Richard Harris

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  • Aspects of Limerick City

The actor Richard Harris was born in Limerick City in October 1930. He is famous all over the world for playing the role of Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films. Sadly, he became ill before filming the third film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He was replaced by another Irish-born actor, Michael Gambon.

He played rugby for his school at Crescent College but he contacted tuberculosis as a teenager and was unable to play rugby again.

It was around that time that he developed an interest in the theatre. He moved to London to become a director but there were no openings at the time so he studied acting instead.



After various theatre and film roles, Harris hit the big time in 1963 with the film 'This Sporting Life' in which he plays an ex-miner who becomes a successful rugby league player.

Harris was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar and won the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival. His only other Oscar nomination came in 1991 for his portrayal of Bull McCabe in John B.Keane's 'The Field.'

Harris was not the first choice of the director Jim Sheridan to play the part. Sadly, Ray McAnally died during the early stages of preparation for the film and Harris convinced Sheridan that he would be the ideal replacement.

The Lost Years


Despite appearing in many acclaimed films such as 'The Wild Geese', 'A man called Horse' and 'The Molly Maguires', Harris wasn't the best judge of a film script. As a result, he starred in many films which were not worthy of his immense talents.

His reputation decreased and he found acting work quite hard to find. However, his career took off again after The Field and he has had roles in landmark movies like 'Unforgiven', Gladiator' and 'The Count of Monte Cristo'.