Battling Cancer, Intruders
And the Past
The media-shy Harrison had always been reluctant to share his private life with the public. In 1966, Harrison married British model Patti Boyd, whom he met on the set of the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night .
Boyd fell in love with his longtime friend, guitarist Eric Clapton, in 1970. She finally left her husband for Clapton in 1974, but the two musicians managed to remain friends. Harrison even attended the couple's wedding.
Four years later, Harrison married Mexican-born Olivia Arias, who gave birth to his only child, son Dhani.
In later years his reputation as a recluse grew and he spent much of his free time puttering in his garden at his huge mansion reported to have more than 100 rooms outside London.
After Lennon's death, Harrison spent a fortune improving security at his mansion near Henley-on-Thames, about 25 miles west of London. He also sometimes traveled under an alias.
Despite those precautions, an intruder broke into the home on Dec. 30, 1999, and stabbed Harrison. Olivia saved her husband by striking the attacker over the head with a fireplace poker and table lamp. The attacker was found to be insane and confined to a mental hospital.
Harrison recovered from the stabbing, but he soon was engaged in a new battle with cancer. He had first been diagnosed with lung cancer in 1997. In May 2000, he had a cancer-like sore removed from his lungs at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He blamed the condition on smoking. His publicist said at the time that Harrison had recovered, but earlier this year , Harrison checked into a Swiss clinic for treatment of a brain tumor. He later sought treatment at hospitals in New York and Los Angeles.
Despite his frail health, Harrison recorded a single with pianist Jools Holland, former keyboardist for the band Squeeze. Harrison co-wrote the song, "A Horse to Water," with son Dhani for Holland's album, Small World, Big Friends .