Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He first appeared on the stage in 1924 in Liverpool. He acted in various stage productions until May 11 of the year in which he died. He acted in the West End of London when he was young, appearing in the Terrence Rattigan play French Without Tears, which proved to be his breakthrough role.
In 1942 he divorced his first wife, Marjorie Thomas, and married actress Lilli Palmer the next year; the two later appeared in numerous plays and films. After several years in film, he achieved wide success starring in the adaptation of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit (1945). He followed that with his first major American film, starring as King Mongkut in Anna and the King of Siam.
The scandal of his affair with young actress Carole Landis, which led to her suicide, almost derailed his career. Harrison and Palmer divorced in 1957, and he was soon remarried to actress Kay Kendall. It was rumoured that he tried for a reconciliation with Lilli, but changed his mind when he discovered that Kendall was terminally ill.
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. He also starred in 1967's Doctor Dolittle.
Kay Kendall died in 1959, and in 1962 Harrison married actress Rachel Roberts, whom he divorced in 1971. His next wife was Elizabeth, former wife of actor Richard Harris, but they soon divorced. In 1978, he married Mercia Tinker, and this final marriage lasted until his death.
Academy Awards and Nominations
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