The Limerick-born actor's archives were presented to Cork university by his son Jared Harris and members of his family from London. The Richard Harris Archives are set to go on display at his hometown's Hunt Museum.
Richard Harris was one of the most iconic film actors of the late 20th century. Nominated for two Academy Awards for "This Sporting Life" and "The Field", his other leading roles included the parts of King Arthur in "Camelot" and Marcus Aurelius in "The Gladiator".
The Richard Harris Archives span over 50 years and are an extensive collection of manuscripts, letters, photographs, literary works, artifacts and professional and personal documents which belonged to the late actor. The Richard Harris Archives gives a unique insight into one of Ireland’s legendary actors who starred in some of the most celebrated pieces of cinema of the last half century, and who won or was nominated for the most prestigious awards in film and theatre.
A preview of the collection was presented by Jared Harris and University College Cork at an event attended by members of the Harris family in London. Prominent items from the archives were unveiled in the Savoy Hotel’s Richard Harris Suite, where the late actor resided for many years.
Among the archives are Richard’s personal creative writing manuscripts including poetry, publicity and location photos from his screen and stage performances including "Camelot", "The Field", Pirandello’s "Henry IV" and as Professor Albus Dumbledore in the first two "Harry Potter" films. In addition, the archive includes private memos, items from film sets, Young Munster rugby plaques and pictures as well as letters and wire communications from family and friends, art critics, and co-performers.
First public exhibition in Limerick
The first public exhibition of the archives will take place in Richard Harris’s birth city of Limerick at the Hunt Museum and due to the generous bequest of the Harris family, and the assistance of the late actor’s son Jared, the placement of this remarkable collection will be a long-lasting legacy of the internationally acclaimed actor’s strong roots in Ireland and Munster.
“Our family is excited about bringing this collection to the public in Limerick and also basing it around the particular academic expertise of Dr. Barry Monahan” stated Jared Harris “Barry is a leading expert on our father’s career and University College Cork is home to a really exciting film school. We hope the public will enjoy the Limerick exhibition and students of film, music and theatre will find in the collection a fascinating trove of information.”
Leading expert on the career of Richard Harris
Research by Dr. Barry Monahan, Lecturer in UCC's Department of Film & Screen Media in the School of Film, Music & Theatre, focuses on the relationship between Irish film and theatre, and the work of Richard Harris, particularly his contribution to his contemporaries to defining a national style of performance on stage and screen.
“The Richard Harris Collection bridges important moments in the biography of the world-celebrated Irish actor, offering fascinating insights to aspects of his career and personality that might have been lost in the gap between his public and private stories” stated Dr. Barry Monahan.
The exact dates of the collection's appearance in Limerick will be released at a later date.