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RICHARD HARRIS (Prescott Roe)
Richard Harris is an award-winning international star, also recognized for his work as a director, singer, composer, poet, and author. Born in Limerick, Ireland, Harris joined London's Academy of Music and Drama in 1956, later learning his craft at the world famous Theater Workshop under the supervision of the great director and teacher, Joan Littlefield. He made his West End debut in Pirandello's "Man, Beast, and Virtue," followed by J.P. Donleavey's "The Ginger Man," which earned him an Evening Standard nomination for Best Performance. He later toured Europe and performed at the famed Moscow Art Theater in the Joan Littlefield production of "Macbeth."
Harris' one and only appearance on British television in "Iron Harp," for which he was nominated for Best Performance, won him a contract with Associated British Pictures. His first major film was Lindsay Anderson's THIS SPORTING LIFE, which won him the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and his first Academy Award nomination. Harris' other motion picture credits include CAMELOT, A MAN CALLED HORSE, and its two sequels, THE MOLLY MCGUIRES, with Sean Connery, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY, with Marlon Brando, THE HEROES OF TELEMARK, THE BIBLE, GOLDEN RENDEZVOUS, 99 AND 44/100% DEAD, THE RAVAGERS, THE CASSANDRA CROSSING, TARZAN, TILE APE MAN, and JUGGERNAUT, for which he received the British Academy Award for Best Performance. CROMWELL won him a second Best Actor award in the Moscow Film Festival.
Harris has also recorded several albums, including "A Tramp Shining," for which he received a Gold Record and four Grammy nominations. His rendition of Jimmy Webb's "McArthur Park" became a classic single of the 70s. "The Prophet" earned him a Gold Record and the Grammy Award in the Spoken Arts category.
In Membership of My Days, Harris' first collection of poems, became a bestseller when it was published in 1973. In 1989, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Jesuit University in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Harris' most recent screen roles include THE FIELD, which earned him another Oscar nomination, PATRIOT GAMES, and the Oscar-winning UNFORGIVEN. He has just completed Randa Haines' WRESTLING ERNEST HEMINGWAY, with Robert Duvall, and the TNT mini-series "Abraham." On stage in London, Harris scored a recent triumph in a critically-acclaimed production of Pirandello's "Henry IV."
RIVER PHOENIX (Talbot Roe)
The late River Phoenix, who died recently at age twenty-three, made his film debut in 1985 in Joe Dante's sci-fi adventure THE EXPLORERS. In 1986, he came to the forefront as the teen ringleader in the Rob Reiner coming-of-age story, STAND BY ME. Next, director Peter Weir cast him as the confused, but supportive, son of Harrison Ford in THE MOSQUITO COAST. He followed with A NIGHT IN THE LIFE OF JIMMY REARDON, a Sixties romantic comedy written and directed by William Richert. Phoenix next worked with Sidney Poitier in LITTLE NIKITA for director Richard Benjamin.
In 1988, at age seventeen, Phoenix received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the son of radical fugitives Judd Hirsch and Christine Lahti in Sidney Lumet's RUNNING ON EMPTY. That role also garnered him the National Board of Review's award as Best Supporting Actor, as well as the New York Film Critic's Award. He portrayed the young Indiana Jones in Steven Spielberg's INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE and was featured in the all-star cast of Lawrence Kasdan's I LOVE YOU TO DEATH, along with Keanu Reeves.
In 1991, he had two films in release, Nancy Savoca's DOGFIGHT and Gus Van Sant Jr.'s MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO. His performance in the latter film as Mike, the narcoleptic male prostitute living on the streets, was a risky role for any actor, but remains one of his most challenging. Phoenix received the Best Actor Award at the Venice Film festival for that film. In 1992, Phoenix joined the all-star ensemble cast of SNEAKERS, alongside Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley and Sidney Poitier for director Phil Alden Robinson (FIELD OF DREAMS).
Phoenix was also an accomplished guitarist. His band, "Aleka's Attic" was formed in 1987. Last year, the band was featured on the album "Tame Yourself' with k.d. lang, the B-52's, Indigo Girls, and Michael Stipe of R.E.M. When the album was reviewed, Billboard Magazine said that "the nicest surprise is 'Aleka's Attic.'" They also performed in clubs on the East Coast.
Following completion of SILENT TONGUE, Phoenix rejoined Dermot Mulroney in Peter Bogdanovich's THE THING CALLED LOVE as a hopeful country singer-songwriter. In the summer of 1993, Phoenix began filming DARK BLOOD opposite Judy Davis for director George (THE VANISHING) Sluizer, a film that remained uncompleted at the time of his death.