Friday, May 24, 2024

Harry Morton Dies at Age 38, Son of Hard Rock Cafe Founder Peter Morton, Keira Knightley Played His Sister in “Domino”


Very sad news that Harry Morton, age 38, has died at his home in Beverly Hills. He was the son of Peter Morton, founder of the Hard Rock Hotels and Cafes. His grandfather was Arnie Morton, of Mortons Steakhouses. Harry, who was not married and didn’t have children, founded his own successful line of restaurants, the Pink Taco, in LA, Miami, Chicago, and Boston. The company’s website says Miami was coming soon.

Harry’s half sister through his mother was Domino Harvey. Keira Knightley played her in the 2005 movie, “Domino.” A model, drug addict. and — improbably– bounty hunter, Domino didn’t live to see the release of the movie. She died of an overdose before it came out. Domino’s mother is Paulette Stone and her father was the actor Laurence Harvey, star of “The Manchurian Candidate.” Laurence Harvey died in 1973, at age 45. Domino was 4 at the time.

Harry Morton was the apple of his father’s eye, the future of the Morton family, and beloved by everyone. I hadn’t seen him in years, but whenever you spoke to anyone in the extended Morton family he was all they talked about. He had it all. If he died because of drugs, the tragedy will be only be worse.  A spokesman for Pink Taco says: “We are saddened by the passing of Harry Morton, the founder and former owner of Pink Taco. Harry was a visionary and restaurateur ahead of his time, and his contributions, both professionally to our brand and personally to those he worked with, were numerous. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Ironically, Harry also owned the Viper Room, the nightclub where years before he owned it River Phoenix died of a drug overdose. Harry’s partners included Johnny Depp. He lived fast and died young. Condolences to his family and friends. There’s nothing worse.

Even more ironically, Harry was honored as a Reserve Detective of the Year at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station. He gave money and time to the station’s Detective Bureau (Pink Taco on Sunset is in their jurisdiction).

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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