Harrison, Rex

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Harrison, Rex Gender: M
Reginald Carey Harrison
born on 5 March 1908 at 05:00 (= 05:00 AM )
Place Huyton-With-Roby, England, 53n25, 2w52
Timezone GMT h0e (is standard time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 14°14' s_mo.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 17°16 Asc.s_capcol.18.gif 20°10'

Rex Harrison (at his home in London in 1976, photo by Allan Warren)
photo: Allan warren, license gfdl


British actor, internationally known on stage and film, the winner of an Academy Award, three Tony Awards, a New York Theater Critics Award, a Golden Globe Award, and an Order of Merit of the Italian Public. He appeared in over 40 films and plays, including his signature role of Professor Henry Higgins in the musical My Fair Lady (on stage, 1957; on film, 1964).

The sophisticated king of light comedy, Harrison grew up in the northern English town of Huyten, the son of cotton broker William Reginald Harrison and homemaker Edith Carey. Stage-struck since boyhood, he played hooky at age 16 and read for a role in the play Thirty Minutes in The Street at the Liverpool Repertory. To his astonishment he was hired, and spent the next nine years touring and training with various repertory groups learning and polishing the craft he felt he was born to follow. "I never wanted to do anything else." He made his London debut in 1931 in Getting George Married and earned rave reviews in the 1936 London production of French without Tears, launching his film career. During the day he worked on camera and when shooting was finished, he would head for the theater for his evening performance, one in which he usually played the very personification of the polished upper class English gentleman in a drawing room comedy.

In 1934 he made his first marriage to Noel Collette-Thomas, they had one son, Noel. Harrison shelved his acting career in 1941 to join the Volunteer Reserve of the Royal Air Force. Two years later, prior to his 1944 release, he made his second marriage to actress Lilli Palmer with whom he had another son, Carey. Returning immediately to the stage in I Live In Grosvenor Square (1945), he held leading roles in the film version of The Rake’s Progress and in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. His performance in the Broadway production of Anne of the Thousand Days in 1948 earned him his first Tony Award.

Hollywood offers followed in the late ‘40s and after settling there with his family, Harrison’s name was often linked with starlets in the tabloid headlines, most notably with actress Carole Landis. The actress committed suicide on 4 July 1948 allegedly due to her

disappointing affair with Harrison, who was completely oblivious to his paramour’s despondency and erratic behavior. Resultant publicity gave Harrison the nickname "Sexy Rexy" coupled with an inevitable divorce from Lilli Palmer which became final in 1957.

Harrison’s first American film was Anna and The King of Siam in 1946 followed by The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), and Unfaithfully Yours (1948). Continued success on stage and screen followed, but it was his creation of the role of Professor Henry Higgins in the stage musical My Fair Lady (1957), followed by his Oscar winning performance in the film version in 1964, that made him a superstar. Harrison’s inability to carry a tune showcased his improvisational talent to talk lyrics in a musical range of one and a half notes.

Harrison wed comedienne Kay Kendal in 1957, "whose vitality and joy infected me as nothing had ever done before," knowing she was terminally ill. For the last two years of her life, he had somehow kept her from knowing she had leukaemia. She died in 1959 at age 28.

Harrison next wed and divorced actresses Rachel Roberts and Elizabeth Harris, the former wife of actor Richard Harris. With each divorce, rumors spread that the callousness of Henry Higgins reflected Harrison’s true inner nature. Harrison was unfazed, remarking that "so many people want to be liked." Cultivating his persona as a haughty, irascible charmer, Harrison told the New York Daily News in 1972 that he had "mastered the art of tail-coated actors who used to wander around the stage as if it were their dressing room."

Harrison continued his career on stage and screen apace. His well-known films include Cleopatra in 1963, where his performance of Caesar earned him an Oscar nomination, The Agony and The Ecstasy in 1965, The Yellow Rolls Royce in 1964 and Dr. Doolittle in 1967.

He made his sixth and final marriage in 1978 to Elizabeth Tinker to whom he dedicated a book of his poetry If Love Be Love, published that same year. In 1974 he published Rex, An Autobiography followed posthumously by A Damned Serious Business in 1991.

