Laurence Harvey

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Laruschka Tzvi Mischa Harvey (Skikne)

Hebrew: (סקיקני) הארווי לורנס (צבי משה)
Also Known As: "Larry"
Birthplace: Joniškis, Joniškis District Municipality, Šiauliai County, Lithuania
Death: November 25, 1973 (45)
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: Santa Barbara Cemetery, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Ber Skikne and Elka Skikne
Husband of Elizabeth Rosiland and Paulene Stone
Ex-husband of Margaret Wilding Leighton and Joan Perry
Father of Domino Harvey
Brother of Nahum Sneh and Private

Occupation: Actor
Managed by: מינה נתן אברמסון
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Laurence Harvey

Laurence Harvey (born Laruschka Mischa Skikne; 1 October 1928[1] – 25 November 1973) was a Lithuanian-born actor. In a career that spanned a quarter of a century, Harvey appeared in stage, film and television productions primarily in the United Kingdom and the United States. His performance in Room at the Top (1959)[2] resulted in an Academy Award nomination.[3] That success was followed by the role of the ill-fated Texan commander William Barret Travis in The Alamo (1960), produced by John Wayne, and as the brainwashed Raymond Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate (1962). He was born to Lithuanian Jewish parents and emigrated to South Africa at an early age, before later settling in the United Kingdom after World War II. In a career that spanned a quarter of a century, Harvey appeared in stage, film and television productions primarily in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Known for his clipped, posh accent and cool, debonair screen persona; his performance in Room at the Top (1959)[4] resulted in an Academy Award nomination.[5] That success was followed by the roles of William Barret Travis in The Alamo and Weston Liggett in BUtterfield 8, both films released in the autumn of 1960. He also appeared as the brainwashed Raymond Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate (1962). He made his directorial debut with The Ceremony (1963). He continued acting well into the 1970s, until his death in 1973 of cancer.

Laurence Harvey was a British movie star who helped usher in the 1960s with his indelible portrait of a ruthless social climber, and became one of the decade's cultural icons for his appearances in socially themed motion pictures.

Born Laruschka Mischa Skikne in Lithuania, he made his cinema debut in the British film "House of Darkness" in 1948. He was most noted for his roles as Colonel Travis in the film "The Alamo"(1960) and as Raymond Shaw in "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962). His many other credits included "Knights of the Round Table" (1953), "Romeo and Juliet" (1954), "Three Men in a Boat" (1956), "Butterfield 8" (1960) and "The Magic Christian" (1969). He also was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in the film "Room at the Top" (1959).

Harvey was born Zvi Mosheh Skikne on October 1, 1928 in Joniskis, Lithuania, to Ella (Zotnickaita) and Ber Skikne. His family was Jewish. The youngest of three brothers, he emigrated with his family, to South Africa in 1934, and settled in Johannesburg. The teenager joined the South African army during World War II, and was assigned to the entertainment unit. His unit served in Egypt and Italy, and after the war the future Laurence Harvey returned to South Africa and began a career as an actor. He moved to London after winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. He then did his apprenticeship in regional theatre, moving to Manchester in the 1940s. The tyro actor reportedly supported himself as a hustler while appearing with the city's Library Theatre. Even at this point in his life he was known to be continually in debt and adopted a firm belief in living beyond his means, a pattern that would continue until his premature death. His lifestyle would often dictate working on less worthy projects for the sake of a paycheck.

His film debut came in House of Darkness (1948), and he was soon signed by Associated British Studios. His early film roles proved underwhelming, and his attempt to become a stage star was disastrous - his debut in the revival of "Hassan" was a notorious flop. After failing in the commercial theater in London's West End, Harvey joined the company of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon for the 1952 season. Regularly panned by critics during his stint on the boards in the Bard's works, he built up his reputation as a personality by becoming combative, telling the press that he was a great actor despite the bad reviews. Someone was listening, as Romulus Pictures signed him in 1953 and began building him up as a star.

