About Rex Harrison, cont'd.

Unlike many of his celebrated contemporaries, Rex did not attend drama school. With the help of his father, he obtained an audition for the Liverpool Repertory Company and was accepted.  He began his theatrical career in November, 1925 as a bit-part player and understudy, gradually working his way up to larger roles as he learned his craft.  Over the next five years he would become a seasoned touring actor
as the company toured the provinces, playing in a different town each week.

By the early 1930s Rex had estabished himself as a star of primarily light comedy and was a name to be reckoned with on the stage. He also made appearances in a few British short films.

In 1934 he married a former fashion model, Collette Thomas, and in 1935 the two had a son, Noel.

Rex was offered a film contract by the prestigious Alexander Korda studio and made his first feature film, "Men Are Not Gods" in 1936.  He found movie acting very different from that on the stage: "None of the things you've learned in the theatre seem to apply.  The stage is about good, clear diction and body movement; on film what's important is the thinking process, what shows in your eyes and on your face.  I felt I was hideous, unphotogenic and far too camera-conscious."

Rex alternated between stage and film work throughout the 30s, and sometimes did both simultaneously - working on a movie during the day and appearing in a play at night.

with Diana Wynyard in the London stage production of "Design for Living" 1939

with Vivien Leigh in the 1937 movie "Storm in a Teacup"

with Vivien Leigh in "St. Martin's Lane"  (1938)
"I was enormously fond of Vivien. She was with Larry Olivier then, although they weren't married yet. I can remember driving her home from the studio and casting adoring glances at her all the way -- she was irresistibly beautiful -- while she waxed lyrical non-stop about Larry."

continue >>

site opening  ||  about  ||  films & theater ||  gallery  ||  merchandise  ||  links