Richard Harris ‘played up hellraising image to generate publicity for his films’

·2-min read
Richard Harris’ son thinks the actor’s hellraising days were a ruse to generate publicity for his films credit:Bang Showbiz
Richard Harris’ son thinks the actor’s hellraising days were a ruse to generate publicity for his films credit:Bang Showbiz

Richard Harris’ son thinks the actor played up his hellraising image as a ruse to generate publicity for his films.

The ‘Harry Potter’ star’s eldest child, ‘Mad Men’ actor Jared, 60, said his father also once exploded at him during a row for trying to psychoanalyse him.

Jared told The Guardian on Wednesday (31.08.22) about constantly getting asked about his dad’s boozing and drug taking: “The ‘hell-raiser’ question – whenever I do interviews and they ask about my dad, they never get past that.

“He did it to himself because he promoted that image in newspapers to get column inches for the projects he was on.

“But I wanted to explode that particular myth and get to who he really was. To be honest, he didn’t want you to figure him out.

:I remember one time we were having an argument and he said, ‘Don’t f****** psychoanalyse me! You're not smart enough!’

“He didn’t want the mystery discovered.”

Jared spoke ahead of the release of a documentary about his dad, titled ‘The Ghost of Richard Harris’, which will premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 4 and is directed by veteran filmmaker Adrian Sibley.

Jared added: “What Adrian has done is examine the mystery (of my father), but also honour it. He hasn’t completely ripped that veil away.”

Long-time alcoholic Richard, who died aged 72 in 2002 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, allegedly had at least a week added to many of his film schedules as directors assumed they would lose time to his drunkenness.

He described himself as an “excessive compulsive” and once boarded a train at King’s Cross as it was the only place he could find that still served drinks, and ended up in Leeds where he put a brick through an old woman’s window and demanded a bed for the night.

Richard once said one of the main differences between him and Tom Cruise is that he’d bring a bottle of vodka to a premiere, while Tom has a bottle of Evian.

He became teetotal for 13 years from 1983 after he downed two bottles of Chateau Margeaux ‘57 at the Jockey Club in Washington.

Later in life he only drank Guinness, which he praised as “the best Irish food”, though not as an aphrodisiac, saying: “The only thing it gets up is your hopes.”

He gave up drugs after almost being killed by a cocaine overdose in 1978 and after being renowned for roles in ‘A Man Called Horse’ and ‘The Field’, grew a young fan base playing Albus Dumbledore in the first two ‘Harry Potter’ films.