Rex Harrison Biography “Fatal Charm”

Rex Harrison Biography “Fatal Charm”

Alexander Walker has written a biography about Rex Harrison, Fatal Charm. Several passages are worth noting. One was a reference to Harrison’s ability to use a pause for dramatic effect. A fellow actorHarrison noted "a very difficult thing to pause effectively."  In fact, when engaged in public talking, coversations or trial a pause is very hard because silence is intimidating. Timing is so crucial an ability to acquire as it requires self discipline and an awareness of the moment. Trial lawyers have much to learn from actors.

In another passage, Harrison is quoted describing his feeling about a long running play and the actor’s having to do it over and over again. He said: "It’s like a housewife having to cook the same meal each night – and then having to eat it."

One line reminded me of what it is to be a trial lawyer, especially one involved in a trial. Lawrence Olivier is quoted as advising another actor who was complaining about the burden of being an actor: "Soldier on, dear fellow, until hostilities end or you fall in battle."

Another line that amused me was from Joseph L. Mankiewicz who said: "Actors don’t know how to leave a stage until you give them the lines."

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