Harvey was cast as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (1954), a film that exemplified the main problem that kept Harvey from major stardom (but subsequently would serve him quite well in a handful of roles): his screen persona was emotionally aloof if not downright frigid. Despite his icy portrayal of the great romantic hero Romeo, Harvey attracted enough attention in Hollywood to be brought over by Warner Bros. and given a lead role in King Richard and the Crusaders (1954).

In Old Blighty with Romulus after his Hollywood adventure, Harvey met his future wife Margaret Leighton on the set of The Good Die Young (1954). Other film appearances included I Am a Camera (1955) and Three Men in a Boat (1956), the latter becoming his first certified hit, and even greater success was to come. The colorful Harvey, a press favorite, became notorious for his high-spending, high-living ways. He found himself frequently in debt, his travails faithfully reported by entertainment columnists. More fame was to come.

After making three flops in a row, Harvey began a brief reign as the Jack the Lad of British cinema with the great success of Room at the Top (1959). That film and Look Back in Anger (1959), which was also released that year, inaugurated the "kitchen sink" school of British cinema that revolutionized the country's film industry and that of its cousin, Hollywood, in the 1960s.

Harvey was born to play Joe Lampton, if not in kin, then in kind. Lampton was a working-class bloke who dreams of escaping his social strata for something better. It was a perfect match of actor and role, as the icy Harvey persona made Joe's ruthless ambition to climb the greasy pole of success fittingly chilling. In bringing Joe to life on the screen, Harvey was more successful than Richard Burton (a far better actor) had been in limning the theater's Jimmy Porter in the film adaptation of John Osborne's seminal "Look Back in Anger," despite Burton's own working-class background. Burton's volcanic use of his mellifluous voice, a great instrument, is much too hot for the the small universe on the screen, a case of projection that is so intense that it overwhelms the character and the film (it took Burton another half-decade to learn to act on film, and a half-decade more to lose that gift). Whereas Burton had to learn to rein it in, Harvey's already tightly controlled persona made the social-climbing Lampton resonate. Harvey fits the skin of the character much better than does Burton. Despite not being an authentic specimen, the success of his performance as a working-class man-on-the-make proved to be the vanguard of a new generation of screen characters that would be played by the real thing: Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Terence Stamp and Michael Caine, among others. "Room at the Top" signaled the appearance of the New Wave of British cinema. For his role as Joe, Harvey received his first (and only) Academy Award nomination.

While historically significant, "Room at the Top" is no longer ranked at the summit of other, more contemporary kitchen-sink dramas, such as Karel Reisz's Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), Tony Richardson's A Taste of Honey (1961) and Lindsay Anderson's This Sporting Life (1963), or even John Schlesinger's provincial comedy Billy Liar (1963), films that made stars out of the authentic working-class/provincial actors Finney, Alan Bates, Richard Harris and Courtenay, respectively. The virtue of the film is its emotional honesty about the manipulation of personal relationships for social gain in postwar Britain, a system that after a decade under the Conservatives had become self-satisfied and complacent. In its portrayal of class warfare, the film offers the most intense critique of the British class system offered by any film from the British New Wave, including "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning," which never leaves the confines of the working-class strata its main character, Arthur Seaton, is stuck in and ultimately reconciled to.

That Joe chooses a woman other than the one he really loves in order to gain social mobility, engaging in emotional manipulation of other human beings, is a brutal indictment of the class structure of postwar Britain. Joe, on his way to his wedding and his great chance, has lost his humanity. His failure is symbolic of Britain's failure as well. It is the haughtiness and narcissism of the actor Harvey (qualities his screen persona engenders in film after film) that elucidates Lampton's weakness. A further irony of Harvey's effective, if ersatz, portrayal of working-class Joe is that it made him such a success - he soon went off to Hollywood to play opposite box-office titan Elizabeth Taylor in BUtterfield 8 (1960), thus losing out on further opportunities to appear in the British New Wave he helped introduce. As well as supporting Taylor in her Oscar-winning turn in "Butterfield 8" (the two became close friends), a badly miscast Harvey also co-starred as Texas hero Col. James Travis in John Wayne's bloated budget-buster The Alamo (1960).

