He came in like a whirlwind and he ended like a summer breeze. The legendary Richard Harris was a genius whose frenzied existence sometimes overshadowed his talent, yet never eclipsed it. His death in the winter of 2002 marked the passing of one of the great eccentric spirits of modern cinema and the end of an era. Over 45 years, his career spanned small theatrical productions, homegrown British films and Hollywood blockbusters. Renowned for roles in This Sporting Life, Camelot and Unforgiven, Harris’s off-screen exploits drinking and womanising with fellow hell-raisers like Burton and O’Toole also brought him worldwide fame.
To mark his passing, award-winning author Michael Feeney Callan, a friend of Harris’s since the seventies, has revisited his original study of the actor (first published in 1990), and conducted further research and interviews to create a fresh and newly revealing tribute. This unique biography benefits from the long span of Callan’s association with Harris and documents the highs and lows of his personal and professional life with the profoundest insight, culminating with the resonant swansong performance as Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
“Thorough and entertaining … There is enough hard fact throughout the epic anecdotes to keep both studious and prurient readers happy” – the Guardian
“Callan writes with immense and heartfelt affection … four stars” – Total Film
“Brutally honest” – the Mail on Sunday
“Through Callan’s astute composition, Harris transcends the anticipated gin-soaked reputation” – Kirkus