Rex Harrison

Actor
Stagestruck from boyhood, suave British actor Rex Harrison joined the Liverpool Repertory Theatre at the age of 16, beginning a 66-year career that would culminate with his final performance on Broadway, May 11, 1990 ... Read more »
Born: 03/05/1908 in Lancashire, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (41)

The 39th Annual Tony Awards 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Performer

Ashanti 1979 (Movie)

Brian Walker (Actor)

A Time to Die 1978 (Movie)

Von Osten (Actor)

Crossed Swords 1978 (Movie)

Duke of Norfolk (Actor)

The 5th Musketeer 1978 (Movie)

Colbert (Actor)

Shalimar 1977 (Movie)

Sir John Locksley (Actor)

Burt Bacharach: Close To You 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

Staircase 1969 (Movie)

Charlie Dyer (Actor)

A Flea in Her Ear 1968 (Movie)

Victor Chandebisse/Poche (Actor)

Doctor Dolittle 1967 (Movie)

Doctor Doolittle (Actor)

The Honey Pot 1966 (Movie)

Cecil Fox (Actor)

The Agony and the Ecstasy 1965 (Movie)

Pope Julius II (Actor)

My Fair Lady 1964 (Movie)

Henry Higgins (Actor)

Cleopatra 1963 (Movie)

Julius Caesar (Actor)

The Yellow Rolls-Royce 1963 (Movie)

Marquess of Frinton (Actor)

The Happy Thieves 1961 (Movie)

Jim Bourne (Actor)

Midnight Lace 1960 (Movie)

Tony Preston (Actor)

The Reluctant Debutante 1958 (Movie)

Jimmy Broadbent (Actor)

The Constant Husband 1955 (Movie)

Charles Hathaway (Actor)

King Richard and the Crusaders 1954 (Movie)

Emir Ilderim (Actor)

Main Street to Broadway 1953 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Four Poster 1952 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Chevrolet Tele-Theater 1948 - 1950 (TV Show)

Actor

Escape 1948 (Movie)

(Actor)

Unfaithfully Yours 1948 (Movie)

Sir Alfred De Carter (Actor)

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir 1947 (Movie)

Capt. Daniel Gregg (Actor)

Anna and the King of Siam 1946 (Movie)

King of Siam (Actor)

Blithe Spirit 1945 (Movie)

(Actor)

Night Train to Munich 1940 (Movie)

Gus Bennett (Actor)

The Citadel 1938 (Movie)

Dr Lawford (Actor)

Storm in a Teacup 1936 (Movie)

(Actor)

Heartbreak House (TV Show)

Actor

Major Barbara (Movie)

Adolphus Cusins (Actor)

Men Are Not Gods (Movie)

Tommy Stapleton (Actor)

Over the Moon (TV Show)

Actor

The Fabulous 50s (TV Show)

Actor

The Foxes of Harrow (Movie)

Stephen Fox (Actor)

The Long Dark Hall (Movie)

Arthur Groome (Actor)

Biography

Stagestruck from boyhood, suave British actor Rex Harrison joined the Liverpool Repertory Theatre at the age of 16, beginning a 66-year career that would culminate with his final performance on Broadway, May 11, 1990, three weeks prior to his death. Best known for his Tony- and Oscar-winning portrayal of Professor Henry Higgins in Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's "My Fair Lady," he made his West End debut in "Getting George Married" (1930) and his Broadway debut in "Sweet Aloes" (1936), but it was a two year run on the London stage in Sir Terrence Rattigan's "French Without Tears" that made him a star. Appearances in other sophisticated comedies, S N Behrman's "No Time for Comedy" and Noel Coward's "Design for Living" (both 1939), established him as what Coward himself called "the best light comedian in the world--after me."

