"I felt very intuitive that my particular personality and nature were like Nova" - The Linda Harrison Biography
During the late '60s and early '70s, Linda Harrison bade fair to be one of the screen's reigning beauty queens; as one of the three young starlets in the series Bracken's World and as the mute woman Nova in the first two Planet of the Apes movies, Harrison was a very attractive and visible young actress. Indeed, had she come along a few years later, when the ancillary market for television- and movie-related posters was more developed, she might have been a rival to the likes of Farrah Fawcett-Majors or Jaclyn Smith. Harrison was born in Berlin, MD, and took an early interest in dance and acrobatics. She won a series of local beauty contests which led to a short stint as a photo model in New York. While in California for a beauty competition, she was spotted by an agent who arranged a screen test for her at 20th Century Fox. She was signed up and immediately put into a small role in the pilot episode of a series called Men Against Evil, which evolved into the police show Felony Squad, with Howard Duff and her future Bracken's World co-star Dennis Cole. She also turned up as a cheerleader in an episode of Batman and as Wonder Woman in a failed TV pilot. It was in the Jerry Lewis comedy Way...Way Out that Harrison made her big-screen debut and she followed this with an appearance in the low-budget comedy The Fat Spy, then turned up in a somewhat more prestigious vehicle, A Guide for the Married Man.
Harrison disappeared from movies for a time, after Beneath the Planet of the Apes and the cancellation of her television series, when she married Richard Zanuck. During the mid-'70s, however, she tried to re-emerge in her profession, which engendered some frustrating moments; she had, and then lost, the role of Roy Scheider's wife in Jaws, when Universal Pictures insisted that it go to Lorraine Gary, the wife of studio chief Sidney Sheinberg. As a consolation prize, she played a part in Airport 1975, working under the pseudonym of Augusta Summerland.
See Also: Planet of the Apes (1968) / Wonder Woman (1976-1979)(TV)