Liverpudlian George Harrison, lead guitarist of the Beatles, was the youngest and, for many years, least appreciated of the Fab Four. Often labelled the "quiet Beatle" in the early 1960s, Harrison seemed so retiring and self-deprecating that the makers of the first Beatles flick A Hard Day's Night took pity on him and wrote him his own individual sequence. The result was the hilarious "shirt scene," wherein Harrison finds himself auditioning for a specious teen-oriented TV show (asked his opinion on some wretched "mod" clothing, Harrison replies "They're grotty.") For the next Beatles film Help (65), Harrison broke the Lennon-McCartney stranglehold on the musical score by writing the song "I Need You" -- a fact that we hear proclaimed over and over during the film's closing credits. While overwhelmed in the public eye by the charisma of his fellow Beatles, Harrison was the first to assert himself as an individual musical artist, recording the 1968 solo album Wonderwall Music while still a member of the group. After the breakup of the Beatles in 1970, Harrison was also the first of the four to make the charts with a hit song; on a more negative note, he was also the first to be involved in a serious lawsuit -- the plagiarism battle over "He's So Fine," which he eventually lost. Not having appeared in a film since 1974's Concert for Bangladesh, Harrison re-entered the movie business in the late 1970s as a producer, backing such films as Monty Python's Life of Brian (79), Time Bandits (82) and Brazil (84). He also occasionally played small, uncredited roles in such films as Shanghai Surprise (86) (for which he also contributed several songs). One of George Harrison's most ingratiating post-Beatles appearance was as a BBC announcer on the parody TV documentary The Rutles -- a merciless lampoon of a certain mop-topped foursome of the 1960s.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Attended high school with Paul McCartney, who was one year older.
- Already released two solo albums, Wonderwall Music and Electronic Sound, before the Beatles broke up in 1970.
- Formed a film production company, Handmade Films, and produced 23 movies, including Monty Python's Life of Brian, Mona Lisa and Time Bandits.
- Was a Formula 1 racing fan and owned a McLaren F1 car.
- Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Beatles on January 20, 1988 and as a solo artist on March 15, 2004.
- An assailant broke into his home in 1999 and stabbed Harrison seven times before his wife Olivia knocked him over the head with a lamp.