Sir Reginald Carey Harrison (March 5, 1908 - June 2, 1990) was a British theatre and film actor.
Rex Harrison was born in Huyton, Lancashire, England and first appeared on the stage in 1924 in Liverpool. He acted in various stage productions until May 11, 1990. He acted in the West End of London when he was young, appearing in the Terence Rattigan play French Without Tears, which proved to be his breakthrough role. He continued to appear in London, in Shaw's Heartbreak House, Pirandello's Henry IV and in 1984 he appeared at the Haymarket Theatre with Claudette Colbert in Frederick Lonsdale's "Aren't we All?". He again appeared at the Haymarket in J.M.Barrie's The Admirable Crichton with Edward Fox.
Harrison was married six times.
Harrison was best known for his portrayal of Professor Henry Higgins in the musical My Fair Lady, based on the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, especially after he reprised the role in the 1964 film version, for which he won the 1965 Best Actor Oscar. He revived the role on stage in the early 1980's. He also starred in 1967's Doctor Dolittle. Harrison could not sing, and so the music in both these musicals had to be carefully written. Harrison "spoke" the words to the music, and it sounded, more or less, like singing.
Sir Rex Harrison.
Rex as the title character in DR. DOLITTLE (1967), based on the Hugh Lofting novel about a world-famous veterinarian who could speak to animals.
Born in 1908 in Liverpool, England, Reginald Carey Harrison changed his name to Rex as a young boy, knowing it was the Latin word for King. Starting out on his theatre career at age 18, his first job at the Liverpool Rep Theatre was nearly his last--dashing across the stage to say his one line, made his entrance and promptly blew it. Fates were kind, however, and soon he began landing roles in the West End. "French Without Tears", a play by Terence Rattigan, proved to be his breakthrough role. Soon he was being called the "greatest actor of light comedy in the world." Having divorced his first wife Collette Thomas in 1942, he married German actress Lilli Palmer. The two began appearing together in many plays and British films. He attained international fame when he portrayed the King in Anna and the King of Siam (1946), his first American film. After a sex scandal, in which starlet Carole Landis apparently committed suicide because he ended their affair, the relationship with wife Lili became strained. Rex (by this time known as "Sexy Rexy" for his philandering ways and magnetic charm) began a relationship with British actress Kay Kendall, divorced Lili to marry the terminally ill Kay with hopes of a re-marriage to Palmer upon Kay's death. The death of Kay affected Harrison greatly and Lili never returned to him. During this time Rex was offered the defining role of his career: Professor Henry Higgins in the original production of "My Fair Lady". He won the Tony for the play and an Oscar for the film version. In 1962 Harrison married actress Rachel Roberts. This union and the one following it to Elizabeth Harris (Richard's ex) also ended in divorce. In 1978 Rex met and married Mercia Tinker. He and Mercia remained happily married until his death in 1990. She was also with him in 1989 when he was granted his much deserved and long awaited knighthood at Buckingham Palace. Rex Harrison died of pancreatic cancer three weeks after his last stage appearance, as Lord Porteous in W. Somerset Maugham's 'The Circle'.
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that is some serious research, isn't it great to see so many famous people coming from our great city...
I nearly mistakened this Rex for Rex Makin.
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