Heyman: There will only be one Richard Harris
Oct 26, 2002
Thank you Victoria, for this from Reuters:
LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) – The producer of the Harry Potter movies on Saturday hailed hell-raising Hollywood legend Richard Harris as “irreplaceable”.
“He will be greatly missed,” David Heyman said of the flamboyant star who died of cancer on Friday at the age of 72.
Harris, twice married, twice bankrupt and a firm believer in living life to the full, was twice nominated for Oscars in a career that spanned 70 movies, including “Camelot” and “Gladiator”.
He won a whole new generation of young fans playing Professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies.
Heyman, in London for the launch of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” next month, said of Harris: “He is Dumbledore in many people’s eyes. In truth he is irreplaceable.”
“We will find a new Dumbledore but there will only be one Richard Harris,” he told ITV News.
Actor, extrovert, hellraiser, hard drinker, poet and pop singer – Richard Harris lived each role to the maximum as the quintessential Irishman.
His three sons said “their beloved father” died peacefully in a London hospital.
After his funeral, his family will take the ashes back to his home in the Bahamas. Memorial services are to be staged later in London and Dublin.
Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern called Harris “one of Ireland’s most outstanding artists”.
Harris, nominated for Oscars for “This Sporting Life” and “The Field”, went from two bottles of vodka a day to total abstinence.
“I drank because I absolutely loved it,” Harris said of his notorious binges.
The ebullient extrovert stopped drinking in 1981 when told he had only 18 months to live if he did not call a halt.
He became a millionaire by shrewdly buying the stage rights of “Camelot”. He made the Top 10 with his song “MacArthur Park”.
Harris, Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton revelled in wine, women and song – and they didn’t mind in which order they came.
Harris, who would go out for a packet of cigarettes and not come back for two weeks, told Reuters while making the Potter movies last year: “I have made 72 movies in my life and been miscast twice – as a husband.”
And, like Burton and O’Toole, Harris had no regrets.
“I wanted to savour every minute of it. Richard was identical. Peter was identical. There was no burning ambition on our part to be the best Hamlet, the best Lear.”
And what then would their motto be? Without hesitation, Harris concluded with his own epitaph: “Get laid, get pissed, move on.”