Biography of Rex Harrison (1908-1990)

British actor of cinema and theatre, born in Huyton (Lancashire. England), March 5, 1908, died in the city of New York (United States) on June 2, 1990, whose real name is Reginald Carey Harrison.


Dump from a young age in the world of theatre, played his first works with the Liverpool Repertory Theatre, after which proved fortune in some of the first sound films that were made in your country. His work in the cinema and in the British and American Theatre have earned the recognition of critics and the public around the world. From Storm in a Teacup (1937), as a companion of Vivien Leigh, and direction of Victor Saville, Harrison showed his mastery of the scenarios and naturalness in the most diverse scenery; Likewise, Harrison also showed its ability to interpret different types of roles, although he distinguished himself especially in what has been called high comedy, with texts by authors such as Oscar Wilde, Bernard Shaw and others. The same thing happened in the film; his interpretation of Asian King in Anna and the King of Siam (1946) - whose second version was starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr-, together with Irene Dunne, directed by John Cromwell, made that the public will repair in Rex and realized that began the climb to the top.

Extremely cultured and witty, actor possessed a rare personal charm, which made him to be attractive stage or screens, both in his personal dealings. Tall and slim, the irony of their look and smile, as well as its discretion in dress, became it one of the players of more natural charm, no need to recharge their composure in anything. He answered to the typical image of the British gentleman. I knew to keep their distance, while so be friendly in its correction.

In the memory is his performance in the ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), a film which today remains unjustly neglected, that shared stage with the beautiful Gene Tierney, of the hand of the also refined Joseph l. Mankiewicz. By the mid-1960s he would some most popular in his artistic career interpretations. In 1963, starred Julio César of Cleopatra, one of the filming more difficult and costly in the history of film, which was about to bring disaster to the producer, directed also by Mankiewicz. Although it was Elizabeth Taylor who said, logically, with the most important role in the film, Harrison gave a real lesson in interpretation, adjusted his personality as a finger ring. Few times the Roman politician was best represented, with a point of view that was closer to the vision of Bernard Shaw that's the Shakespeare.

But it was the following year, when Rex Harrison would have to reach one of the culminating moment of his career. George Cukor the Oscar called him to do Professor Higgins in the musical My Fair Lady (1964), which won several major awards, including for best artistic direction, in the person of the famous photographer and set designer Cecil Beaton.

Harrison was then almost 55 years and was on the cusp of his interpretive talent. His representation of a linguist of global fame that strives to make a refined young lady of a humble florist, is for anthologies. His female opponent was Audrey Hepburn , and it began almost as a pedagogical relationship, ending in a sentimental bonding, that the age difference and the subtle handling of situations that made Cukor, gave you a subliminal eroticism. Based on the play Pygmalion, de Bernard Shaw, My Fair Lady has been as one of the most emblematic films of the 1960s.

In 1965, again Harrison assumes another role important, not so much by their extension, such as her intelligence to promote a secondary action. This time will be Miguel Angel sponsor Pope, in the agony and the ecstasy by Carol Reed, recomposing the atmosphere of the Renaissance: its intrigues, betrayals, but at the same time his art and philosophy of life, were more than acceptably represented. Although the main protagonist was the excellent Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison had a great interpretative duel with American. Her dad was refined, cruel and ironic at the same time, in a performance that only an actor equipped with its capacity could show with a whole set of delicate nuances.

With the passage of time, Rex Harrison was working less; his career concluded with Anastasia: The mystery of Anna (1986), with Amy Irving, the veteran Olivia de Havilland, and the direction of Marvin J. Chomsky.


Works for the cinema

1930: The Great Game; The School for Scandal (uncredited). 1934: Leave it to Blanche; Get Your Man.1935: All At Sea.1936: men are not dioses.1937: school for husbands; On the Moon; Storm in a Teacup.1938: dead end; The ciudadela.1939: ten days in Paris; The Silent Battle.1940: Night Train to Munich.1941: Major Barbara.1945: A mocking spirit; The Rake completo Progress; Seduction; Journey Together.1946: Anna and the King of Siam.1947: the ghost and Mrs Muir; Weak is the carne.1948: Escape; Unfaithfully Yours.1951: The Long Dark Hall.1952: The Four Poster.1953: Main Street to Broadway.1954: the talisman.1955: six wives for a marido.1958: MOM complicate us the vida.1960: A cry in the niebla.1961: the last chantaje.1963: Cleopatra.1964: the yellow Rolls-Royce; My Fair Lady.1965: The agony and the extasis.1967: like the doctor Dolittle; Women in Venecia.1968: fly after the oreja.1969: the escalera.1977: the fifth musketeer; The Prince and the mendigo.1978: Shalimar.1979: the five Musketeers; Ebano.1980: The vengador.1985: Heartbreak House.

Works for television

1953: The Orchid Award; The Man in Possession (episode of The United States Steel Hour). 1973: The Adventures of Don Quixote.1985: The Kingfisher.1986: Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna.


PASSEK, Jean-Luc, et to the. Dictionary of film, Librairie Larousse, 1986. Spanish version: URABAYEN CASCANTE, Miguel, et to the. (Madrid: Ediciones Rialp, S.A., 1991).

LÓPEZ, José Luis. Dictionary of actors. (Madrid: Ediciones JC, 1983).