With the exception of the lead in the British Jungle Fighters (1961)- a war picture that was decidedly NOT New Wave - Harvey did not appear again in a major British film until 1965, when he returned to the other side of the pond to reprise Joe in the "Room" sequel Life at the Top (1965). However, if he had never gone Hollywood, he might never have been cast in his other signature role: Raymond Shaw, the eponymous The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Once again, the match of actor and character was ideal, as Harvey's coldness and affect-free acting perfectly embodied the persona of the programmed assassin. The film, and Harvey's performance in it, are classic.

In this Hollywood interlude, Harvey also appeared in the screen adaptations of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke (1961) opposite the great Geraldine Page, Oscar-nominated for her role, and the artistically less successful Walk on the Wild Side (1962), supported by the legendary Barbara Stanwyck, French beauty Capucine and a young Jane Fonda. The critics were less kind to his acting in these outings, and, indeed, the rather elegant Harvey does seem miscast as Dove Linkhorn, the wandering Texan created by hardboiled Nelson Algren, reduced to working in an automotive garage by the exigencies of the Great Depression. Critics were even less kind when Harvey tried to follow in Leslie Howard's footsteps in the remake of Of Human Bondage (1964).

Although he could not know it then, Harvey had reached the zenith of his career. In 1962 he won the Best Actor prize at the Munich film festival in 1962 for his role in The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962). Honors for Harvey were few after this point. He co-starred with Paul Newman and Claire Bloom in Martin Ritt's film version of the Broadway re-envisioning of Akira Kurosawa's cinematic masterpiece Rashomon (1950). The result, The Outrage (1964), in which Newman played a murderous Mexican bandit and Harvey his victim, was an unqualified flop that still boggles the mind of viewers unfortunate enough to stumble upon it, so outrageous is the idea of casting Newman as a Mexican killer (a role originated by Rod Steiger on the Broadway stage). Harvey, very often a wooden presence in his less inspired performances, was appropriately upstaged by the tree he remained tied to throughout most of the film.

Along with "Life at the Top," Harvey appeared in support of Oscar-winner Julie Christie in John Schlesinger's Darling (1965), an allegedly "mod" look at the jaded and superficial existence of what was then termed the "jet set." Despite its "New Wave"-like cutting and visual sense, "Darling" - which was embraced wholeheartedly by Hollywood and originally had been envisioned as a vehicle for Shirley MacLaine - was, at its heart, an old-fashioned Hollywood-style morality play, a warning that the wages of sin lead to emotional emptiness, hardy a revolutionary idea in 1965. Christie was excellent - particularly as she metamorphosed from Dolly-bird to a more mature sort of hustler - and first-male lead Dirk Bogarde always proved an interesting actor, but it was Harvey who most clearly embodied the zeitgeist of the picture. Once again, his coldness did him well as he limned the executive who manipulates and is manipulated by Christie's Diana character.

Harvey had become at this point a kind of good-luck charm for actresses with whom he appeared. Simone Signoret, Elizabeth Taylor and Christie won Best Actress Oscars after appearing in films with him, and Geraldine Page and "Room at the Top" co-star Hermione Baddeley were both Oscar-nominated in the period after appearing opposite Harvey. Alas, no one else collected kudos in a Harvey picture: he reached the high-water mark of his career in 1962, and his star was already in in decline to a murkier, less-lustrous part of the Hollywood/international cinema firmament.

Another irony of Harvey's career is that, despite ushering in the British New Wave and a cinema more independent of the meat-grinder ethos of the Hollywood and British studios catering to popular taste, he would have been better served in the 1930s and 1940s as a contract player at a major studio. Like Michael Wilding (who also became the third husband of Harvey's first wife, Margaret Leighton), another handsome man of limited gifts who nonetheless could be quite affecting in the right role, Harvey's career likely would have thrived under the studio system, with an interested boss to guide him. Like Minniver Cheever, however, he was unfortunate to have been born after his time.