Relationships

Edith Carey Harrison

Mother

Jared Harris Actor

Step-Son

William Harrison

Father

Carey Harrison

Son
mother, Lilli Palmer

Noel Harrison

Son
born on January 29, 1936 mother, Marjorie Thomas

Kay Kendall Actor

Wife
Married June 1957 until her death from leukemia Sept. 6, 1957

Lilli Palmer Actor

Wife

Elizabeth Rees Production Assistant

Wife

Rachel Roberts Actor

Wife

Noel Marjorie Thomas

Wife

Mercia Tinker

Wife
Married 1978 until his death June 1990

EDUCATION

Liverpool College

Liverpool

Milestones

1988

Last appearance on the London stage, "The Admirable Crichton"

1986

Portrayed Grand Duke Cyril Romanov in NBC miniseries, "Anastasia: The Story of Anna"

1983

Received much critical acclaim for his portrayal of the aging Captain Shotover in Broadway revival of Shaw's "Heartbreak House"; Walter Kerr of THE NEW YORK TIMES called it "the best work the actor has ever done"; filmed for Showtime in 1985

1981

Reprised "My Fair Lady" on Broadway

1979

Filmed last feature, "A Time to Die" (released in 1983)

1978

Returned to drawing-room comedy for Broadway production of "The Kingfisher", opposite Claudette Colbert

1977

Appeared as Caesar in Broadway production of "Caesar and Cleopatra"

1974

Played title role in Luigi Pirandello's "Henry IV" on London stage and Sebastian Crutwell in Rattigan's "In Praise of Love" on Broadway

1967

Portrayed title role in "Doctor Dolittle"

1965

Reteamed with director Carol Reed to play Pope Julius II in "The Agony and the Ecstacy"

1964

Acted in "The Yellow Rolls-Royce"; screenplay by Rattigan

1964

Reprised Higgins for film version of "My Fair Lady" opposite Audrey Hepburn; won Best Actor Oscar

1963

Earned first Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Julius Caesar in "Cleopatra", stealing the film from his more famous co-stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

1960

Played Doris Day's husband in "Midnight Lace"

1958

After two years on Broadway, reprised "My Fair Lady" in London

1956

"My Fair Lady" opened on Broadway with Harrison as Professor Henry Higgins and Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle; received TOny Award for Best Actor in a Musical

1953

Directed and appeared as the Man in Broadway production of "The Love of Four Colonels"

1950

Received acclaim for his performances in T S Eliot's "The Cocktail Party" in London and in John van Druten's "Bell, Book and Candle" on both sides of the Atlantic

1948

Returned to Broadway as Henry VIII in Maxwell Anderson's "Anne of the Thousand Days"; earned first Tony Award

1948

Starred as a music conductor who plots to kill his adulterous wife in Preston Sturges' comedy "Unfaithfully Yours"

1947

Followed with another film success, "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir", opposite Gene Tierney

1946

Signed by 20th Century-Fox to seven year contract

1946

Scored major triumph as the 19th Century Siamese King Mongkut in his Hollywood debut, "Anna and the King of Siam"; years later Rodgers and Hammerstein would offer him the role of the King in their musical version of the tale, but other commitments prevent

1944

Portrayed Charles Condimine in David Lean's film version of Coward's "Blithe Spirit"

1940

Offered brilliant turn opposite Wendy Hiller in Gabriel Pascal's "Major Barbara"

1940

Starred in Carol Reed's "Night Train to Munich"

1939

Acted onstage in S N Behrman's "No Time for Comedy" and Noel Coward's "Design for Living"

1938

Had supporting part in King Vidor's "The Citadel", based on the A J Cronin novel

1936

Broadway debut as Tubbs Barrow in "Sweet Aloes"

1930

Film debut, "The Great Game"

1930

London stage debut as Honorable Fred Thripplehorn in "Getting George Married"

1924

Was member of Liverpool Repertory Theatre

Became stage star in Terrence Rattigan's "French Without Tears"

Played Lord Grenham in "Aren't We All?", first in London and then on Broadway; again teamed opposite Claudette Colbert

Performed the part of Lord Porteus in W Somerset Maugham's 1920s comedy "The Circle" on Broadway up unitl three weeks prior to his death

Served in Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Bonus Trivia

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Harrison was the first actor to win Tony Awards in the dramatic and musical categories. Subsequent dual winners in clude Zero Mostel, Robert Morse and Matthew Broderick.

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Made a Knight Bachelor, the most common type of knighthood, in July 1989

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