About this actor
Tess Harper (born August 15, 1950) is an American actress. Tess Harper was born with the name Tessie Jean Washam on August 15, 1950 in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas. Her parents' names are Ed and Rosemary Washam. She grew up around lots of quilts and quilt makers. On her own time, she liked to sit on the porch-swing and read. She graduated from high school in 1968. Tess Harper began acting in theater production and appearances in theme parks, dinner theatres and children's theatre. She was performing theater in Texas when she attended a casting call for a minor female role in the film Tender Mercies. Director Bruce Beresford was impressed with Harper and cast her instead in the lead female role of Rosa Lee, the young widow and mother who marries country singer Mac Sledge. Beresford said the previous actress who auditioned for the role brought to it a sophistication and worldliness inappropriate for the part, whereas Harper brought a kind of rural quality without coming across as simple or...