Harley Jane Kozak Biography
Harley Jane Kozak (Susan Jane Kozak) is an American actress and author. Jane made her film debut in the horror film The House on Sorority Row (1982). She also had a recurring role as Mary Duvall on the soap opera Santa Barbara between 1985 and 1989.
She has also had supporting parts in Clean and Sober (1988) and When Harry Met Sally… (1989). She starred in the major studio films Parenthood (1989) and Arachnophobia (1990).
Harley continued to act in film throughout the remainder of the 1990s and also into the 2000s. She later turned her focus to writing. Jane has published five mystery novels since 2004. Dating Dead Men being her debut novel which earned her an Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Award.
Kozak attended New York University’s Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School of the Arts graduating in 1980. About her name, she has said that “Harley” came from a former boyfriend who owned a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and she liked the nickname, later she legally changed her name.
Harley Jane Kozak Age
Susan Jane Kozak was born on January 28, 1957 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylavania, U.S. She is 61 years old as of 2018.
Harley Jane Kozak Family
Jane was born to Dorothy (née Taraldsen), a university music teacher, and Joseph Aloysius Kozak, an attorney. Jane’s father was of Slovak descent and her mother three quarters Norwegian and one quarter Swedish ancestry. She was born the youngest in a family of eight children. She has three sisters: Mary, Dorothy, and Ann. She also has four brothers: Andrew, John, Joseph, and Peter.
Her father died when she was an year old. Kozak was raised in Lincoln, Nebraska and relocated to New York City after high school. She later worked as a waitress for ten years.
Harley Jane Kozak Marriage | Divorce
Kozak got married to Greg Aldisert on 29 November 1997 but later divorced in 2007. She married Van Saantvord in 1982 but later divorced in 1983.
Harley Jane Kozak Children
Kozak has three children with Aldisert. She gave birth to daughter Audrey on 9th of March 2000. On May 2002, she gave birth to twins, son Lorenzo Robert Aldisert and daughter Giana Julia Aldisert, with Greg Aldisert in Loa Angeles.
Harley Jane Kozak Career
Harley starred in movies such as The House on Sorority Row (1983), Parenthood (1989), Side Out (1990), Arachnophobia (1990), The Taking of Beverly Hills (1991), Necessary Roughness (1991), All I Want for Christmas (1991), The Favor (1994), Magic in the Water (1995), and Unforgivable (1996). She has starred in the soap operas Texas (from November 1981 to December 1982 as Brette Wheeler), Guiding Light (from 1983 to 1985 and a one-day voice-over in February 1990, as both Annabelle Sims Reardon and Annabelle’s deceased mother, in 1983 flashbacks, Annie Sims) and also Santa Barbara (from 1985 to 1986 and again in 1989, as former nun, Mary Duvall McCormick).
Kozak’s character in Santa Barbara died in an accident where a giant neon letter “C” toppled on top of her during an argument atop the Capwell hotel. The viewers were so angry over Mary’s death that they even started a letter-writing campaign demanding for her reappearance. The show hence received such a huge number of letters that eventually they admitted their mistake and asked Kozak to come back. Kozak declined the offer since she was already working with other projects and she was proud of the unusual way her character had made her exit. She later made a brief return as an angel in Heaven in February 1989. She received a Soap Opera Digest Award from her role as Mary in 1987.
Harley played Alison Hart, wife of Dave Hart, portrayed by Beau Bridges, on the CBS comedy/western series Harts of the West in 1993 to 1994. That program was set on a dude ranch in Nevada. Lloyd Bridges then played her father-in-law, and also Diane Ladd appeared once as Alison’s mother. Alison’s three children were played by Sean Murray, Nathan Watt and Meghann Haldeman, who has been friends with her on-screen mother ever since. Mark Harmon also guest-starred the series. Harley has worked several times with Harmon, both in movies and TV series and she also credits him as one of her favorite co-stars.
Kozak appeared in the mini-series Titanic along with Peter Gallagher and Catherine Zeta Jones in 1996. She then played the role of Bess Allison, a mother who dies while searching her missing baby at the time when RMS Titanic sinks. Kozak was originally chosen to play Karen Sammler in the TV show Once and Again. She then filmed the pilot, but was then asked to withdraw from the series when she became pregnant with her first child, because they did not want her character to be pregnant. The role then went to Susanna Thompson.
She portrayed a battered wife in a made for TV movie, Unforgivable, co-starring with John Ritter also in 1996, and received praise for her “strong” performance. She also appeared in “Cold Lazarus”, a first-season episode of Stargate SG-1, as Sara O’Neill. She has written five novels: Dating Dead Men (2004), Dating Is Murder : A Novel (2005), Dead Ex (2007), and A Date You Can’t Refuse (2008). All of them feature greeting-card designer and amateur sleuth Wollie Shelley, a woman with very eccentric friends and family. Her first three novels were published by Doubleday, a division of Random House, and the most recent published by Broadway Books following the restructuring of Doubleday. Dating Dead Men novel won an Agatha Award, an Anthony Award, and a Macavity Award for best first novel. Her fifth book is Keeper of the Moon, a paranormal romantic suspense novel.