As it was, the next (and last) decade of Harvey's screen life was a disappointment, with the actor relegated to less and less prestigious pictures and international co-productions that needed a "star" name. In the 1970s, Harvey became largely irrelevant as a player in the motion picture industry. His luck had run out. Good friend Liz Taylor, whose string of motion picture successes had also run its course, had him cast in Night Watch (1973), and he directed the last picture in which he appeared, Welcome to Arrow Beach (1974). If he had lived, he might have made the transition to director (he had earlier directed The Ceremony (1963) and finished directing A Dandy in Aspic (1968) after the death of original director Anthony Mann).

Laurence Harvey died on November 25, 1973, from stomach cancer. He publicly revealed that he was dismayed by being afflicted with the fatal disease, as he had always been careful with the way he ate. Sadly, his personal luck, just as capricious as his professional career, had also gone into eclipse. One of the more colorful characters to grace the screen was dead at the age of 45, exiting the stage far too soon for the legions of fans that still admired him despite the downturn in his fortunes.

Harvey's civil birth name was Laruschka Mischa Skikne.[citation needed] His Hebrew name was Zvi Mosheh. He was born in Joniškis, Lithuania, the youngest of three sons of Ella (née Zotnickaita) and Ber Skikne, Lithuanian Jewish parents.[6][7] When he was five years old, his family travelled with the family of Riva Segal and her two sons, Louis and Charles Segal on the SS Adolph Woermann to South Africa, where he was known as Harry Skikne. Harvey grew up in Johannesburg, and was in his teens when he served with the entertainment unit of the South African Army during the Second World War.[8][better source needed] As the Mystery Guest on USA TV show What's My Line screened May 1, 1960, he states he arrived in South Africa in 1934 and moved to the UK in 1946.[9]

fter moving to London, he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art,[10] but left RADA after three months,[11] and began to perform on stage and film.

Harvey made his cinema debut in the British film House of Darkness (1948), but its distributor British Lion thought someone named Larry Skikne (as he was then known) was not commercially viable. Accounts vary as to how the actor acquired his stage name of Laurence Harvey. One version has it that it was the idea of talent agent Gordon Harbord who decided Laurence would be an appropriate first name. In choosing a British-sounding last name, Harbord thought of two British retail institutions, Harvey Nichols and Harrods.[12] Another is that Skikne was travelling on a London bus with Sid James who exclaimed during their journey: "It's either Laurence Nichols or Laurence Harvey." Harvey's own account differed over time.[13]

Associated British Picture Corporation quickly offered him a two-year contract, which Harvey accepted. He appeared in supporting roles in several of their lower-budget films such as Man on the Run (1949), Landfall (1949) and The Dancing Years (1950). For International Motion Pictures he was in The Man from Yesterday (1949). He had a small role in the Hollywood financed The Black Rose (1950), starring Tyrone Power and Orson Welles, then Associated British gave him his first lead, appearing alongside Eric Portman in the Egypt-set police film Cairo Road (1950).[11]

Harvey starred in leading roles for two movies with Lewis Gilbert, Scarlet Thread (1951) and There Is Another Sun (1951). For Ealing, he made I Believe in You (1952), then he starred in the low-budget thriller A Killer Walks (1952).

Harvey's career gained a boost when he appeared in Women of Twilight (1952); this was made by Romulus Films run by John and James Woolf, who signed Harvey to a long-term contract. James Woolf in particular was a big admirer of Harvey.[14]

He had an uncredited role in the comedy Innocents in Paris (1953) and in Knights of the Round Table (1953). He received top billing the following year in The Good Die Young, a thriller directed by Gilbert. He was given the romantic male lead in the Hollywood spectacular King Richard and the Crusaders (1954), supporting Rex Harrison and George Sanders. It was a box-office disappointment. That year, he played Romeo in Renato Castellani's adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, narrated by John Gielgud. He became established as an emerging British star. According to a contemporary interview, he turned down an offer to appear in Helen of Troy (1955) to act at Stratford-upon-Avon.[15]

Romulus came to the rescue again when Harvey was cast as the writer Christopher Isherwood in I Am A Camera (1955), with Julie Harris as Sally Bowles.

