15 Superb Facts Of Richard Harris

1. He appeared on stage and in many films, appearing as Frank Machin in This Sporting Life, and King Arthur in the 1967 film Camelot and the subsequent 1981 revival of the show.

2. He played an aristocrat and prisoner in A Man Called Horse .

3. Harris, the sixth of nine children of Mildred Josephine and Ivan John Harris, was born in Limerick.

4. He was raised in a middle-class and staunchly Roman Catholic family. His maternal niece is actress Annabelle Wallis.

5. He could not find any suitable training courses, and enrolled in the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art to learn acting.

6. He had failed an audition at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art .

7. This show was a critical success, but was a financial failure, and Harris lost all his savings in this venture.

8. As a result, Harris ended up temporarily homeless, sleeping in a coal cellar for six weeks.

9. He began getting roles in West End theatre productions, starting with The Quare Fellow in 1956, a transfer from the Theatre Workshop.

10. Harris spent nearly a decade in obscurity, learning his profession on stages throughout Britain.

11. Harris made his film debut in 1958 in the film Alive and Kicking, and played the lead role in The Ginger Man in the West End in 1959.

12. He hated filming The Wreck of the Mary Deare so much that he refused to return to Hollywood for several years, turning down the role of Commodus in The Fall of the Roman Empire as a Royal Australian Air Force pilot who reports that blowing up the “bloody guns” of the island of Navarone is impossible by an air raid.

13. For his role in the film Mutiny on the Bounty , despite being virtually unknown to film audiences, Harris reportedly insisted on third billing, behind Trevor Howard and Marlon Brando.

14. He did not get along at all with Brando during filming.

15. For his role, Harris won Best Actor in 1963 at the Cannes Film Festival and an Academy Award nomination.

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