Biography of Richard John Harris (1932-2002)

Irish actor born on October 1, 1930 in Limerick and died on 25 October 2002 in London.

Educated in the values of traditional Irish society, Richard Harris was sent by his father, a Baker from Limerick, to study at the Jesuit College of the sacred heart. Since they attracted him the music and acting, he/she joined then enter at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. During this period of youth, he/she participated in the Joan Littlewood completo International Theatre Workshop, an institution of the British independent theatre.

Hard face and the sandy and hoarse voice of the actor were adapted perfectly to the character from the film the wild naive (1962), Lindsay Anderson, where he/she played a disenchanted, lost baseball player and ignorant of their true desires. The good reception of this interpretation - for which he/she received several awards at the most important film festivals in Europe - it was confirmed on the other side of the Atlantic, because Hollywood had with the actor in several deals; among them noted that of rebellion on Board (1962), Lewis Milestone, and especially major Dundee (1965), of Sam Peckinpah. In this film, Harris is a proud Southerner official prisoner in the Yankee criminal who heads the major Dundee, played by Charlton Heston.

The actor he/she also became interested in the theatre and cultivated her passion for the scenarios representing Anglo-Saxon classical repertoire, notably Shakespearewith some regularity. However, public recognition did not increase its security staff and soon left to hear rumors about his alcoholism. Admittedly, such fondness for drink could relate with the most topical Irish social tradition, but in the case of Harris dependence came to extremes that worried about your environment.

Another of the great successes achieved in this period was the musical Camelot (1967), directed by Joshua Logan from the original co-written by Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner. In this production, Harris composed a King Arturo moving and not without irony. In fact, years later, in 1982, had replaced Richard Burton on the stages of Broadway to give life to this legendary character.

In 1970, he/she starred in a man called horse, by Elliot Silverstein; in this film it was a British traveler captured by a tribe of Indians and subjected to all sorts of penalties before being integrated into the life of that community of warriors and hunters. So intense was his interpretation, that the public began to see Harris as a master when it comes to give life to characters subjected to uncontrollable forces of nature. Moreover, a year later played a similar type in a savage land (1971) by Richard C. Sarafian man, and continued to give life to this type of characters in the aftermath of the film by Silverstein.

Memorable is its presence in Robin and Marian (1975), of Richard Lester, where played a detestable Ricardo the Lionheart wounded of death by an arrow lost and completely drunk in the last moments of his life. A character to the limit which was not very far away from the reality of the actor at that time. Addicted to a variety of narcotics and stimulants, including and especially the cocaine, he/she was on the verge of death in 1978 as result of having large amounts of alcohol with such mixed substance; However, a timely medical care prevented the tragedy. Unable to firmly take control of his career, he/she then accepted projects unworthy of his talent, as Tarzan, the monkey man (1981), John Derek, a mediocre erotic film in which his presence was the pathos. During the following years he/she fought to preserve the confidence of the theatrical and film producers, but only managed to recover the professional dignity when he/she managed to leave behind the cocaine and moderate consumption of alcohol. They were years of hardship and infighting, but an iron discipline to show he/she managed to heal their ailments and reappear with the theatrical Enrique IV, Pirandello, in 1989. His magnificent speech on the Meadow (1990), Jim Sheridan, confirmed his return to the big screen. Masterfully modeled his character in without forgiveness (1992), Clint Eastwood, and continued his film career with good tone. Anyway, his best time was left behind and was already a significant secondary that had to control their aspirations by age and physical conditions.

It is as well as in the Decade of the nineties still intervened in several co-productions in which his name was an endorsement to the audience of middle-aged, recognized him immediately. In these years included especially his works in Smila, mystery in the snow (1997), an ambitious European production directed by Bille August , in which Harris played in a superb way to scientific miser Andreas Tork; and the Barber of Siberia (1998), another blockbuster directed by Nikita Mikhalkov in which left his label as an imaginative inventor.

However, were more popular and blockbuster films that allowed him to connect with another generation of viewers. This is how he/she left patent its good do in Gladiator (2000), Ridley Scott, in which played superbly to Marcus Aurelius, and, especially, in the first two stories of Harry Potter movie deliveries: Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of secrets (2002), both directed by Chris Columbus, which lent his body to Albus Dumbledore, the principal of the school.

Richard Harris married again in the seventies with the actress Ann Turkel. His son, Damien Harris, born from the marriage of actor with Ree Elizabeth-Williams, is a film director. Days after his death received, posthumously, the British independent film award.


1958: Alive and kicking; Lights of rebellion; Mystery in the perdido.1960 ship: A terrible beauty; Ambush in the jungla.1961: Navarone.1962 cannons: rebellion on board; The naive salvaje.1964: the Red Desert; Three perfumes from mujer.1965: major Dundee; Heroes of Telemark.1966: the Bible; Hawai.1967: Whim; Camelot.1970: I hate in the bowels; A man called horse; The fallen Idol; Cromwell.1971: A salvaje.1973 land man: with fury in the sangre.1974: the enigma called Juggernaut; 99,44% muerto.1975: echoes of a summer; Robin and Marian.1976: the revenge of a man called horse; Cassandra.1977 Bridge: Orca, the killer whale; Gulliver's travels; Quote from oro.1978: wild ducks; Bavagers; Only against the ciudad.1979: game of vultures; The cuspide.1980: experience mortal.1981: Tarzan, the mono.1982 man: the triumph of a man named caballo.1984: Martin's day.1990: the prado.1991: game patriotas.1992: no perdon.1993: silent tongue; King of the wind; Go couple of amigos.1994: cry, the beloved land; Abraham (TV). 1995: Savage hearts.1997: Smilla, mystery in the snow; The hunchback.1998: the Barber of Siberia; This is the sea.1999: To walk with lions.1999: To walk with lions; Small great Hunter. 2000: Gladiator; The Royal way. 2001: King Lear in Liverpool; Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone; The pearl. 2002: The revenge of the count of Monte Cristo; Harry Potter and the Chamber of secrets.

Works for television

1956: Armchair Theatre (series). 1971: The snow goose. 1982: Camelot. 1988: Maigret. 1994: Abraham. 1995: The great Kandinsky. 1997: The Hunchback. 2002: Arthur: King of the Britons.