He appeared on American television and on Broadway, making his Broadway debut in 1955 in the play Island of Goats, a flop that closed after one week, though his performance won him a 1956 Theatre World Award.[16] Harvey appeared twice on Broadway: in 1957 with Julie Harris, Pamela Brown and Colleen Dewhurst in William Wycherley's The Country Wife (a production he had originally starred in at London's Royal Court Theatre), and in 1959, as Shakespeare's Henry V, as part of the Old Vic company, which featured a young Judi Dench as Katherine, the daughter of the king of France.[17]

Zoltan Korda used him as one of the soldiers in Storm Over the Nile (1956), a remake of The Four Feathers (1939), playing the part taken by Ralph Richardson in the 1939 version. It was popular in Britain as was the comedy Three Men in a Boat (1956). After the Ball (1957) was a biopic of Vesta Tilley, in which Harvey played Walter de Frece. The Truth About Women (1958) was a comedy.[citation needed]

Harvey's breakthrough to international stardom came after he was cast by director Jack Clayton as the social climber Joe Lampton in Room at the Top (1959), produced by British film producer brothers John and James Woolf of Romulus Films. For his performance, Harvey received a BAFTA Award[18] nomination and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.[10] Simone Signoret and Heather Sears co-starred as Lampton's married lover and eventual wife respectively. It was the third most popular movie at the British box office in 1959 and a hit in the U.S. Harvey followed it with the musical Expresso Bongo (1959), a film best remembered for introducing Cliff Richard.[citation needed]

Room at the Top led to Hollywood offers starting with John Wayne's epic The Alamo (1960). Harvey was John Wayne's personal choice to play Alamo commandant William Barret Travis. He had been impressed by Harvey's talent and ability to project the aristocratic demeanor Wayne believed Travis possessed. Harvey and Wayne later expressed their mutual admiration and satisfaction at having worked together.[19] The Alamo was a hit (although the enormous cost meant the film lost money).[citation needed] Even more successful was MGM's BUtterfield 8 (1960), which won Elizabeth Taylor her first Oscar.

Back in Britain, Harvey was cast in the film version of The Long and the Short and the Tall (1961) in a role originally performed by Peter O'Toole during the play's West End run. In the U.S., he supported Shirley MacLaine in MGM's Two Loves (1961) and co-starred with Geraldine Page in the film adaptation of Tennessee Williams's Summer and Smoke (1961).[10]

In Walk on the Wild Side (also 1962), he was cast with Barbara Stanwyck, Jane Fonda and Capucine. Fonda was not positive about the experience of working with him: "There are actors and actors – and then there are the Laurence Harveys. With them, it's like acting by yourself."[20] The same year, he recorded an album of spoken excerpts from the book This Is My Beloved by Walter Benton, accompanied by original music by Herbie Mann. It was released on the Atlantic label.[citation needed]

Harvey's portrayal of Wilhelm Grimm in the MGM film The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962) earned him a nomination for Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama.[21] The movie was a box office disappointment.

Harvey appeared as the brainwashed Raymond Shaw in the Cold War thriller The Manchurian Candidate (1962).[10] Film critic David Shipman wrote: "Harvey's role required him to act like a zombie and several critics cited it as his first convincing performance".[11] The movie was a hit and is one of Harvey's better remembered films. Less successful was A Girl Named Tamiko (1962) and The Running Man (1963). Harvey made his directorial debut with The Ceremony (1963), in which he also starred.

Harvey played King Arthur in the 1964 London production of the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical Camelot at Drury Lane.[22]

Later years Harvey and Kim Novak took an almost instant dislike to each other when they first met to work on a remake of W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage (1964). Their acting styles were found to be incompatible, which caused problems for director Henry Hathaway.[23] During filming, kidnap threats were made against both Harvey and Novak.[24][25]

The Outrage (1964) was director Martin Ritt's remake of Akira Kurosawa's Japanese film Rashomon (1950). Besides Harvey, the film starred Paul Newman and Claire Bloom, but was unsuccessful critically and commercially.[26] He reprised his role as Joe Lampton in Life at the Top (1965), then he enjoyed a big hit with Darling (1965), co-starring Julie Christie and Dirk Bogarde.[27] While his role in the film is short, his involvement enabled director John Schlesinger to gain financial backing for the project.[11]

