cover image Rex Harrison: A Biography

Rex Harrison: A Biography

Nicholas Wapshott / Author Viking Books $24 (0p) ISBN 978-0-67

British biographer Wapshott ( Peter O'Toole ) offers a readable popular life history of the film and stage actor noted for his sophisticated and charming persona. Best remembered in the U.S. for his portrayal of Prof. Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady , Harrison (1908-1990) was raised in the English middle class and began acting as a teenager, devoting himself to a craft that did not come to him naturally. Wapshott details his subject's long and successful career as well as his personal life, which spanned six marriages and numerous affairs, including one with Hollywood actress Carole Landis that ended in her suicide. While acknowledging Harrison's professionalism and talent, the author depicts him as an egocentric male chauvinist who gave little in his love relationships, except in his marriage to Kay Kendall, to whom he provided emotional support during her losing battle with leukemia. A revealing portrait. Photos. (May) *PAPERBACKS*