Richard St. John Harris was an Irish actor, singer-songwriter, theatrical producer, film director and writer. He appeared on stage and in many films, and is perhaps best known for his roles as King Arthur in Camelot (1967), as Oliver Cromwell in Cromwell (1970) and as Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), his last film. He also played a British aristocrat and prisoner in A Man Called Horse (1970) and a gunfighter in Clint Eastwood's Western film Unforgiven (1992). As a singer, Harris is probably best remembered for his recording of Jimmy Webb's song "MacArthur Park", which reached the top ten in sales on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in 1968.
Harris, the fifth of nine children, was born in Limerick City, County Limerick, Munster, Ireland, the son of Ivan John Harris and Mildred Josephine Harty Harris.