Corona 3 bought in a junk shop in 1992 by hard-drinking, twice Oscar-nominated actor Richard Harris now belongs to fellow movie star, typewriter collector Tom Hanks. This is the story of how all that happened. San Francisco
Richard St John Harris was born in
Limerick, Ireland, on October 1, 1930, and died of Hodgkin's disease in on October 25, 2002. He first made his name of a screen actor in the starring role in This Sporting Life (1963), based on David Storey’s superb novel. Harris played a rugby league professional in the north of London . He was made for the role: Harris had played fullback for the famous Garryowen club in Limerick and, until his dying day, followed England and Irish rugby union. “How to you explain a love affair?” he wrote in Garryowen, Munster ’s Daily Telegraph five months before his death. How indeed. London
Harris’s intention in buying the
3 was to use it as a prop in the movie Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993). Shamefully, instead of the typewriter, a sports cap was used in the movie as a posted birthday gift from the uncaring son of Harris’s character. The filmakers apparently thought Harris’s idea of a typewriter being delivered to the Harris character’s door by motel owner Shirley MacLaine was impractical. Corona
Ernest Hemingway, of course, used a Harris used the typewriter but later gave it to his second wife, Ann Turkel, to keep at her gated villa in
3 in his early writing career (he called it “the only psychiatrist to which I’d submit”). In the movie, Harris plays a retired Irish sea captain, Frank Joyce, who claims to have wrestled Hemingway in Puerto Rica in 1938 – the prize being Hemingway’s typewriter (Hemingway had long since discarded Coronas for Underwoods and Royals). Wrestling Ernest Hemingway was written by Steve Conrad and directed by Randa Haines. In a scorching Corona summer, Harris’s character befriends Walter, a retired Cuban barber played by Robert Duvall. The movie stars another Oscar winner in MacLaine, as well as Sandra Bullock. Florida
An associate of Turkel’s, actress Brooke Skulski, a “Hollywood wife” of LA*Stars and Terence Michael Productions, a Tinseltown Independent Movie Production company, sold the typewriter to me. Skulski played a reporter in the movies Eastside and Bulworth.
LIAM BARTLETT: And that obsession for detail runs deep. Now we know you have a very unusual hobby - this collection of old typewriters.
TOM HANKS: O-oh, be careful now.
LIAM BARTLETT: We've found something reasonably rare in
that we'd like to add to your collection. Australia
TOM HANKS: A typewriter.
LIAM BARTLETT: That's right - the world's most bankable star has a collection of more than 80 antique typewriters.
TOM HANKS: If this is just, you know, somebody's junky old portable that was taking up space in their closet, that's one thing. But if this is, if this is an actual heirloom, an object of art, a piece of historical importance...
LIAM BARTLETT: We hope you will like it.
TOM HANKS: ..you are going to intimidate me. Here we go, are we ready? Oh, dear lord! Now here, let me tell you about this typewriter. Now, you'll notice it's a
LIAM BARTLETT: But this is no ordinary
typewriter. It was owned by the legendary actor Richard Harris and dates back to 1912. Corona
TOM HANKS: Get out!
LIAM BARTLETT: Yeah, yeah and when he died...
TOM HANKS: I don't deserve this.
LIAM BARTLETT: ..it went to his wife and his wife sold it, as it turned out, to a fellow in
and now we've brought it back here for you. Australia
TOM HANKS: You guys should never have done this. You're wasting your... ..I don't deserve to own Richard Harris's coffee mug. much less his... ..and I can almost get the I can almost get the paper in. Well, let's try it out anyway. I've probably screwed it up somehow. Well, this is a treasure and I will treasure it forever.
LIAM BARTLETT: Well, I hope you like it.
TOM HANKS: So, thank you very much.