GEORGE HARRISON BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Known as “the quiet Beatle”, George Harrison made a name for himself in the music industry with his band, the Beatles, and then went on to have his own successful solo career. He also started his own film production company, HandMade Films. He was born February 25, 1943 in Liverpool, England. Harrison was the youngest of Harold and Louise’s five kids. His first school, Dovedale Primary School, was the same school future band mate John Lennon attended, although Lennon was a few years ahead of him. He was next accepted into the more prestigious Liverpool Institute for Boys, where Lennon also attended. However, never a big fan of formal education, Harrison dropped out of school.
Growing up, Harrison was exposed to music through his father’s country record collection. At around twelve or thirteen years of age, he first heard Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel, and was instantly intrigued with the genre of rock. By age fourteen, he had his own guitar and was beginning to teach himself chords.
Paul McCartney went to the same school as Harrison and Lennon, and while riding the same bus as Harrison, they met and found a common interest in music. McCartney invited him to some shows of his and Lennon’s band, The Quarry Men. He persisted in showing up to their gigs, and eventually was added to their group, even though they thought him to be a bit young. After changing their name a few times, they decided on The Beatles. Two years later, Ringo Starr completed the group. By 1963 they were a sensation in England, with America joining The Beatle craze only a year later.
1964 also saw their first feature film, “A Hard Day’s Night”, a black and white mockumentary showing a couple days in the lives of The Beatles. It fared well both financially and critically, even earning a spot in Time magazine’s all-time great 100 films. They made another movie shortly after, “Help!” (1965), although it did not find as much success as their first. A couple years later, the band made their own television documentary called “Magical Mystery Tour” (1967), which followed them on their tour. Only a year following, their songs were featured in an animated fantasy film titled “Yellow Submarine” (1968), and at the end they made an onscreen appearance. Their final picture was the documentary “Let It Be” (1970). It chronicled the beginning of their break-up. It also, however, won all of the band members an Oscar for Best Music.
After The Beatles, Harrison began his solo career, using all of the songs and ideas he had been holding on to for the past couple of years. Fans and critics hailed his first album as a masterpiece. In 1971 he organized a charity event to perform at, along with other major stars like Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan. This Madison Square Event was turned into a movie, “The Concert for Bangladesh” (1972), and Harrison served as its producer.
His other albums of the decade failed to win much support, and he decided to take a break from his music. He found another production job for the dramedy “Little Malcom” (1974), as well as acting roles in the television movie “All You Need Is Cash” (1978) and film “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1978). In 1978 he decided to begin a steady career in the film industry, and started his own production company, which he named HandMade Films. The company’s first project was Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” (1979), in which he also snuck in an onscreen part for himself.
In the eighties Harrison found music success once again, but he continued to produce pictures. He produced over twenty features for his company, comedies, dramas, adventures, family and crime films alike. Such pictures include Michael Caine’s Academy Award nominated “Mona Lisa” (1986), the Sean Penn and Madonna drama “Shanghai Surprise” (1986), Jodie Foster romance “Five Corners” (1987), war drama “The Raggedy Rawney” (1988), and his final project, the crime comedy “Nuns on the Run” (1990).
In the nineties Harrison went on tour and performed a few other times, but remained mostly hidden from public eye, which he had been doing since Lennon’s 1980 murder. In 1997 he was diagnosed with throat cancer, and in the beginning of 2001 it was revealed that he also had to undergo an operation to remove a cancerous growth from one of his lungs. Despite other treatments and operations, Harrison succumbed to the cancer on November 29, 2001 in a friend’s Hollywood Hills home.
In 2004 he was posthumously admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist, although he had already been inducted as a member of The Beatles. He received numerous other honors and awards, among them multiple Grammys and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Raindance Film Festival and British Independent Film Awards. He also has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for his solo career and another for his involvement with The Beatles. In October 2011, director Martin Scorsese released a film about the life of the musician, titled “Living in the Material World: George Harrison”. George Harrison's widow Olivia has also put together from a personal archive of letters, photographs, diaries and memorabilia to tell the story of of a guitar-obsessed boy from Liverpool, England who went on to become a member of the greatest band in the world. Filled with stories from George's friends including Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and many others it is coincidently also titled "George Harrison: Living in the Material World".
“Love one another” ~ Harrison’s last public statement.
2007 The True History of the Traveling Wilburys
2005 Todd Rundgren: Liars Live
2004 Beyond the Notes: Live
2001 Ram Dass, Fierce Grace
2000 The Beatles Yellow Submarine Adventure
1990 Nuns on the Run
1990 Cold Dog Soup
1990 Belinda Carlisle: Runaway Videos
1989 Checking Out
1989 How to Get Ahead in Advertising
1989 Powwow Highway
1988 The Raggedy Rawney
1988 Track 29
1987 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne
1987 Bellman and True
1987 Five Corners
1987 Withnail & I
1986 Mona Lisa
1986 Shanghai Surprise
1984 A Private Function
1983 Good and Bad at Games
1983 Bullshot Crummond
1983 Privates on Parade
1982 The Missionary
1982 Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl
1981 Time Bandits
1980 The Long Good Friday
1979 Life of Brian
1978 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
1978 All You Need Is Cash
1974 Little Malcolm
1972 The Concert for Bangladesh
1970 Let It Be
1968 Yellow Submarine
1967 Magical Mystery Tour
1964 A Hard Day's Night