72 (passed away Oct. 25th, 2002)
Oct. 1st, 1930
Richard Harris' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2002 - The Count of Monte Cristo
2002 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
2001 - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
2000 - Gladiator
1998 - Sibirskiy tsiryulnik
1997 - Smilla's Sense of Snow
1997 - This Is the Sea
1995 - Cry, The Beloved Country
1993 - Wrestling Ernest Hemingway
1992 - Patriot Games
1992 - Unforgiven
1990 - The Field
1981 - Tarzan, the Ape Man
1978 - The Wild Geese
1977 - Orca
1976 - The Cassandra Crossing
1976 - The Return of a Man Called Horse
1976 - Robin and Marian
1974 - Juggernaut
1971 - Bloomfield
1971 - Man in the Wilderness
1970 - Cromwell
1970 - The Molly Maguires
1970 - A Man Called Horse
1967 - Camelot
1966 - Hawaii
1966 - The Bible: In the Beginning...
1965 - Major Dundee
1963 - This Sporting Life
1962 - Mutiny on the Bounty
1961 - The Guns of Navarone
A genuine star of cinema on screen and a fiery hell raiser off screen, Richard St John Harris was born on October 1, 1930 in Limerick, Ireland, to a farming family. He was an excellent rugby player and had a strong passion for literature. Unfortunately, a bout of tuberculosis as a teenager ended his aspirations to a rugby career, but he became fascinated with the theater and skipped a local dance one night to attend a performance of "Henry IV". He was hooked and went on to learn his craft at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, then spent several years in stage productions. He debuted on screen in Alive and Kicking (1959) and quickly scored regular work in films, including The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959), A Terrible Beauty (1960) and a good role as a frustrated Australian bomber pilot in The Guns of Navarone (1961).
However, his breakthrough performance was as the quintessential "angry young man" in the sensational drama This Sporting Life (1963), which scored him an Oscar nomination. He then appeared in the WW II commando tale The Heroes of Telemark (1965) and in the Sam Peckinpah-directed western Major Dundee (1965). He next showed up in Hawaii (1966) and played King Arthur in Camelot (1967), a lackluster adaptation of the famous Broadway play. Better performances followed, among them a role as a reluctant police informer in The Molly Maguires (1970) alongside Sir Sean Connery. Harris took the lead role in the violent western A Man Called Horse (1970), which became something of a cult film and spawned two sequels.
As the 1970s progressed, Harris continued to appear regularly on screen; however, the quality of the scripts varied from above average to woeful. His credits during this period included directing himself as an aging soccer player in the delightful Bloomfield (1971); the western The Deadly Trackers (1973); the big-budget "disaster" film Juggernaut (1974); the strangely-titled crime film 99 and 44/100% Dead (1974); with Connery again in Robin and Marian (1976); Gulliver's Travels (1977); a part in the Jaws (1975) ripoff Orca (1977) and a nice turn as an ill-fated mercenary with Richard Burton (I) and Roger Moore (I) in the popular action film The Wild Geese (1978).
The 1980s kicked off with Harris appearing in the silly Bo Derek vanity production Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981) and the remainder of the decade had him appearing in some very forgettable productions.
However, the luck of the Irish was once again to shine on Harris' career and he scored rave reviews (and another Oscar nomination) for The Field (1990). He then locked horns with Harrison Ford (I) as an IRA sympathizer in Patriot Games (1992) and got one of his best roles as gunfighter English Bob in the Clint Eastwood western Unforgiven (1992). Harris was firmly back in vogue and rewarded his fans with more wonderful performances in Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993); Cry, the Beloved Country (1995); The Great Kandinsky (1995) (TV) and This Is the Sea (1997). Further fortune came his way with a strong performance in the blockbuster Gladiator (2000) and he became known to an entirely new generation of film fans as Albus Dumbledore in the mega-successful Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). His final screen role was as "Lucius Sulla" in Julius Caesar (2002) (TV).
A diverse, vigorous and captivating actor, Richard Harris passed away from Hodgkin's Disease on October 25, 2002.
- Befriended 'Russell Crowe' (qv) while filming _Gladiator (2000)_ (qv).
- Received the 'Laurence Olivier' (qv) Award for his acclaimed performances at the Royal National Theatre, London, England.
- He never made it in Hollywood due to the critical and commercial failures of _Camelot (1967)_ (qv) and _The Molly Maguires (1970)_ (qv), although in the 1990s he was much in demand as a character actor.
- Both he and his fellow Irish actor (and close friend) 'Peter O'Toole (I)' (qv) appeared in versions of "Gulliver's Travels": Harris played the title character in the 1977 film version _Gulliver's Travels (1977)_ (qv) and O'Toole played the Emperor of Lilliput in the 1996 TV-film version _Gulliver's Travels (1996) (TV)_ (qv), where 'Ted Danson' (qv) played Gulliver.
- Once said in an interview that he had a great fascination with authority figures and their use of power. During his career he portrayed King Arthur in _Camelot (1967)_ (qv); Oliver Cromwell in _Cromwell (1970)_ (qv); King Richard the Lionheart in _Robin and Marian (1976)_ (qv); Roman Emperor 'Marcus Aurelius' (qv) in _Gladiator (2000)_ (qv) and Headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films, _Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)_ (qv) and _Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)_ (qv).
- Was friends with Sir 'Sean Connery' (qv).
- Turned down the role of Commodus in _The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)_ (qv), then went on to play Commodus' father Marcus Aurelius (who dies at his son's hands) in _Gladiator (2000)_ (qv).
- Graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He was rejected by the Royal Adademy of Dramatic Art.