Tributes paid to the actor Richard Harris who died in a London hospital on 25 October 2002 at the age of 72.
Born on Limerick's Ennis Road in 1930, he played rugby for Young Munster and remained a lifelong Munster and Ireland supporter. Rugby featured in his first major screen role in 1962 in the film 'This Sporting Life', playing a coal miner who aspires to be an athlete. For this part he won his first Oscar nomination and took the Best Actor award at Cannes.
In 1967 he starred as King Arthur in the film 'Camelot', for which he won a Golden Globe Award. He bought the rights to the stage production which made him a multi-millionaire, although he was subsequently bankrupt on two occasions.
Harris's partying lifestyle caught up with him and in 1981 he gave up alcohol, after being told by doctors that if he continued drinking, he'd be dead within eighteen months.
One of his most memorable roles was that of Bull McCabe in the film 'The Field' in 1990, for which he won his second Oscar nomination.
Paying tribute to Richard Harris, director of 'The Field' Jim Sheridan said,
You had the kind of relationship that you'd have with a lover or a father. He just seemed to extend that kind of family thing into all the relationships he took seriously.
More recently, Richard Harris became popular with a new generation of fans playing the role of Professor Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 October 2002. The reporter is Eileen Whelan.