The life story of a ""spotty provincial boy from Liverpool"" who overcame a lack of classical training and went on to forge...

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REX: An Autobiography

The life story of a ""spotty provincial boy from Liverpool"" who overcame a lack of classical training and went on to forge a 50-year theatrical career. Harrison's dramatic perseverance -- through his early walk-on days with the Liverpool repertory players and years on tour throughout England -- paved the way for the West End spotlights of French Without Tears and Design for Living. His stage and screen popularity took off from there and has kept him a star since the late '30's. Twice-named Best Actor -- an Antoinette Perry Award for Anne of a Thousand Days as well as his Oscar for My Fair Lady -- Harrison's distinguished career has survived the suicide of beloved Carole Landis, the tragic loss of his third spouse Kay Kendall, and cinematic flops such as Cleopatra and A Flea in Her Ear. Despite the melange of his long-playing shows and shorter-lived marriages -- other actress wives included Lilli Palmer and Rachael Roberts -- this is a relatively perfunctory, blithely spiritless self-portrait. The author never really removes the grease paint applied way back when for his performances as a native in O'Neill's Cold. Harrison himself confesses that writing his autobiography was not as self-revelatory as he'd hoped -- ""an actor's life is lived too often and for too long on the surface."" Thus, even though this is not ghosted, it's spooked anyway -- and don't blame it on Mrs. Muir.

Pub Date: Jan. 13, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Morrow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1974