Richard Harrison (born May 26, 1936) is an American actor and occasionally a writer, director and producer.
Harrison was very prolific and worked with most of the better-known names in European B-movies during the 1960s and 1970s, branching out to exploitation films shot all over the world in the early 1970s. He worked with directors ranging from established names like Antonio Margheriti and Marino Girolami to infamous Z-movie directors like Paolo Solvay, Godfrey Ho and Alfonso Brescia. Harrison’s co-stars ranged from major and minor stars of the time like Anita Ekberg, Klaus Kinski, Fernando Sancho and Helmut Berger to obscure cult actors such as Mike Monty, Romano Kristoff and Mike Cohen.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Harrison left for Los Angeles at 17, where he found work first at the Vic Tanny and Bert Goodrich gyms. Many people working in the film industry trained at the gym and these encounters led Harrison to study acting. In 1961 he married Loretta Nicholson, the daughter of American International Pictures co-chief James H. Nicholson.
He appeared in a Santa Monica stage production, then in TV, then in small parts in feature films. Harrison worked at Twentieth Century Fox under acting coach Sandy Meiser where he made an appearance at the beginning of South Pacific along with Tom Laughlin and Ron Ely. He eventually signed a three film deal with American International Pictures, which led him to Italy, where he remained for almost three decades, appearing in sword and sandal films, then Eurospy films and spaghetti westerns. Formal acting studies set Harrison apart from other muscular American actors working in Italy in the early 1960s, such as Brad Harris and Steve Reeves, with whom he is often grouped.