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Sunday, 1 December, 2002, 16:45 GMT
Harris remembered at church service
Richard Harris
Tribute was paid to the actor at a mass in Limerick
Family and friends of Richard Harris have paid their last respects to the actor at a memorial service in Ireland.

Harris, 72, was remembered at a mass in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Limerick, his place of birth.

Film producer Noel Pearson was among those at the open service, which included readings from Harris' relatives.

He died in hospital in London on 26 October after losing his battle with Hodgkin's Disease.

Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore
Harris as cast in the Potter films
The star of film classics like This Sporting Life, Gladiator and Unforgiven had become known to a new generation of film fans through his role as Professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series.

He had completed work on the recently released second film instalment, The Chamber of Secrets, before his illness took hold.

Paying tribute to him, film director Michael Winner said: "The lights have dimmed a lot with his passing.

"He was my neighbour for 10 years and he was the most wonderful, warm character.

"He was not only a great friend and a very wonderful person to be with, he was one of our greatest actors and had this great charisma of the star, which extended to his private life.

Michael Winner
Winner described Harris as "the archetypal star"
"He was the archetypal star, he was like an old Hollywood legend."

Harris trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and built a reputation for his commanding presence on stage and screen.

He also became notorious with his off-screen antics and legendary capacity for drinking.

Following his death Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern led tributes, saying he was "deeply saddened".

Harris had hoped to be in the third Harry Potter film, The Prisoner of Azkaban, which starts shooting in February.

Director Chris Columbus said before the actor's death was announced: "He did threaten to kill me if I recast him - I can't even repeat what he said to me."


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