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Rex Harrison was born Reginald Carey Harrison in Lancashire, England in 1908. He decided to become "Rex" while still a boy, because it is the Latin word for "king"! He started acting on the London stage at 16. He had some success, but his breakthrough role came twelve years later in French Without Tears, a comic farce which was the first play by Terence Rattigan. After that, he continued to appear in plays, but he also appeared in major English films, including Major Barbara and Blithe Spirit. He came to the U.S. after Blithe Spirit, and made three movies, and then made Anna and the King of Siam (the non-musical precursor of The King and I), and quickly followed it with four more movies the following two years. But tragedy struck in 1947, because of Harrison's very active love life! He had divorced his first wife in 1942 and married German actress Lilli Palmer. In 1947, still married to Palmer, he had an affair with Carole Landis, and she committed suicide, and he discovered the body. He attended the funeral with Palmer in an attempt to smooth things over, but the scandal was too great, and Harrison's contract was dissolved and he left Hollywood. For most of the next decade he stayed on the stage, in both London and New York. In 1956, he was Henry Higgins in the first production of My Fair Lady, and it was one of the most successful shows of all time. Harrison played the role in the 1964 film version, and won the Best Actor Oscar. The year before he had played Julius Caesar in Cleopatra (nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for this film). He appeared in a number of big budget movies over the next few years, including The Agony and the Ecstasy and Doctor Dolittle. He mostly retired from movies in the late 1970s, but continued to act on stage the rest of his life. He was married a total of six times and he was nicknamed "Sexy Rexy"! He passed away in 1990 at the age of 82.
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