Richard Harris: biography
When a film adaptation of the book Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling was released on November 3, 2002, the popularity of the actor from Ireland, known to the older generation in the films The Barber of Siberia, Patriot Games, Gladiator, reached a peak. Richard was associated exclusively with the supreme sorcerer Dumbledore.
Childhood and youth
Richard St. John Harris was born in Limerick, Ireland, in a large Roman Catholic family on October 1, 1930. The boy's father owned a mill and hoped that his son would continue his work. The boy's parents Ivan John Harris and Mildred Josephine Harris had nine children, the fifth of whom was Richard.
As a child, Richard wanted to become not a director but an athlete. The boy enjoyed rugby but he had tuberculosis when he was a teenager, that forced him to leave this sport. However, Harris remained an ardent fan until the end of his life.
The boy loved theatre and even played several roles on the local theater scene in Limerick in his childhood. The young man decided to become a director or actor when he did not succeed in the field of sports. The young man was disappointed in London: he did not enter the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Central School of Speech and Drama, the young man was refused (Richard was 24 years old). Harris enrolled the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art a year later. Richard got a job in the theater after graduating.
Harris appeared on television for the first time in 1958 and received the title in the British film This Sporting Life of Lindsay Anderson. The young man was engaged in rugby in his youth, so it was not difficult for him to play the role of an athlete. The first work brought the novice actor award at the Cannes film festival.
The film was released Il Deserto Rosso by the Italian film director but the actor did not have success after a break in the work, which lasted six years. Even the director Antonioni admitted that the choice of the actor was unsuccessful.
Success in his career as a film actor came in 1967 after the release Camelot of the American director Joshua Logan, where Harris played the main role, King Arthur. Richard was awarded the Golden Globe by Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this role. Richard showed the audience not only his acting skills but also excellent vocal skills in the film Camelot, which later became the basis for recording solo albums.
A historical drama Cromwell of the English director Ken Hughes with Harris in the title role was released three years later, in 1970. In 1971, the film was presented at the Moscow film festival, where Richard received the prize for Best Actor. The last work of the actor was the voicing of the cartoon Kaena: The Prophecy. The cartoon was released in 2003 when Richard Harris had already died.
In the 1980s, the actor worked on the set and acted on the stage, including in the Broadway production of Camelot at the same time.
Harris was popular among young people after the role of the wizard Dumbledore in the films of Harry Potter based on the book by J. K. Rowling. Moreover, Richard Harris starred only in the first two parts (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), Michael Gambon played the role of Dumbledore in the rest of the films.
A little-known fact: the granddaughter of the actor gave the audience Dumbledore performed by Harris, Richard wanted to reject the role for financial reasons but the girl persuaded her grandfather to star in the film.
When the author of the Harry Potter books made a stunning statement that the wizard Dumbledore is a gay, a number of medias tried to cast a shadow of the character's sexual orientation on the actor, who played him but the active personal life of Richard Harris serves as a direct proof of heterosexuality of the man.
Harris had 79 roles in films, he starred in 2 documentaries and played himself 48 times, acted as a producer twice, worked as a screenwriter of the film Bloomfield.
In addition to working in the film industry, Richard Harris released two music albums. The circulation of the first of them exceeded one million, which received the status of a gold disc.
It is not much known about the personal life of the actor. It is known that Richard was married the English actress Elizabeth Rees-Williams in 1957. The couple has three children: Jared, Jamie and Damian. All of them followed in the footsteps of their parents: the eldest sons became actors and Damian decided to be a director. Richard and Elizabeth were married for 12 years.
Richard married the 28-year-old American actress Ann Turkel five years after his first divorce. Having lived in marriage for eight years, the actors divorced in 1982. Richard had no children in this marriage.
According to some media, the reason for the uncomplicated family life was the actor's illness: Richard suffered from alcoholism (until 1981) and drug addiction ( the actor was miraculously saved when he died from an overdose of cocaine in 1978). Richard Harris was famous for his explosive character in Hollywood.
In 2000, Richard arranged a wild party in honor of his 70th anniversary.
In the summer of 2002, Richard Harrison was diagnosed with lymphogranulomatosis, a malignant tumor of lymphatic tissue. On October 25, 2002, this cancer caused the actor's death. Richard Harris's body was cremated and the ashes were scattered in the Bahamas. Richard Harris had a net worth of $20 million at the time of his death
There was information in the Daily Mirror that the director was forced to invite a stand-in on the set of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets because the actor was very because of his illness and could not work fully in 2002.
In September 2006, a friend of the deceased actor bought a statue of Richard. The statue was made from a photo of the actor, so the resemblance is enormous. The sculpture is located in the small Irish town of Kilkee. Another sculpture of the actor is in his hometown of Limerick, where the actor is represented in the image of King Arthur.
On November 15, 2012, there was the exhibition "Death. Self-portrait" at the museum in London, which was a private collection of Richard Harris on the theme of death.
- 1955-1967 – ITV Television Playhouse
- 1959 – Shake Hands with the Devil
- 1963 – This Sporting Life
- 1967 – Camelot
- 1970 – A Man Called Horse
- 1970 – Cromwell
- 1971 – Bloomfield
- 1976 – The Cassandra Crossing
- 1979 – Ravagers
- 1981 – Tarzan - The Ape Man
- 1982 – Camelot
- 1992 – Patriot Games
- 1997 – The Hunchback
- 1998 – The Barber of Siberia
- 2000 – Gladiator
- 2001 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
- 2001 – Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World
- 2002 – The Count of Monte Cristo
- 2002 – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- 2002 – Julius Caesar