Best Known For
Irish actor Richard Harris is best known for his performances as King Arthur in Broadway's Camelot and Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Irish actor Richard Harris studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art before making his stage debut in 1956. He continued his career on stage in films such as Shake Hands with the Devil and Mutiny on the Bounty but is probably best known for his role as King Arthur in the Broadway hit Camelot and Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films.
Born in Limerick, Ireland, actor Richard Harris first wanted to be a rugby player. He excelled at the sport as a young man, but he was sidelined after contracting TB. For two years, Harris read veraciously while he recuperated from his illness. During this time, his ambitions shifted toward a life in the arts.
Harris wanted to be a director at first, but he then decided to study acting. He enrolled at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 1956. That same year, Harris made his stage debut in The Quare Fellow. Harris soon became one of a new generation of young British actors in the London theater scene, including Albert Finney among others.
After making his first film appearance in 1959’s Alive and Kicking, Harris landed roles in a number of major motion pictures. He appeared in the World War II action adventure The Guns of Navarone with Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn. In 1962’s Mutiny on the Bounty, Harris showed critics that he could hold his own against such Hollywood heavyweights as Marlon Brando. But his most impressive performance came the following year in This Sporting Life.
Harris netted an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal as a short tempered rugby player involved in a stormy relationship. He, however, was on the receiving end of a critical drubbing for the musical Camelot (1967). In the film he played King Arthur—with Vanessa Redgrave as his Guenevere. While the film may not have been a hit, Harris ended up buying the performance rights to the show. He toured in Camelot several times during his career, most notably in the 1980s with great success.
In 1970, Harris again won over audiences and critics with the western drama A Man Called Horse. He played an English aristocrat captured by some Native Americans, and his character eventually learns from his captors and adopts their ways. The film spawned several sequels, which failed to live up to the original in terms of quality and popularity.
Throughout much of his career, Harris had a habit of taking on roles in mediocre films. One of his most famous flops was the 1977 action-adventure tale Orca. Harris took a break from film in the 1980s, but his retirement proved to be short-lived. In 1990, he starred in The Field as a farmer fighting to keep his family’s lands. The film brought him an Academy Award nomination. He gave another strong performance two years later in the Clint Eastwood western Unforgiven.
profile name: Richard Harris profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Imbibers 28 people in this group
Originally called Toast of the Town, The Ed Sullivan Show ran from 1948-1971 on CBS and was an American staple in the 50s and 60s. The American variety show featured the Who's Who of celebritydom over the decades, including Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Tony Bennett, Carol Channing, Lucille Ball, The Jackson 5, and The Doors.
The Ed Sullivan Show Guests 215 people in this group
The 1960s were a time of significant cultural and social change in London. The post-World War II era, coined "Swinging London," saw a youth-driven shift in culture, from old to new. Symbolized by famous faces like English supermodels Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy to "British Invasion" rock bands like the Beatles and Cream, the era created a fresh and modern approach to everything from fashion to music to cultural attitudes. Biography.com looks at the inspirational forces behind the "Swinging London" revolution.
Swinging London - Cultural Icons: 1960s 41 people in this group