Harvey co-starred with Israeli actress Daliah Lavi in the comedy The Spy with a Cold Nose (1966), a parody of the James Bond films.[28]

Harvey owned the rights to the book on which John Osborne's early script for the film The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968) partially was based, Cecil Woodham-Smith's book The Reason Why (1953). He intended to make his own version.[29]

A lawsuit was filed against director Tony Richardson's company Woodfall Film Productions on behalf of the book's author. There was a monetary settlement, and Harvey insisted on being cast in a cameo role (being cast as Prince Radziwell) as part of the agreement for which he was paid £60,000.[30] Charles Wood was brought in to re-write the script. Harvey's scenes were cut from the movie at Richardson's insistence except for a brief glimpse as an anonymous member of a theatre audience which, technically, still met the requirements of the legal settlement.[31] John Osborne asserted in his autobiography that Richardson shot the scenes with Harvey "French", which is film jargon for a director going-through-the-motions because of some obligation, but with no film in the camera.[32]

Harvey completed direction of the spy thriller A Dandy in Aspic (1968) after director Anthony Mann died during production. The film co-stars Mia Farrow.[33] Harvey provided the narration for the Soviet film Tchaikovsky (1969), directed by Igor Talankin.[34]

He co-starred with Ann-Margret in Rebus (1969) then appeared in Kampf um Rom (1970), a film set in Ancient Rome. The latter starred Orson Welles who directed Harvey in The Deep, a thriller that was abandoned.[citation needed]

Harvey had a cameo role as himself in The Magic Christian (also 1969), a film based on the Terry Southern novel of the same name. He gives a rendition of Hamlet's soliloquy that develops unexpectedly into a campy striptease routine. He had a small role in WUSA (1970) and was guest murderer on Columbo: The Most Dangerous Match in 1973, portraying a chess champion who kills his opponent.[citation needed]

Joanna Pettet appeared with Harvey in an episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery ("The Caterpillar", 1972), in which Harvey's character attempts to assassinate a romantic rival by having a burrowing insect dropped in the man's ear.[35]

Harvey starred in Escape to the Sun and was reunited with Taylor in Night Watch (1973).[36]

Harvey directed and starred in his final film Welcome to Arrow Beach, which co-starred his friend Pettet, John Ireland and Stuart Whitman. The film deals with a type of war-related post-traumatic stress disorder that turns a military veteran to cannibalism.[25]

Just before Harvey died, in 1973, he was planning to star in and direct two films: one on Kitty Genovese, the other a Wolf Mankowitz comedy titled Cockatrice.[37] His death ultimately put an end to any hope that Orson Welles's The Deep would be completed. With Harvey and Jeanne Moreau in the leading roles, Welles worked on the film between his other projects, although the production was hampered by financial problems.[38]

Adopted his stage name from the Harvey Nichols Group.

First Lithuanian actor to be nominated for an Oscar.

Emigrated to South Africa at the age of 5 and grew up in Johannesburg, moving to London in 1946. He considered himself British (as well as South African), and was also quite proud of his Lithuanian Jewish heritage.

His daughter, Domino Harvey, once a model, was a bounty hunter. She was found unresponsive in a bathtub in her Los Angeles home, June 27, 2005, dying that day in a hospital of an accidental overdose of the painkiller, Fentanyl, at age 35.

In the period of 1959-1965, he appeared opposite three winners of the Best Actress Academy Award: Simone Signoret in Room at the Top (1959), Elizabeth Taylor in BUtterfield 8 (1960), and Julie Christie in Darling (1965). In that period, he also starred with Best Actress Oscar nominee Geraldine Page in Summer and Smoke (1961). Is portrayed by Jesse Pate in Domino (2005).

Was cast in the film version of Jungle Fighters (1961) (1961), the hit 1959 West End play that made Peter O'Toole a stage star, as the Hollywood studio would not accept O'Toole or second-choice Albert Finney in the role that went to Harvey, who was a known quantity in films.

