boy Meets World.’
In 1995, she learned that the next instalment of ‘Halloween’ was being made but she was not being considered to reprise her role of ‘Jamie Lloyd.’ The producers told her that they wanted an actor of over 18 years of age. Danielle was 17 at that time. She got emancipated but did not like the salary that was offered to her. Thus, she opted out of the movie.
In 1996, Danielle starred in the TV film ‘Wish Upon a Star’ and played ‘Hayley Wheaton,’ a young girl switching bodies with her more popular older sister. The same year, she starred in two more films, ‘Shattered Image’ and ‘Back to Back.’ She ended the year with the film ‘Daylight,’ which starred Sylvester Stallone in the lead role. ‘Daylight’ was critically panned but turned out to be one of the biggest box-office hits of the year.
In the late 1990s, she made appearances in TV series such as ‘ER’ and ‘Diagnosis: Murder.’ She also appeared in the 1998 film ‘Dizzyland,’ a drama film where she played the role of a sexually abused teenager. The same year, she appeared in the popular slasher film ‘Urban Legend,’ which was also her first horror film since her appearance in ‘Halloween 5’.
In 1998, Danielle was chosen to play one of the main voice roles in the animated series ‘The Wild Thornberrys.’ The series ran for five seasons, and Danielle continued to play ‘Debbie Thornberry.’ She also lent her voice to the two film adaptations of the series, ‘The Wild Thornberrys: The Origin of Donnie’ and ‘The Wild Thornberrys Movie’.
During her ‘The Wild Thornberrys’ days, Danielle starred in several films, such as ‘Poor White Trash,’ Killer Bud,’ and ‘Goosed.’ She also continued to appear on TV with the series ‘Charmed’ and ‘That’s Life.’
In 2004, she bagged a leading voice role in the animated sitcom ‘Father of the Pride’ and appeared in all 14 episodes, before it was canceled.
In January 2007, director Rob Zombie set out to create a remake of the cult classic horror film ‘Halloween.’ He initially wanted no actor from the original franchise to be cast in this film, but after looking at Danielle’s audition, he changed his mind. Danielle played ‘Annie Brackett,’ one of the key roles in the movie. The film turned out to be a major box-office success.
In the next few years, Danielle concentrated more on horror films than on any other genre. Apart from appearing in ‘Halloween II,’ she also appeared in the film ‘Left for Dead.’ Her fascination with the horror genre continued with her appearances in ‘Hatchet II,’ ‘Stake Land,’ ‘ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2,’ ‘Shiver,’ and ‘The Victim.’ She made her directorial debut with the 2013 horror–comedy film ‘Among Friends.’
Danielle Harris is known as the “scream queen,” owing to her regular appearances in horror films. Director Sylvia Soska once called her the “Natalie Portman of Horror.” Several publications have called her “horror’s reigning scream queen.”
Danielle dated David Gross for sometime before getting married to him in Hawaii in 2014. In 2017, she gave birth to her son, Carter Davis Gross.
In 1995, Danielle was stalked by a man who claimed to be her fan. He threatened to kill her and was arrested by the police when he brought a gun to her house.