Ian McKellen Writings

3 October 2002 | Richard Harris (1930-2002)

From my email: Can we talk you into taking over the role of Dumbledore in the next Harry Potter movies???? You would be PERFECT for the role! I can think of nobody better. PLEASE?

Richard Harris was a smashing young actor and had his own style subsequently, which was enviable. I met him 10 years ago at the rock n roll hotel Sunset Marquis in LA. He was in the bar, drinking soda with two miniature poodles at his feet. He was like a character in a Jacques Tati movie. When recently he criticised me and others for being passionless actors I supposed he might be a little upset that I had landed the superior wizard on screen.

But acting isn't a competition of course. I still haven't seen the first HP. Before Richard Harris died there was an enquiry from the Potter camp about filching Gandalf. The Grey or the White was not specified.

To die supported by acclaim and a steady job is more than most actors dare hope for, even wonderful ones like Harris. — Ian McKellen, October 2002


Richard Harris in This Sporting Life, 1963

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