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Friday, 30 August, 2002, 11:01 GMT 12:01 UK
Harris's Potter role unaffected by illness
Richard Harris
Harris acquired a hell-raising reputation when younger
Reports that actor Richard Harris may be too unwell to take part in the next Harry Potter film are "absolute rubbish", his agent has said.

"Richard has had pneumonia, but has responded really well to treatment and will be out of hospital any day now," the spokeswoman told BBC News Online.

Richard Harris
He plays 2,000-year-old Dumbledore

The veteran Irish actor, 71, became ill two weeks ago and there were reports that his condition was so serious it might jeopardise his role as Professor Albus Dumbledore in the third Harry Potter movie.

But his agent said his recovery was imminent - and that filming of the new film was many months away.

"Harry Potter doesn't start shooting until February or March next year," she said.

Harris, famed for his hellraising reputation, admitted in a recent interview to being charmed by the Harry Potter stories - and has so far made two of the films.

Nervous

"I loved the material in the script and it was so well written that all the hard work was done for me," he said.

Harris has well chosen for the role of Dumbledore, who sports a magnificent long white beard and mane and speaks in deep, treacle-thick tones.

However the actor said at first he was nervous about committing to all of the projected seven films in the series.

"The thing that worried me was that I hate commitment - that's why I have two ex-wives," he joked.

'Energy'

"The idea of doing seven films was intimidating: I would have to get permission to do something else and I'm rebellious by nature. I felt it could be rather difficult to handle."

"The only difficulty I had was the voice. I may be 71 but Dumbledore is 2000 years old and I thought the energy and rhythm of my voice would not suit this image," Harris added.

The first Harry Potter film followed in the phenomenal success of the books about the boy wizard, written by J K Rowling.

Both have made millions of pounds worldwide, and the movie was also recently credited with pushing up sales of videos and DVD players in the UK.


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20 Jan 00 | Entertainment
13 May 99 | Entertainment
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