72 Facts About Richard Harris


Richard St John Francis Harris was an Irish actor and singer.


Richard Harris received two Academy Award for Best Actor nominations for his performances in This Sporting Life, and The Field.


Richard Harris gained acclaim for his role as Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the latter of which was his final film role.


Richard Harris reprised the role in the 1981 Broadway musical revival.


Richard Harris received a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his role in Henry IV.


Richard Harris had a number-one singing hit in Australia, Jamaica and Canada, and a top-ten hit in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United States with his 1968 recording of Jimmy Webb's song "MacArthur Park".


Richard Harris earned a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for the song.


Richard Harris was born on 1 October 1930, at Overdale, 8 Landsdown Villas, Ennis Road, Limerick, son of flour merchant Ivan Richard Harris and Mildred.


Richard Harris was educated by the Jesuits at Crescent College.


Richard Harris remained an ardent fan of the Munster Rugby and Young Munster teams until his death, attending many of their matches, and there are numerous stories of japes at rugby matches with actors and fellow rugby fans Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton.


Richard Harris had failed an audition at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and had been rejected by the Central School of Speech and Drama, because they felt he was too old at 24.


Richard Harris began getting roles in West End theatre productions, starting with The Quare Fellow in 1956, a transfer from the Theatre Workshop.


Richard Harris spent nearly a decade in obscurity, learning his profession on stages throughout the UK.


Richard Harris made his film debut in 1959 in the film Alive and Kicking, and played the lead role in The Ginger Man in the West End in 1959.


Richard Harris played another IRA Volunteer in A Terrible Beauty, alongside Robert Mitchum.


Richard Harris had a memorable bit part in the film The Guns of Navarone as a Royal Australian Air Force pilot who reports that blowing up the "bloody guns" of the island of Navarone is impossible by an air raid.


Richard Harris had a larger part in The Long and the Short and the Tall, playing a British soldier; Harris clashed with Laurence Harvey and Richard Todd during filming.


However, Richard Harris fell out with Brando over the latter's behaviour during the film's production.


Richard Harris's first starring role was in the film This Sporting Life, as a bitter young coal miner, Frank Machin, who becomes an acclaimed rugby league football player.


Richard Harris followed this with a leading role in the Italian film, Michelangelo Antonioni's Il Deserto Rosso.


Richard Harris received an offer to support Kirk Douglas in a British war film, The Heroes of Telemark, directed by Anthony Mann, playing a Norwegian resistance leader.


Richard Harris then went to Hollywood to support Charlton Heston in Sam Peckinpah's Major Dundee, as an Irish immigrant who became a Confederate cavalryman during the American Civil War.


Richard Harris played Cain in John Huston's film The Bible: In the Beginning.


Richard Harris next performed the role of King Arthur in the film adaptation of the musical play Camelot.


Richard Harris revived the role in a Broadway revival at the Winter Garden Theatre from 15 November 1981, to 2 January 1982, and broadcast on HBO a year later.


Richard Harris, who had starred in the film, and Muenz took the show on tour nationwide.


However A Man Called Horse, with Richard Harris in the title role, an 1825 English aristocrat who is captured by Native Americans, was a major success.


Richard Harris played the title role in the film Cromwell in 1970 opposite Alec Guinness as King Charles I of England.


In 1971 Richard Harris starred in a BBC TV film adaptation The Snow Goose, from a screenplay by Paul Gallico.


Richard Harris made his directorial debut with Bloomfield and starred in Man in the Wilderness, a revisionist Western based on the Hugh Glass story.


Richard Harris starred in a Western for Samuel Fuller, Riata, which stopped production several weeks into filming.


The project was re-assembled with a new director and cast, except for Richard Harris, who returned: The Deadly Trackers.


In 1973, Richard Harris published a book of poetry, I, In the Membership of My Days, which was later reissued in part in an audio LP format, augmented by self-penned songs such as "I Don't Know".


Richard Harris had a cameo as Richard the Lionheart in Robin and Marian, for Lester, then was in The Return of a Man Called Horse.


Richard Harris led the all-star cast in the train disaster film The Cassandra Crossing.


Richard Harris played Gulliver in the part-animated Gulliver's Travels and was reunited with Michael Anderson in Orca, battling a killer whale.


