When Lili Palmer found out that Kay Kendall was diagnosed with leukemia, she divorced Rex so he could marry Kay and told him that after Kay died they could get remarried. (They remained friends but Lili decided not to remarry Rex.)
Rex and his second wife , German actress Lilli Palmer, appeared together in many plays and British films.
Rex's appearance in French Without Tears, a play by Terence Rattigan, proved to be his breakthrough role. Soon he was being called the "greatest actor of light comedy in the world."
Rex's first job at the Liverpool Rep Theatre was nearly his last--dashing across the stage to say his one line, made his entrance and promptly blew it. Fates were kind, however, and soon he began landing roles in the West End.
Rex started his theatre career at age 18.
Rex changed his name from Reginald to Rex as a young boy, knowing it was the Latin word for King.
Rex has two Stars on the Walk of Fame. He received one for his contributions to the Motion Picture industry, and it is located at 6906 Hollywood Blvd.. His second one is for his contributions to Television, and it is located at 6380 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA.
Over his career, Rex Harrison has been nominated for and received the following acting awards:
Some of the many stage shows that Rex appeared in over the years are: The Admirable Crichton (1989), Ceasar and Cleopatra (1977), The Circle (1990), Heartbreak House (1986), Aren't We All (1884), The Kingfisher (1978), The Love of Four Colonels (he was also the Director), Bell Book and Candle (1953), Anne of The Thousand Days (1954), My Fair Lady (1956), Design For Living, French Without Tears (1931), and In Praise Of Love (1966).
Rex directed and starred in the Broadway play Venus Observed.
Rex originated the role of "Shepard Henderson" in the Broadway play, Bell, Book, and Candle.
Rex released the record album Rex -The First Solo Album in 1980.
Rex was the editor of a book of poetry entitled If Love Be Love in 1979.
Rex released his second autobiography A Damned Serious Buisness in 1990.
Rex released his autobiography Rex in 1978.
Rex's salary history:
My Fair Lady (1964) $250,000
Cleopatra (1963) $300,000
Anna and the King of Siam (1946) $4,000/week
Rex once punched Frank Sinatra in the jaw, thinking the singer was hitting on his wife, Lili Palmer. Afterwards the two men became good friends.
Rex turned down the role of the "Prince" in the Broadway production of Noel Coward's The Girl Who Came To Supper in order to do My Fair Lady (1964). The role went to José Ferrer.
Rex was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1989.
Rex was a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1965.
Rex had a reputation for being very abrupt with his fans. One night after a stage performance of My Fair Lady, it was late, cold and pouring with rain and there was an old woman standing alone outside the Stage Door. When she saw Rex, she asked him for his autograph. Rex told her to "Sod off", and the old woman was so enraged at this that she rolled up her program and hit him with it. Stanley Holloway, who had followed Rex out in time to see this, congratulated him on not only making theatre history, but, for the first time in world history, "the fan has hit the sh*t."
Despite Rex having extensive vocal training after landing the part of "Henry Higgins" in My Fair Lady, he was unable to sing a note. In the end the director gave up and told him to quasi-speak the whole thing.
Rex was nominated in 1984 as Best Actor (Play) for his role as "Capt. Shotover" in George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House.
Rex received a Special Tony Award in 1969 for his contributions to the stage.
Rex was one of only eight actors to have won both a Tony and an Oscar for having portrayed the same role on stage and screen (My Fair Lady). The others are Joel Grey (Cabaret), Shirley Booth (Come Back, Little Sheba), Yul Brynner (The King and I), Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker), Paul Scofield (A Man For All Seasons), Jack Albertson (The Subject Was Roses), and Jose Ferrer (Cyrano de Bergerac).
Rex turned down the lead role in 13 Rue Madeleine (1946), it then went to James Cagney.
Rex frequently wore a specific ring with a dark square-cut stone, on his pinky finger of his left hand. It appears in almost all of his films.
Rex turned down the role of "The King" in The King and I. The role eventually went to Yul Brynner.
Rex deeply hated the nickname given to him by the press, "Sexy Rexy."
Rex was a winner of 2 Tony Awards for Best actor for his roles in Anne of the Thousand Days and My Fair Lady.
Rex married six times over the course of his life. The following were his spouses.
Collette Thomas (1934 - 1942) (divorced)
Lilli Palmer (25 January 1943 - 6 February 1957) (divorced)
Kay Kendall (22 June 1957 - 6 September 1959) (her death)
Rachel Roberts (21 March 1962 - 1971) (divorced)
Elizabeth Rees (1971 - 1975) (divorced)
Mercia Tinker (17 December 1978 - 2 June 1990) (his death)
Rex is best known for his role of "Professor Henry Higgins" in My Fair Lady (1964). In fact, after he did the movie, he adopted his "Henry Higgins" hat as his favorite form of head wear.
Rex was the first to discover Carole Landis' body the day she committed suicide. He had dined with her the previous night. She apparently killed herself because he ended their affair.
Rex was cremated and part of his ashes were scattered in Italy in Portofino and on the grave of his second wife, Lilli Palmer.
Rex was the Grandfather of Cathryn Harrison and Simon Harrison.
Rex was the father of actor Noel Harrison (with Collette Thomas).
Rex was the basis for the voice of "Stewie Griffin" on Family Guy.
When Rex accepted his Academy Award for My Fair Lady, he dedicated it to his "two fair ladies", Audrey Hepburn and Julie Andrews. Andrews had played "Eliza Doolittle" on in the Broadway production, but was passed over in favor of Audrey Hepburn.
Rex has a style of hat named after him.
Rex was blind in one eye as the result of a childhood illness.
Rex was the father of actor Carey Harrison (with Lilli Palmer).
Rex was so fanatical about wine that he often sent the bottles back if it was not to his liking... sometimes even to his own wine cellar.
Rex died three weeks after his final stage appearance as "Lord Porteous" in The Circle (1990).
Rex's favorite beverage was Guinness Stout.
Rex was 6' 2" (1.88 m) tall.
Rex was left-handed.
Sir Rex Harrison: Tomorrow is a thief of pleasure.
Sir Rex Harrison: There is always a struggle, a striving for something bigger than yourself in all forms of art. And even if you don't achieve greatness, even if you fail, which we all must, everything you do in your work is somehow connected with your attitude toward life, your deepest secret feelings.
Sir Rex Harrison: Exhilaration is that feeling you get just after a great idea hits you, and just before you realize what's wrong with it.
Sir Rex Harrison: When I was ten we moved and I decided that none of the names I was then called - Reggie, Bobby, Baa - suited me. Somehow I hit on Rex. I must have heard someone calling for their dog and thought it sounded rather nice.
Sir Rex Harrison: Whatever it is that makes a person charming, it needs to remain a mystery once the charmer is aware of a mannerism or characteristic that others find charming, it ceases to be a mannerism and becomes an affectation. And good Lord, there is nothing less charming than affectations!
Sir Rex Harrison: (After viewing "The Sound of Music") That was the only time I've ever rooted for the Nazis.
Rachel Roberts: (Rex's fourth wife) Rex cannot be pleased. Servants have got slapped with his tongue or hand. Eventually his servants and wives leave him. Rex is one of those who thinks living well is the best revenge. It may be, but the revenge is taken out on his nearest and dearest.