While a teenager, he served in the South African Army's entertainment unit during World War Two. His daughter, Domino Harvey, was born out-of-wedlock in Belgravia, London on August 7, 1969 to Vogue model Paulene Stone. Domino was the fruit of a three-year-long affair between Harvey and Stone during his second marriage to American multi-millionaire Joan Cohn. The former Joan Perry, she was Columbia Pictures boss Harry Cohn's widow and 17 years Harvey's senior. Harvey eventually divorced Cohn and married Stone shortly before his death from stomach cancer in 1973.

Appears briefly in a scene in Tony Richardson's The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968), sitting in a theater audience near Trevor Howard as the crowd shouts out "Black bottle." Harvey had planned to make a film about the charge, even to the extent of bidding for the original Light Brigade bugle when it was up for auction in 1964. The dueling productions led to a lawsuit: As part of a settlement with Woodfall Films, he was cast as a Russian prince in the film but his part was cut out completely except for this very brief (and uncredited) appearance in the final cut.

During the launching of the James Bond franchise in 1961, he was strongly considered for the part of Bond. On acting with Harvey in Walk on the Wild Side (1962), Jane Fonda later commented, "Acting opposite Harvey is like acting by yourself--only worse!".

He had a long run as King Arthur in the musical "Camelot" in Drury Lane in 1964.

He was originally cast in Patrick McGoohan's role in Ice Station Zebra (1968).

His death from stomach cancer is thought to have been caused by his heavy smoking and longtime alcoholism. Was friends with Sidney James until they worked on The Silent Enemy (1958), together. According to the book "A Biography Of Sid James", James was offered the role of "Chief Petty Officer Thorpe" on the recommendation of Harvey, but their friendship ended during the filming. He found Harvey to be "pompous and full of his own importance".

During filming of The Alamo (1960) in late 1959, Harvey was seriously injured during a scene in which a cannon fired, recoiled and landed on his foot, breaking it in several places. According to witnesses, Harvey finished the scene (with director & actor John Wayne at his side) and collapsed in agony only after the cameras stopped rolling.

Lied about his age at 14 in order to join the South African Navy.

Attended Michael Caine's wedding to wife Shakira in early 1973.

Became a father for the 1st time at age 40 when his lover [later 3rd wife] Paulene Stone gave birth to their daughter Domino Harvey on August 7, 1969.

A memorial service was held for him at St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden on 4th January 1974.

We English have sex on the brain. Not the best place for it, actually.

I've always lived above my income. When I was earning $100 a week, I spent $200 . . . always borrowing against my future earnings. That's why I'm not the only one who wants me to be a success.

[on Julie Christie] She is marvelous, absolutely adorable, enchanting, sexy, alive, vibrant, astute, clever and knowledgeable.

Someone once asked me, 'Why is it so many people hate you?' and I said, 'Do they? How super! I'm really quite pleased about it.'

Early in his career, Harvey had a live-in relationship with actress Hermione Baddeley[39] (who appeared in a supporting role in Room at the Top, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress).[40] He left Baddeley in 1951 for actress Margaret Leighton, who was then married to publisher Max Reinhardt. Leighton and Reinhardt divorced in 1955, and she married Harvey in 1957 off the Rock of Gibraltar. The couple divorced in 1961.[41]

In 1968 he married Joan Perry, the widow of film mogul Harry Cohn.[42] Her marriage to Harvey lasted until 1972. His third marriage was to British fashion model Paulene Stone. She gave birth to their daughter Domino in 1969 while he was still married to Perry. Harvey and Stone married in 1972 and soon after, he adopted her child from her previous marriage, Sophie Norris (now Sophie Harvey). The wedding took place at the home of Harold Robbins.[10][43]

In his account of being Frank Sinatra's valet, Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra (2003), George Jacobs writes that Harvey often made passes at him while visiting Sinatra. According to Jacobs, Sinatra was aware of Harvey's sexuality. In his autobiography Close Up (2004), British actor John Fraser claimed Harvey was gay and that his long-term lover was Harvey's manager James Woolf, who had cast Harvey in several of the films he produced in the 1950s.[44]

