Rex Harrison was an actor from Hollywood’s Golden Age. He had made a name for himself as a suave and sophisticated gentleman on the screen. While Rex was proficient at playing the part of a suave and sophisticated gentleman. It seems that the actor was actually pretty rude in real life. One of Rex’s most significant roles was that of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. He played the part in the Broadway production and then reprised the role for the Hollywood film adaptation. This gave Rex the chance to work with both Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn. It is which something that the majority of people would’ve been grateful to do! However, it seems that Rex treated both of them poorly and that only scratches the surface of his bad behavior! Join Facts Verse as we explore why everyone refuses to watch Rex Harrison these days.
Rex Harrison Felt He Was My Fair Lady’s Main Star
Rex Harrison was the actor that played the part of Henry Higgins in the original Broadway production of My Fair Lady. As well as it’s 1964 Hollywood film adaptation. The Broadway production had cast Rex alongside Julie Andrews. While he got to appear alongside Audrey Hepburn in the film adaptation. While most people would’ve been incredibly happy for the chance to work with these two great stars. It seems that Rex considered himself better than both of them.
Of course, the main character of My Fair Lady is Eliza Doolittle. She is the titular fair lady. And the character of Henry Higgins is merely the character that helps her undergo her stunning transformation. The play My Fair Lady was based upon an earlier play by the name of Pygmalion. Which followed a high-society man attempting to makeover a low-society girl and make her presentable. The play My Fair Lady follows a very a similar story to the play that inspired it. In My Fair Lady, Henry Higgins is the high-society man and Eliza Doolittle is the low-society girl. In real life, the actor who played the part of Henry Higgins in both the original Broadway production. And the 1964 film adaptation was no classier of an individual that his female costars. However, it seems that actor Rex Harrison wasn’t aware of this!
The role of Henry Higgins required Rex Harrison to act like he was a higher-class citizen than his female costars on both the stage and the screen. But it didn’t call for him to replicate these behaviors in real life! Throughout My Fair Lady’s original Broadway run. However, it seems that Rex Harrison got to feeling that he was quite a bit better than Julie Andrews. Rex treated Julie incredibly poorly when the curtains were drawn. When Audrey Hepburn was cast to replace Julie in My Fair Lady’s 1964 film adaptation. Rex treated her even more poorly than he had treated Julie.
Rex Harrison Wasn’t the First Choice to Play Henry Higgins
Despite going on to win a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway musical. Rex Harrison was actually pretty far from being the producers’ first choice for the part of Henry Higgins in the original production of My Fair Lady. Some of the many actors that the producers offered the role to first include George Sanders, Michael Redgrave, and Noel Coward. The main reason that the producers were skeptical about hiring Rex Harrison to play the role. And that Rex wasn’t that great as a singer. However, he ended up getting the part and impressing audiences with his talents.
Given that Rex Harrison almost deemed too untalented to receive the role of Henry Higgins in the original Broadway production of My Fair Lady. One might assume that the actor would’ve been a bit more humble with his coworkers. However, once Rex finally given the role. He came onto the production with the idea that he’s the main star and that the entire show was all about him. Rex figured that he was the one drawing audiences into the venue. And he considered costar Julie Andrews to be secondary.
Julie Andrews already an experienced star by the time that she given the role of Eliza Doolittle in the original Broadway production of My Fair Lady. And she wasn’t in the mood to put up with Rex’s bad behavior. However, when Audrey Hepburn offered the chance to replace her in the role for My Fair Lady’s 1964 film adaptation. She slightly less weathered of an actress and ended up finding herself more susceptible to being hurt by Rex’s rudeness. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support!
Julie Andrews Didn’t Put Up with Rex’s Bad Behavior
During My Fair Lady‘s original run on Broadway, Rex Harrison did his best to try and dominate the production. However, Julie Andrews wasn’t having any of it. The two apparently butted heads nearly every day of the production. Though that didn’t stop the play from being a massive success. Some of the more famous examples of the two not getting along during the run of the Broadway play include a story about Rex Harrison storming out of the theater. And proclaiming that he was going to quit if Julie not fired. Another memorable incident occurred when Rex Harrison decided that he no longer interested in singing the now-classic line “I’ve grown accustomed to your face” to his female costar. It seems that Rex had indeed grown accustomed to Julie’s face, but not in a good way!
