George Harrison sent his final handwritten letter to Shrek star10/30/2022
John Lennon: George Harrison discusses star in 1990
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The Beatles star George Harrison died on November 29 2001, after a long battle against cancer. The legendary musician had spent the final few years of his life in and out of hospital receiving treatments, but he had also been writing many letters to his friends and family to impart his dying wisdom. The final letter Harrison ever wrote arrived on the day that he died on the set of Austin Powers 3, addressed to Mike Myers.
Myers stars in Shrek Forever After today at 3:55pm on Channel 5. And while he is best known for putting on a Scottish accent as the titular ogre, the Canadian actor’s parents were born and raised in Liverpool, England. Because of this, he always felt he had a powerful connection to The Beatles.
Speaking about the Fab Four, he said: “All I ever wanted was to just have a sense that The Beatles knew I existed. There’s six faces in Liverpool and I have one of them. You know what I mean? It’s true.”
Myers got his wish in perhaps the worst way possible. He told Stephen Colbert: “I was doing Austin Powers 3 … We were about to go to the studio, shooting outside, and I look, and it’s raining.”
He noted how he had to deal with moving the film’s schedule around because of the rain. Then he heard the dreadful news.
“Then I see George Harrison has died,” he recalled. “I started crying. I thought: ‘This is the worst day of my life.'”
Myers explained that he had to struggle through and compose himself for the good of the movie.
However, something fascinating then happened. “We get on set,” he said. “I get a call from Gavin de Becker, who’s this brilliant security guy, lovely, close friend, but he’s on a cellphone. We shoot the scene – because he’s a security guy; why would he call? – we shoot the scene, get a knock on the door, and at the end of it, it’s Gavin de Becker, and he says: ‘Here, this is the last letter George Harrison ever wrote – to you.’”
Myers could barely believe it. But he wasn’t expecting to receive some acting feedback in this monumental letter.
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As it turns out, Harrison was a massive fan of Myers’ comedic film series Austin Powers.
He wrote to the star: “Dear Mike, I’ve been looking all over Europe for a mini-you [Mini-Me] doll. But I haven’t found one yet.”
He then went on to offer some criticism on one of the catchphrases of Myers’ characters, Dr Evil. Harrison said: “I know your parents are from Liverpool, but no Scouser would say ‘frickin’ but ‘friggin’ as in [the Penny Lane lyric] ‘four of fish and finger pie’.”
Harrison reportedly finished up the letter by telling Myers: “Thanks for the movies, so much fun.”
Myers later said: “That letter, it burned in my hands. It’s now in a frame in my house like what the Constitution is in. And it’s just so incredibly amazing. That’s the greatest thing that’s ever – I don’t even have words. The Beatles were primo, and George was the man.”
The connection between Myers and Harrison went even deeper behind the scenes, it was later revealed.
During Harrison’s final days he was attending meetings about The Beatles, but was struggling to talk.
Myers revealed: “He had lost his voice because he was ill, he had a Mini-Me – a Dr Evil doll – and the only thing he would ever say was, he’d pull the cord and say: ‘Why must I be surrounded by frickin’ idiots?’”
Myers, in awe of this incredible connection with his hero, added: “It’s unbelievable.”
There was also a lot more in the letter Harrison wrote to the star, but he confirmed he was going to keep it secret.
He added: “I can’t really speak of it. But it is fantastic and sad and awesome, and this is the magic that I’m talking about that I feel very grateful and privileged to be part of it.”
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