Harley Jane Kozak Books
- Keeper of the Moon
- A Date You Can’t Refuse
- Dead Ex
- Dating Is Murder
- Dating Dead Men
Harley Jane Kozak Net Worth
The House of Sorority Row star has an estimated net worth of $5 million.
Harley Jane Kozak Movies
I Spit on Your Grave III: Vengeance Is Mine
A Kind of Magic
Vipers in the Grass
The Red Queen
A Friend’s Betrayal
The Android Affair
Magic in the Water
Dr. Wanda Bell
The Amy Fisher Story
Dr. Suzanne Carter
The Taking of Beverly Hills
All I Want for Christmas
So Proudly We Hail
When Harry Met Sally…
Clean and Sober
The House on Sorority Row
Harley Jane Kozak Measurements
- Height 5 ft 9 in / 175 cm
- Weight 130 lb / 59 kg
Harley Jane Kozak Talks on Her Writing
Harley Jane Kozak Interview
In what ways is Wollie like you?
Harley Jane Kozak: Wollie’s a greeting card designer, and I’ve been a perpetual doodler my whole life, an amateur, completely uneducated graphic artist . . . For the last 20 years, I’ve made my own Christmas cards, shlepped them to the printer, sent out 500 to my nearest and dearest–a mildly idiosyncratic obsession that Wollie would understand. Neither Wollie nor I has much physical courage (although I’m in better shape and run more than she does, and I am, I might add, much less well-endowed. Also shorter and less blonde.) And we’re both indoor people. Who would be happier in a world where we never had to drive a car.
After a successful acting career, what drew you to writing?
Harley Jane Kozak: In my teens and twenties I was an avid letter-writer and diary-keeper, and then, upon graduating from NYU’s graduate acting program, had an almost overpowering urge to have a baby and write a play. I postponed the baby, wrote the play, workshopped it a bit, put it away, tried to write a screenplay, a novel, a musical, put them away, and then, 15 years later, took a short story class from a genius who teaches at Santa Monica College, Jim Krusoe. I lived for his class. I can’t adequately describe the feeling I got there, of being at home. Of course, I’ve also felt at home on film sets and rehearsal studios, among actors, but this was different. It was such joy to be with people who weren’t concerned with our makeup or the impression we were making, but simply concerned with words, sentences, paragraphs on a page. As I neared my 40’s, the acting parts grew less interesting to me (going from Leading Lady to Mom of Leading Lady) and my writing grew more interesting to me. Then I started having babies, three in quick succession, which, along with my book contract for Dating Dead Men and its sequel, effectively put on hold my acting career. I still have the Actor’s Nightmare, though — a common one, where I find myself onstage, performing a play I neglected to learn the lines for (I had it 2 nights ago. The play was Macbeth.)
Who are your literary influences? What have you read and enjoyed recently?
Harley Jane Kozak: I started out with Nancy Drew, and Harriet the Spy, and then went on to devour my mother’s collection of British murder mysteries. An early favorite was The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John LeCarré. I remember where I was when I finished that book; it took me days to recover from the ending. I also adored John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series. (I read much tougher than I write.) Current favorites include Robert Crais, Nelson DeMille, Janet Evanovich, Elizabeth George, T. Jefferson Parker . . . too many to count.
Is this the first in series? If so, what’s next for Wollie?
Harley Jane Kozak: Yes, it’s the first. In the book I’m now finishing up (currently titled Dating Carnivores) Wollie continues her checkered dating career, this time on a cheesy reality TV show called “Biological Clock” and enrolls in Santa Monica College, trying to finish up her bachelor’s degree. She–like me–is math challenged, and when her math tutor disappears, Wollie gets sucked into searching for her. The third book, , is just taking shape in my head, involving a dead ex-boyfriend that she and her best friend Joey both dated.
Because of your acting experience, do you see Dating Dead Men as a movie and who would you cast as the main characters?
Harley Jane Kozak: I think my acting experience causes me to see story-telling as a collection of “scenes” and I tend to read aloud a lot, especially the dialogue, acting all the parts. I can’t help seeing it as a movie, but it’s a little abstract — I don’t usually go so far as casting. In the case of Dating Dead Men, the physical models for Wollie and Doc were Uma Thurman and Griffin Dunne. I was doing a TV movie with Griffin when I began writing the book, and he mentioned that Uma was a summer neighbor of his. The thought of Griffin (very handsome and charismatic; not tall) and Uma (gorgeous, tall) was so evocative to me, I had to pair them romantically. Halfway through the book, Doc and Wollie took on a life–and faces–of their own, and departed somewhat from the people who inspired them. If Dating Dead Men becomes a film, that physical Uma-Griffin relationship would not be as important as that indefinable something, that “x” factor, the chemistry of the actors, and their individual spirits. Movie-making is such a mysterious, magical, serendipitous (one hopes) combination of elements, the director, producer, screenwriter being as important to the process as the actors, I don’t exactly “cast” it. I think the best adaptations of books-to-film occur when the film becomes its own entity, so when I daydream, it’s in general terms, talented people being drawn to the project for reasons of their own, and bringing to the party things I never would’ve imagined.