Friday, October 1, 2010

Remembering Richard Harris

Richard St. John Harris was born on October 1, 1930 in Limerick, Munster, Ireland. The fifth of nine children he attended Crescent College. A skilled rugby player Richard played for Garryowen in Limerick. He contracted tuberculosis as a teen which affected his breathing and cut short his rugby career. He moved to London in hopes of becoming a director by enrolling in the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and studied acting. Harris, while still a student, rented the tiny "off- West End” Irving Theatre, and there directed his own production of Clifford Odets play Winter Journey (The Country Girl). This show was a critical success, but it was a financial failure, and Harris lost all his savings in this venture. After his studies he joined Joan Littlewood's Theater Workshop and began acquiring roles starting with 1956's “The Quare Fellow”. In 1958 Harris made his film debut in “The Guns of Navarone”. He then was cast in “Mutiny on the Bounty” with Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard. In 1963 he starred in “The Sporting Life” for which he won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. Another major role was in Sam Peckinpah's “Major Dundee” (1965) opposite Charlton Heston. He then returned to the stage as King Arthur in “Camelot”. This led to a singing career with telease of the LP “A Tramp Shining” featuring Jimmy Webb's “MacArthur Park”. Richard was married to actress Joan Elizabeth Rees-Williams [1936- ] from 1957-1969 from which they had three children Damian [1958- ], Jared [1961 - ], Jamie [1963 - ] who all entered the film industry. He later married actress Ann Turkel [1946- ] from 1974-1982. Harris appeared in three Euro-westerns: “Man in the Wilderness” (1971), “Triumphs of a Man Called Horse” (1982) and “Grizzly Falls” (1999). Richard died of Hodgkin's disease on October 25, 2002 in London, England. Today we remember Richard Harris on what would have been his 80th birthday.


  1. Tom,

    How about The Deadly Trackers

    With Rod Taylor and William Smith


  2. David you're correct Harris appeared in that film but it was an American produced film not a European production.