Laurence Harvey (October 1, 1928 - November 25, 1973) was a Lithuanian-born actor who achieved fame in British and American films.
Laurence Harvey maintained throughout his life that his birth name was Laruschka Mischa Skikne, his real name was Zvi Mosheh (Hirsh) Skikne, called Hirshkeh by his family. He was the youngest of three boys born to Ber "Boris" and Ella Skikne, a Jewish family in the tiny village of Joniskis, Lithuania. At the age of five he emigrated with his family to South Africa where he took on the English name of Harry. He grew up in Johannesburg, and was in his teens when he served with the entertainment unit of the South African Army during World War II. After moving to London, England, he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art where he became known as Larry, and from there moved to perform on stage and film where he adopted the stage name "Laurence Harvey", taken either from the shop name Harvey Nichols or from Harvey's Bristol Cream.
Harvey's first major role came in 1959 when he was cast by director Jack Clayton in Room at the Top produced by British film producing brothers Sir John Woolf and James Woolf of Romulus Films and Remus Films. For his performance, Harvey received a nomination for a BAFTA Award and for an Academy Award for Best Actor, the first person of Lithuanian descent to be nominated for an Academy Award.
During the 1950s and 1960s, he appeared in several major films, including BUtterfield 8, The Alamo, Darling and the critically acclaimed The Manchurian Candidate, for which he is most well known.
He was married three times:
Margaret Leighton (1957-1961) (divorced) Joan Cohn (1968-1972) (divorced) Paulene Stone (1972-1973), with whom he remained until his death from stomach cancer at age of 45, and with whom he had a daughter, Domino Harvey (1969-2005).