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The Ed Harris Bio

The Ed Harris Review –

by Nate Lee



As a featured player or supporting character, Harris helped make "Apollo 13," "Truman Show," "The Right Stuff," "Radio," "Enemy at the Gates" and especially "A Beautiful Mind" into brilliant films, if not classics, and generally better films than "Pollock." But his directorial and starring positions make that biopic truly his signature piece and brilliant in its own right.

Great Performances You May Not Have Seen:
Gone Baby Gone (a detective)
Nixon (E. Howard Hunt)
Places in the Heart
Swing Shift
Copying Beethoven (Ludwig Van)
Glengarry Glen Ross (salesman)
State of Grace
Sweet Dreams (Charlie Dick, Patsy Cline's husband)
A History of Violence
Buffalo Soldiers
The Human Stain
The Right Stuff (John Glenn)
Apollo 13 (NASA flight controller Gene Krantz)
National Treasure 2 (bad-guy treasure hunter)
The Rock (old soldier out to set things right, the wrong way)
The Firm
Absolute Power
The Abyss
The Macho Ed:
Appaloosa (a U.S. marshal)
A Beautiful Mind (secret agent)
Enemy at the Gates (Nazi sharpshooter)
Radio (football coach)
The Artistic Ed:
The Truman Show (Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated performance as Christof, a God-like director)
Pollock (Oscar-nominated performance as Jackson Pollock)
The Hours (Golden Globe and Oscar-nominated performance as an author with AIDS)
The Real Ed Harris:

Not necessarily the booze and certainly not the pathological aversion to people, but the extremely persistent artist, chain smoker and macho dude who is always thinking deep thoughts.
Acting Style:
Harris blends the macho and the artistic like nobody else. He brings us inside the Nazi assassin out to stop Jude Law. He shows the workman side of Pollack, the gentler side of a lawman in "Appaloosa," and the intellectual side of a gun-toting treasure hunter in "National Treasure." Look at all his blockbusters and you'll see layered performances that add dimension to those films.
Bits and Quirks:
Harris uses that bulldog head and gruff voice as a template to pull quick softer gestures out of. He can make a flash of kindness come out of otherwise piercingly firm eyes. He uses a cigarette as an effective prop. Sometimes a hobbled walk. Leaning over letting his arms go limp.
Great Scenes:

> All of the painting scenes
> Meeting Lee Krasner in his studio
> Waking up in the street by the school
> An angry Peggy Guggenheim visiting the studio
> Painting Peggy's personal painting
> Discovering the drip method
> Riding his book with the crate of beer

The Right Stuff

> The initial tests, outscoring the test pilots.

The Abyss

> Reviving his wife after she willingly brought herself to the edge of death to save him – the emotional highlight of the movie

National Treasure

> The denouement with the underground treasure and the rising water


> The suicide

Enemy at the Gates

Coming in on the train, looking at the wounded soldiers
> Talking with the boy shining his shoes
> The showdown with Jude Law

A Beautiful Mind

> Just lurking in the shadows, watching Russell Crowe

Copying Beethoven

> Rehearsing a symphony and messing up
> Conducting the Ninth Symphony
Go to the... Ed Harris Bio