When it came time to adapt My Fair Lady into a Hollywood film, producers uncertain about handing the lead roles back to Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews. It seems that the producers felt that neither of the stars was famous enough. And they also weren’t all that fond of the way that they had behaved during the Broadway run. In the end, Rex Harrison ended up being able to keep his role of Henry Higgins for the film adaptation. While Julie forced to find work elsewhere. Julie went on to appear in the Disney film Mary Poppins instead. And the titular role likely did much more for the actress’s career than the My Fair Lady film would have.
When it came time to cast the part of Henry Higgins in the 1964 Hollywood film adaptation of My Fair Lady. There were numerous actors that producers approached before deciding to allow Rex Harrison to reprise the role from the original Broadway run. Some of the many actors that approached to take over the part. The actors include Laurence Olivier, Rock Hudson, Peter O’Toole, and Cary Grant. However, the role ended up going to Rex. Meanwhile, the role of Eliza Doolittle given to popular Hollywood film star Audrey Hepburn. She had recently starred in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Rex Treated Audrey Even Worse Than He Did Julie
The producers hoped that Rex Harrison was going to treat their new leading lady better than he did Julie Andrews. But the actor ended up being even meaner to Audrey Hepburn. The fact that he was the only one to be carried over from the Broadway production to the film only heightened Rex’s ego. And it seems that he even harder to work with on the set of My Fair Lady’s film adaptation than he’s during it’s original Broadway run. One person who has told horror stories about the way that Rex Harrison behaved on the set of the 1964 film adaptation of My Fair Lady is Andre Previn. Andre was the musical arranger for the film. And he claimed up until his recent death that Rex Harrison became the most appalling human being that he had ever had to work with.
The main reason that Andre Previn took a disliking to Rex Harrison during the filming of 1964’s My Fair Lady is because of the way the male star treated Audrey Hepburn. According to Andre, Rex was incredibly mean to Audrey, and he was also an all-around nightmare to work with regardless. In addition to being abused on the set by Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn also had other things to worry about after accepting the role of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady’s film adaptation.
Fans of the original Broadway musical were understandably put off when the incredibly talented. Julie Andrews replaced with the decidedly less talented Audrey Hepburn in the film just because the latter figure a slightly bigger star. Audrey’s singing voice was infamously dubbed over in the film, much to the chagrin of the star herself. At that year’s Academy Awards ceremony, Julie Andrews won an award for her performance in the film Mary Poppins. While Audrey Hepburn won nothing at all.
Rex Harrison went on to win an Academy Award for his role as Henry Higgins in the film adaptation of My Fair Lady. Which goes to show that the academy likely didn’t get the memo that the star was a bit of a jerk. Despite the fact that Rex got an award for his performance in the film and Audrey didn’t get one for hers. Audrey certainly walked away from the production of My Fair Lady’s film adaptation the wealthier of the two! Rex made $250,000 on the film, while Audrey made $1,000,000! This fact certainly made it hard for Rex to convince himself that he’s the bigger star between the two on the film’s set. But he still somehow managed to do it.
Rex Harrison Was Mean to Everybody!
While the horror stories involving Rex Harrison during both the original Broadway run of My Fair Lady. And the production of it’s 1964 Hollywood film adaptation are certainly amongst the worst involving the actor, they aren’t the only ones. Rex seems to have universally derided by both his males and his female costars over the course of his career. With actor Patrick Macnee claiming that Rex was one of the most horrible people he had ever met.
Although Rex Harrison was a celebrated star during his day, more and more people are reevaluating the Old Hollywood icon. It is in the wake of these horror stories involving Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Audrey Hepburn made four times as much as costar Rex Harrison. It is during the filming of the 1964 Hollywood film adaptation of My Fair Lady. And that Audrey’s singing voice in the film was dubbed? As always, like this video to show your support. And subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!