Laurence Harvey was born Lauruska Mischa Skikne on October 1 st 1928 in Lithuania. As a child he moved to South Africa with his parents, and by the age of fourteen had enrolled into the South African Navy by lying about his age. However, the Navy discovered his lie and he was sent home. The following year, aged fifteen, he made his first stage appearance at the Johannesburg Reparatory Theatre.
During the Second World War Harvey joined the American army, and afterwards in 1946 headed for England, where he pursued his appetite for acting by joining the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. He also joined a theatrical company in Manchester, England several months after enrolling at RADA. He had no problem getting large roles, and this led up to his 1948 screen debut in the production ‘Man on the Run’.
Whilst continuing his stage career in both London and New York, he went on to star in movies such as: ‘House of Darkness’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Butterfield 8’, ‘Room at the Top’, ‘Expresso Bongo’, ‘The Alamo’, and ‘The Manchurian Candidate’. He was a versatile and popular actor, and later went on to experiment with directing movies as well as acting in them.Laurence Harvey married three times throughout his relatively short life. He was just 45 years of age when he died of cancer on November 25 th 1973.
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