Harris and O'Toole, two years apart, are excellent studies of what was and what might be. Bob Mitchum, who was no stranger to substances and spirits, looked hale and hearty in those 70's Philip Marlowe films. Memory serves me that he would even take off his shirt.Compare to Harris' English Bob in Unforgiven when he was 62. Some of it is make-up, but most of it is the ravages of hard life.
Mitchum's hell-raising did catch up with his looks eventually, but not until much later in life. At one point in the Mitchum bio I'm reading ("Baby, I Don't Care"), he remarks sadly to a visitor about "back when I was good-looking." When you have Irish coloring like Harris (I have it too!) drinking absolutely kills your looks in nothing flat. Careful lighting could still make Harris look handsome well into the 70s, but when you see candids the damage is obvious. Of course, Harris got some brilliant anecdotes out of all that carousing, and he was an incredibly witty man. I am so glad he had that late career revival, his abilities deserved it. But you still wonder what he could have done with that vast middle period where he was going onstage drunk doing "Camelot." He was an extravagantly talented actor and he just pissed so much of it away.
Have you listened to 'And the yard went on forever' by Richard Harris? Hemmings brought out an LP in 60's too. There was a great TV show, Criterion have an episode on there 'Billy Liar' DVD, 'Hollywood, UK', the American money flooded into England then and we had some good films. I love 'Blow-Up' some of the locations are near here.
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