Richard Harris appeared in another action film, Golden Rendezvous, based on a novel by Alistair Maclean, shot in South Africa.


Richard Harris was sued by the film's producer for his drinking; Richard Harris counter-sued for defamation and the matter was settled out of court.


Golden Rendezvous was a flop but The Wild Geese, where Richard Harris played one of several mercenaries, was a big success outside America.


Richard Harris made a film in Canada, Your Ticket Is No Longer Valid, a drama about impotence.


Richard Harris followed it with another Canadian film, Highpoint, a movie so bad it was not released for several years.


Richard Harris's career was revived by his success on stage in Camelot, and powerful performance in the West End run of Pirandello's Henry IV.


Richard Harris was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1990, when he was surprised by Michael Aspel during the curtain call of the Pirandello's play Henry IV at the Wyndham's Theatre in London.


When McAnally died suddenly on 15 June 1989, Richard Harris was offered the McCabe role.


Richard Harris lost to Jeremy Irons for Reversal of Fortune.


In 1992, Richard Harris had a supporting role in the film Patriot Games.


Richard Harris had good roles in Unforgiven, Wrestling Ernest Hemingway and Silent Tongue.


Richard Harris played the title role in Abraham and had the lead in Cry, the Beloved Country.


Richard Harris chaired acting workshops and cast the university's production of Julius Caesar in November 1987.


Richard Harris appeared in two films which won the Academy Award for Best Picture: firstly as the gunfighter "English Bob" in the revisionist Western Unforgiven ; secondly as the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Ridley Scott's Gladiator.


Richard Harris played a lead role alongside James Earl Jones in the Darrell Roodt film adaptation of Cry, the Beloved Country.


In 1999, Richard Harris starred in the film To Walk with Lions.


Richard Harris portrayed Abbe Faria in Kevin Reynolds' film adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo.


Richard Harris hesitated to take the role of Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone at first due to his declining health, but ultimately accepted because his 11-year-old granddaughter threatened never to speak to him again if he did not take it.


Richard Harris made part of the Bible TV movie project filmed as a cinema production for the TV, a project produced by Lux Vide Italy with the collaboration of Radio Televisione Italiana RAI and Channel 5 of France, and premiered in the United States in the channel TNT in the 1990s.


Richard Harris portrayed the main and title character in the production Abraham as well as Saint John of Patmos in the 2000 TV film production Apocalypse.


Richard Harris recorded several albums of music, one of which, A Tramp Shining, included the seven-minute hit song "MacArthur Park".


In 1957, Richard Harris married Elizabeth Rees-Williams, daughter of David Rees-Williams, 1st Baron Ogmore.


Richard Harris was a member of the Roman Catholic Knights of Malta, and was dubbed a knight by the Queen of Denmark in 1985.


Richard Harris was a vocal supporter of the Provisional Irish Republican Army from 1973 until 1984.


At the height of his stardom in the 1960s and early 1970s, Richard Harris was almost as well known for his hellraiser lifestyle and heavy drinking as he was for his acting career.


Richard Harris was a longtime alcoholic until he became a teetotaller in 1981.


Richard Harris gave up drugs after almost dying from a cocaine overdose in 1978.


Richard Harris was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease in August 2002, reportedly after being hospitalised with pneumonia.


Richard Harris was survived by his three sons, Damian, Jared and Jamie, having spent his final three days in a coma.


Richard Harris's body was cremated, and his ashes were scattered in the Bahamas, where he owned a home.


Richard Harris was a lifelong friend of actor Peter O'Toole, and his family reportedly hoped that O'Toole would replace Richard Harris as Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.


Richard Harris was an accomplished squash racquets player, winning the Tivoli Cup in Kilkee four years in a row from 1948 to 1951, a record unsurpassed to this day.


At the 2009 BAFTAs, Mickey Rourke dedicated his Best Actor award to Richard Harris, calling him a "good friend and great actor".


Each year, one of Richard Harris's sons attends the festival in Limerick.


In 1996, Richard Harris was honoured with a commemorative Irish postage stamp for the "Centenary of Irish Cinema", a four-stamp set featuring twelve Irish actors in four Irish films.


Richard Harris was again honoured in 'Irish Abroad' stamps in 2020.