The Irish actor Richard Harris was, to borrow from Seamus Heaney, a far-seeing joker posted far over the fog, or a wind-drunk lion-sun batting kites out of the sky. His performance technique had a studied carelessness or sprezzatura, antlerless and shin-deep in rage. The sixth of nine children, Harris attended a Jesuit school in Limerick and nearly became a professional rugby player before he caught tuberculosis in his teens, a brush with death that only increased his lust for life. Like his great friend Peter O’Toole, he played with his own picaresque mythology: one version is he started life as a ratcatcher and slept homeless for six weeks while he studied at LAMDA.
Source: The Glory Days of The Hellraiser: Richard Harris – The Rake