Tess Harper attended Southwest Missouri State University, now known as Missouri State University, in Springfield, MO. During the late 1960s, she did “street” acting in the theme parks, Dogpatch, USA, in Jasper, AR, and Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. She was discovered while doing theater work in Dallas, TX. After being turned down at an audition for a Chuck Norris movie, Harper was recruited to come do a reading for “Tender Mercies” with Robert Duvall, for which she was selected to play the supporting role, earning her an award for best supporting actress.
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