TV Cream

Hall of Fame

HARRISON, Rex

harrison The celebrated wine bibber and talky-singer is now inextricably linked, thanks to wet bank holidays innumerable, with his gruff attempts at carrying a tune in My Fair lady and Dr Dolittle. But there’s an acre more. The only decent thing in Cleopatra. The only sane thing in Blithe Spirit. The Ghost, of Mrs Muir fame! Getting Charlton Heston in to do his ceiling in the Agony and the Ecstasy. The presenter of Rex Harrison Presents Stories of Love (no, us neither). And, of course, Saladin! Er, you get the point.

FINEST HOUR: If you want complexity, how about his role as a cod-Nazi undercover Brit rescuing Margaret Lockwood by pretending to get her to join the Nazi party while Charters and Caldicott size up a copy of Mein Kampf in Night Train to Munich?

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Richardpd

    October 21, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    He was a complete diva behind the scenes during the making of Dr Dolittle, which damaged his reputation from then on.

    • THX 1139

      October 21, 2021 at 4:06 pm

      I’d say the rot set in when he drove poor Carole Landis to suicide. The public took a long time to forgive him for that, and this was in the 1940s.

  2. Droogie

    October 21, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    Was listening to the excellent Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast where he basically talks to a guest about old movies & TV shows, and Harrison was mentioned as one of those actors that nobody who encountered or worked with them had a good word to say about them. Was quite anti-Semitic too and horrible to Anthony Newley on Dolittle apparently.

  3. Sidney Balmoral James

    October 21, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    He’s a strangely unappealing actor, a rather dry, squawky voice, and a hectoring tone, one thinks of him always mansplaining – to Eliza, to Cleopatra, to Samantha Eggar, to Doris Day etc. and his charm seems wafer thin next to Noel Coward, or Cary Grant. Must have had something ‘though to work through all those wives (and to drive poor Carole Landis to kill herself with unrequited love). An oddity in the annals of film stardom, a cold fish who had a solid star career, on basis of one or two successful roles (see also Laurence Harvey).

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