After working in two films with her, Harvey remained friends with Elizabeth Taylor for the rest of his life. She visited him three weeks before he died. Upon his death, Taylor issued the statement: "He was one of the people I really loved in this world. He was part of the sun. For everyone who loved him, the sun is a bit dimmer." She and Peter Lawford held a memorial service for Harvey in California.[45]

Harvey once responded to an assertion about himself: "Someone once asked me, 'Why is it so many people hate you?' and I said, 'Do they? How super! I'm really quite pleased about it.'"[20]

A heavy smoker and drinker, Harvey died at the age of 45 from stomach cancer in Hampstead, London, on Sunday, 25 November 1973.[46] His daughter Domino, who later became a bounty hunter, was only four years old at the time. She died at the age of 35, in 2005, after overdosing on painkillers. They are buried together in Santa Barbara Cemetery in Santa Barbara, California.[47][48]

According to his obituary in the New York Times:

With his clipped speech, cool smile and a cigarette dangling impudently from his lips, Laurence Harvey established himself as the screen's perfect pin-striped cad. He could project such utter boredom that willowy debutantes would shrivel in his presence. He could also exude such charm that the same young ladies would gladly lend him their hearts, which were usually returned utterly broken... The image Mr Harvey carefully fostered for himself off screen was not far removed from some of the roles he played. "I'm a flamboyant character, an extrovert who doesn't want to reveal his feelings", he once said. "To bare your soul to the world, I find unutterably boring. I think part of our profession is to have a quixotic personality."[20]

<Press Association, November 26, 1973>


THE film star Laurence Harvey, who played Joe Lampton in the film "Room at the Top", has died at his Hampstead, London home.

Mr. Harvey, 45, had been ill with cancer for about 18 months and in May had surgery and cobalt ray treatment in Los Angeles.

During his sickness at home, tended by his wife, the model Pauline Stone, he was visited by many stars, including Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison, and his close friend, the playwright Wolf Mankowitz.

Mr. Harvey had continued to work from his home, preparing a script for a film he planned for shooting early next year. There will be a private cremation at Golders Green, North London, November 28.

The Harveys were married in Hollywood last New Year's Eve and have a young daughter, Domino.

During his film career Laurence Harvey exemplified the *star* personality tradition, gaining a reputation as a stylish dresser, raconteur, and big spending member of the jet set. He was born Larushka Mischa Skikne in Lithuania.


About Laurence Harvey (עברית)

לורנס הארווי (באנגלית: Laurence Harvey;‏ 1 באוקטובר 1928 - 25 בנובמבר 1973) היה שחקן קולנוע, טלוויזיה ותיאטרון יהודי בריטי מועמד פרס אוסקר לשחקן הטוב ביותר לשנת 1959 על הופעתו בסרט "מקום בצמרת".

ככוכב קולנוע הופיע הארווי בסרטים "השליח ממנצ'וריה", "האלמו", "העולם המופלא של האחים גרים" ו"דרלינג".

ביוגרפיה הארווי נולד בשם צבי משה סקיקנה בעיר ינישוק שבצפון ליטא למשפחה יהודית ליטאית. בנם של אלה ובר סקיקנה היה הצעיר מבין שלושה ילדים. כאשר היה בן חמש עבר להתגורר עם משפחתו בדרום אפריקה שם אימץ את השם הארי. הארווי גדל ובילה את רוב נעוריו ביוהנסבורג, שירת ביחידת בידור תחת צבא דרום אפריקה בתקופת מלחמת העולם השנייה. לאחר שעבר להתגורר בלונדון למד משחק באקדמיה המלכותית לאמנות הדרמה ובעצת סוכן הכישרונות גורדון הארבורד אימץ את שם הבמה "לורנס הארווי".

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Laurence Harvey's Timeline

October 1, 1928
Joniškis, Joniškis District Municipality, Šiauliai County, Lithuania
August 7, 1969
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
November 25, 1973
Age 45
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
December 1973
Age 45
Santa Barbara Cemetery, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, United States