PORT ST. LUCIE PEOPLE
Michael Harrison’s first performance
was playing baby Jesus in a church
play. Only a month old, he was
cast in the role without even an audition.
Decades later, he played opposite the title
role in Jesus Christ Superstar as a glittery
King Herod, his favorite part.
In between then and now, most of the
drama in his life has been off the stage.
Harrison’s mother left him and his sister
at her parents’ house in Clinton, Indiana, on
her way out of town.
“Grandpa Drake was cruel,” Harrison
remembers. “I didn’t want to kill animals
and he liked to hunt. It was bad enough
having to chop the head off the chickens for
30 Port St. Lucie Magazine
When he was 5, he ran away. Grandma
Harrison, a widow, lived a few blocks over
and took him in. The Drakes didn’t mind,
as long as he kept doing his chores. And
though his father visited once in awhile, he
never supported his children financially or
While school is a welcome relief for some
children in tough situations, Harrison found
it harsh. He learned easily enough but one
teacher tried to break him from writing lefthanded.
“Hazel C. Taylor,” he says, “cracked my
knuckles with her ruler until they were
When Grandma Harrison realized what
was happening, she stormed into the
At an age when some people are content with sitting in the audience, Michael Harrison still finds ways to stay in the spotlight and entertain others.
BY ELLEN GILLETTE
Thirty-seven years ago, Harrison
played The Villain but today he is
more apt to be producing and performing
in shows for such charities
as Molly’s House in Stuart.