Rory Harrity was a young and talented actor who appeared in several TV shows and movies in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was best known for his roles in One Step Beyond, Where the Boys Are, and Not for Hire. However, his promising career was cut short by his untimely death at the age of 41. What was the cause of his death and what were the circumstances surrounding it? Here is the tragic story of Rory Harrity.
Early Life and Career
Rory Harrity was born on May 26, 1933 in Jacksonville, Florida, USA. He was the son of Richard Harrity, a journalist and author who wrote for Life magazine and other publications. Rory attended Harvard University, where he graduated in 1955. He was also the editor of the Harvard Lampoon and the founder of their Roscoe Award for Worst Acting.
Rory started his acting career in New York, where he appeared in several off-Broadway plays and TV shows. He made his Broadway debut in 1957 in The Tunnel of Love, a comedy starring Tom Ewell and Nancy Olson. He also appeared in other Broadway productions such as The Marriage-Go-Round, The Andersonville Trial, and The Crucible.
Rory moved to Hollywood in 1959, where he landed a starring role in the ABC series Not for Hire, a crime drama about an army investigator. He also guest-starred in other popular TV shows such as Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, and The Fugitive. He also had a supporting role in the 1960 film Where the Boys Are, a teen comedy about four college girls on spring break in Fort Lauderdale.
Personal Life and Problems
Rory married Marguerite Lamkin, a model and actress, in March 1959. They met on the set of Not for Hire, where she played his love interest. However, their marriage was troubled by Rory’s excessive drinking and extramarital affairs. According to Marguerite’s obituary in the Daily UK News, she divorced Rory in 1963 after accusing him of these issues.
Rory also suffered from hypochondria, a condition where a person is excessively worried about their health. He often complained of various ailments and took various medications to treat them. According to his friend and fellow musician Gerry McAvoy, Rory started taking drugs to help him cope with his fear of flying, which he developed after a near-fatal plane crash in 1962.
Rory’s drug use affected his performance and personality. He became more withdrawn and depressed. He also lost interest in acting and turned to writing instead. He wrote short stories and articles for magazines such as Esquire, Penthouse, and Playboy. He also drank heavily to counteract the numbing effect of the drugs.
Death and Legacy
Rory’s health deteriorated rapidly in the early 1970s. He developed liver failure due to his drug abuse and alcoholism. He was admitted to a hospital in Switzerland, where he underwent an emergency liver transplant on July 23, 1974. However, he did not survive the operation and died that same day.
Rory’s death was a shock to his family and friends. His brother Donal blamed the doctors who prescribed him the drugs that caused his liver failure. He said that Rory was too young to have alcohol-related liver damage and that there must have been more to it.
Rory’s death also marked the end of his acting career, which had been largely forgotten by then. His last film appearance was in The Last Movie, a 1971 experimental drama directed by Dennis Hopper. His TV shows and movies are rarely shown or available today.
However, Rory’s legacy lives on through his fans and admirers who remember him as a talented and charismatic actor who had a lot of potential. His performances in One Step Beyond, Where the Boys Are, and Not for Hire are still praised by critics and viewers alike. He is also remembered as a witty and intelligent writer who had a unique voice and style.
Rory Harrity was a promising actor who died too soon due to his personal problems and addiction. His cause of death was a tragic result of his drug abuse and alcoholism. His story is a cautionary tale of the dangers of substance abuse and the importance of seeking help when needed.