Theme Times – Richard Harris

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I Use the following resources to compile the bios
Wikipedia Bio
YouTube Trailer Clips
Theme Times Directory
Hellraisers – Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole, Oliver Reed, Richard Burton
Richard John Harris (1 October 1930 – 25 October 2002) was an Irish actor and singer. He appeared on stage and in many films, notably as Frank Machin in This Sporting Life, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, and as King Arthur in the 1967 film Camelot, as well as the 1981 revival of the stage musical.

He played an aristocrat captured by Native Americans in A Man Called Horse (1970), a gunfighter in Clint Eastwood’s Western film Unforgiven (1992), Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Gladiator (2000), and Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), the latter of which was his final film role. Harris had a number-one singing hit in Australia, Jamaica and Canada, and a top-ten hit in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and United States with his 1968 recording of Jimmy Webb’s song “MacArthur Park.” In 2020, he was listed at number 3 on The Irish Times list of Ireland’s greatest film actors
This Sporting Life 1963

Yorkshire coal miner Frank Machin (Richard Harris) picks a fight in a club and subsequently finds himself being recruited for a rugby team. He’s an unpolished player, but his aggressiveness, brutality and indifference to the rules of fair play impress the team owners. Suddenly a rising star, Frank despairs that his success on the playing field isn’t equaled in his personal life. He loves a widowed, emotionally challenged landlady (Rachel Roberts) who’s too damaged to return his feelings.
Harris was a hellraiser when younger like so many of his particular pack who we shall see in time over the next week or so.

Who was the better Dumbledore l remember someone asking me a couple of years ago out of Harris and Gambon? For me as an admirer of both actors, it was a toughie but Richard Harris won the day for me – he in my mind was the better of the two for the role. Had the question been between Harris and Peter O’Toole the choice would have been much harder too, luckily however it wasn’t.

I was a fan of his work and his performances and l remember of the first few films l saw him in were The Guns of Navarone 1961, Red Desert 1964 and Camelot 1967 and then from that point on l would always try and watch him in as many films as l could. He did well in many and not so well in as many others – but he was still a joy to watch because in my opinion he always gave each project his all. My mother hated his films but loved his singing and my father just liked him as a hellraiser … so everything he did was fine in his eyes.

However, below are my top 13 of his films all personal favourites – how about you?

Fan or not?
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The Guns of Navarone 1961

A group of elite Greek soldiers is assigned an impossible task of taking out the powerful German cannons on the Aegean island with the help of guerrilla fighters.
Mutiny on the Bounty 1962

An 18th-century British naval vessel sets off for Tahiti but as the voyage progresses, tensions mount between the heartless captain and his conscientious chief officer.
Red Desert 1964

Giuliana faces an existential crisis while her neglectful husband climbs the ladder of success. After having an affair with his colleague, she looks at life despairingly as her mental state worsens.
Camelot 1967

King Arthur leads a blissful married life with his Queen. Trouble starts, when she has an affair with one of his knights. Now Enraged, he challenges him to win his Queen back.
Man in the Wilderness 1971

When an expedition of early 1800s fur trappers in the American Northwest encounters a bear while hunting, their scout, Zach (Richard Harris), is unfortunately mauled. Although Zach’s wounds are treated by the medic, the leader of the troop, Henry (John Huston), believes he will die and orders the troop to continue on while Zach is left behind. But Henry has underestimated Zach’s will to live — he survives and manages to regain his strength, in order to track the troop and exact revenge.
The Wild Geese 1978

A merchant banker assigns a former colonel to rescue an imprisoned leader. The colonel recruits mercenaries for the mission. But later the banker refuses to send help to the mercenaries.
The Field 1990

“Bull” McCabe (Richard Harris) has spent three decades tending a rented field on the bluffs by the sea in Ireland. When the wealthy widow who owns the plot decides to sell it, she holds an open auction to spite McCabe. A rich American (Tom Berenger) with visions of a factory on the site outbids him, and McCabe then schemes with his emotionally crippled son, Tadgh (Sean Bean), to hold on to the land — his only consolation in a life of loss, toil and a marriage gone sour.
Unforgiven 1992

William Munny, a widower with two young kids and a retired gunfighter, gives up everything after marriage. However, things change when Schofield Kid brings him an irrefutable offer.
The Hunchback 1997

Parisian church official Dom Frollo (Richard Harris) looks on as Esmeralda (Salma Hayek), a Gypsy who rebuffed his advances, is convicted of a murder he committed. A version of the famed Victor Hugo novel, the film follows Esmeralda as she iss rescued from the gallows by an observer who longs for her: Quasimodo (Mandy Patinkin), the disfigured man who rings the bells at the cathedral. Quasimodo conveys his feelings to Esmeralda, but powerful forces are soon bearing down on the two.
To Walk with Lions 1999

Based on the life of naturalist George Adamson who also inspired the book ‘Born Free’. George and his brother run a lion conservatory and help lions from zoos return to the wild.
Gladiator 2000

Commodus takes over power and demotes Maximus, one of the preferred generals of his father, Emperor Marcus Aurelius. As a result, Maximus is relegated to fighting till death as a gladiator.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 2001

Harry Potter, an eleven-year-old orphan, discovers that he is a wizard and is invited to study at Hogwarts. Even as he escapes a dreary life and enters a world of magic, he finds trouble awaiting him.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2002

A house-elf warns Harry against returning to Hogwarts, but he decides to ignore it. When students and creatures at the school begin to get petrified, Harry finds himself surrounded in mystery.

Bonus Too

So there we go folks – Richard Harris – Fan or Not or did you not even know any of his work?

13 thoughts on “Theme Times – Richard Harris

  1. Marvelous actor. I completely agree that he’s the better Dumbledore and you’ve given a wonderful overview of his career. ☺️

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