Richard Harris is probably the greatest Irish screen actor. Peter O’Toole was half-British and half-Irish, while Daniel Day Lewis only became Irish later in life (prompting his old friends to joke that they had known him “before he was Irish”), but Harris, even when he was playing the great scourge of the Irish, Oliver Cromwell, was always quintessentially Irish, equally adept at comedy, tragedy and song, sometimes in the same film. Like most film stars, he made a lot of bad films (as his contemporary, Michael Caine, put it, “Sometimes you have to make a low standard of film to sustain a high standard of living”), but he also made several great ones, as exemplified by his Top 10.
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