Lisa Harrow was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London; she later was invited to become a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and, in her first season (1969), portrayed Olivia in Twelfth Night. Her credits with the RSC include Desdemona in Othello, Anne Boleyn in Henry VIII and Portia in The Merchant of Venice. More critical success came her way with Juliet opposite John Hurt's Romeo, her Eliza in Shaw's Pygmalion, and the Queen in The Eagle has Two Heads, directed by actress Susannah York.
She first appeared in film opposite Glenda Jackson in the Italian-made film The Devil is a Woman (1974), for which she was named the Variety Club's "Most Promising Newcomer." She won the major Australian film award for her superb work in the drama The Last Days of Chez Nous (1992) as well as the Grand Jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Her outstanding TV credits include Shaw's Man and Superman, which developed from the highly successful stage production of the same play starring Peter O'Toole. She gave a most memorable performance in the title role of the Masterpiece Theatre series, Nancy Astor. In 1997, she moved to the United States.
Since her move, Lisa has been an increasingly formidable presence on the live stage with such daunting productions of Wit, Medea, The Lion in Winter and Mary Stuart, among her credits. A full list of her accomplishments on stage, screen, and television is available here.
She and her husband, Dr. Roger Payne, founder and president of "Ocean Alliance" who is an internationally recognized expert on whales, share environmental concerns, particularly in matters pertaining to the health of our oceans. Based on this, Lisa has written and performed SeaChange: Reversing the Tide, a performance piece that uses science and poetry to urge us all to make sustainable living our primary goal. Lisa and Roger also wrote and performed Lessons From Copernicus, a blend of art and science that vividly demonstrates how mankind has gone horribly wrong. In addition, Lisa is also the author of the environmental handbook, What Can I Do?, which has been published internationally. A video of the same title is available here from YouTube.