While performing at age 81 in May 1990 on Broadway in The Circle, ("I never intend to retire, never,") Harrison, now unsteady on his feet and diagnosed with a gall bladder infection, temporarily withdrew from the show. Unaware that he had pancreatic cancer, he died in his sleep three weeks later with his wife at his side, on 2 June 1990 at age 82 in New York City.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • spouse relationship with Palmer, Lilli (born 24 May 1914). Notes: Married 1943, divorced 1956
  • has other family relationship with Fyfe, David Maxwell (born 29 May 1900). Notes: Brothers-in-law
  • role played of/by Caesar, Julius (born 29 June 100 BC (-99) Jul.Cal.). Notes: 1963 film "Cleopatra"
  • role played of/by Pope Julius II (born 22 June 1445 Jul.Cal. (1 July 1445 greg.)). Notes: 1965 film "The Agony and the Ecstasy"
  • role played of/by Rama IV, King of Siam (born 19 October 1804). Notes: 1946 film "Anna and the King of Siam"


  • Work : New Career 1931 (Stage debut, "Getting George Married")
  • Relationship : Marriage 1934 (First marriage, Noel Collette Thomas)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1936 (Play, "French Without Tears")
  • Social : Joined group 1941 (Royal Air Force reserves)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1943 (Second marriage, Lilli Palmer)
  • Social : Left group 1944 (Royal Air Force reserves)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1945 (Play, "I Live in Grovesnor Square")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1946 (Film, "Anna and the King of Siam")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1947 (Film, "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1948 (Play, "Anne of the Thousand Days")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1948 (Film, "Unfaithfully Yours")
  • Death of Significant person 4 July 1948 (Paramour, actress Carole Landis)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 1957 (Lilli Palmer)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1957 (Third marriage, Kay Kendal)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1963 (Film, "Cleopatra")
  • Work : Prize 1964 (Best Actor Oscar for My Fair Lady)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1964 (Film, "My Fair Lady")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1964 (Film, "The Yellow Rolls Royce")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1965 (Film, "The Agony and the Ecstasy")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1967 (Film, "Dr. Doolittle")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1974 (Autobiography, "Rex, An Autobiography")
  • Relationship : Marriage 1978 (Sixth marriage, Elizabeth Tinker)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1978 (Book, "If Love Be Love")
  • Work : Gain social status 17 June 1989 (Knighted by the Queen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death by Disease 2 June 1990 (Cancer of pancreas, age 82)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1991 (Book, "A Damned Serious Business")

Source Notes

Blanca Holmes quotes his former wife, Lilli Palmer, in AA, 1/1957.


  • Traits : Personality : Charismatic (Charming)
  • Traits : Personality : Difficult/ mean spirited (Irascible, calous)
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Cancer (Pancreas, terminal)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Bladder (Gall bladder infection)
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage less than 3 Yrs (Third marriage, two years)
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage - Very happy (Third marriage)
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Noted (Several actresses)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Divorces (Three)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Six)
  • Family : Relationship : Stress - Extramarital affairs (Led to divorce w/ Lili Palmer)
  • Family : Relationship : Stress - Traumatic event (Paramour committed suicide)
  • Family : Relationship : Widowed (Third marriage)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Two)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Work in team/ Tandem (Toured-trained with repertory groups)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate (England to U.S.)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (82 years)
  • Vocation : Beauty : Sex-symbol
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress (Film, TV, radio, stage)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Live Stage (Legitimate theater)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Vocalist/ Pop, Rock, etc. (Talked lyrics in limited range)
  • Vocation : Military : Military service (Royal Air Force reserves)
  • Vocation : Travel : Pilot/ military
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Poet
  • Notable : Awards : Knighted (By Queen Elizabeth II)
  • Notable : Awards : Oscar ("My Fair Lady")
  • Notable : Awards : Tony
  • Notable : Awards : Vocational award (N.Y. Theater Critics Award, Golden Globe)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Book Collection : American Book