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Mel Harris: ‘thirtysomething’ stars remain ‘close’ friends

Actress Mel Harris is interviewed Nov. 28 in New York. Harris says she and her “thirtysomething” co-stars remain close friends. (Lauri Neff / Associated Press)
Actress Mel Harris is interviewed Nov. 28 in New York. Harris says she and her “thirtysomething” co-stars remain close friends. (Lauri Neff / Associated Press)
By Lauri Neff Associated Press

NEW YORK – Almost 30 years since “thirtysomething” went off the air, the now 50-something cast of the drama about a group of American baby boomers remain friends.

Mel Harris, who played Hope Steadman on the show, says she and cast mates Ken Olin, Timothy Busfield, Patricia Wettig, Polly Draper, Melanie Mayron and Peter Horton bonded while making the show, which aired on ABC from 1987 through 1991.

“We were also there for each other as co-workers, as friends and that bond has continued outside of it. Do we have dinner every Friday night together? No, which would be a hoot, but I would say every few years we get together. We see each other.”

Harris says she just recently ran into Olin in Vancouver, Canada, where she’s filming the Hulu series, “Shut Eye.”

“We went to dinner. It was just lovely.”

The new series, which began streaming last week, is about fake fortune teller Charlie Haverford, played by Jeffrey Donavon (“Burn Notice”), who starts having real visions after suffering a severe head trauma.

Harris plays Nadine Davies, a wealthy socialite and one of Haverford’s marks.

“It’s her second bout with psychics,” Harris says. “They’re very good at getting her to trust them in the face of, ‘Oh, I’ve already been burned once,’ and in the course of the journey when she realizes that maybe she can’t trust them. It’s an awakening event for Nadine Davies.”

The role marks the first regular one in almost a decade for Harris, who in recent years has been focusing on fixing up old houses and working on TV pilots with her writing partner and husband, Bob Brush. She decided to take on “Shut Eye” after Brush took a break from writing pilots to work on a book.

Harris says she’s not sure yet if she’ll continue acting when her writing partner frees up but says for the moment she’s having fun.

“Otherwise, I wouldn’t do it 30-something years later.”

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