He started work as a cabinet maker, and drifted into amateur dramatics. He appeared as a stage actor first in 1903 and worked with the Liverpool Repertory Company from 1919 to 1931, and was with the Old Vic in the mid 1940s.
He was married to the actress Isadora Keith, and was the father of camera operator and cinematographer David Harcourt.
- Hobson's Choice (1931) as Hobson
- Song of the Plough (1933)
- Paris Plane (1933)
- The Old Curiosity Shop (1934) as the Single Gentleman
- Look Up and Laugh (1935)
- Laburnum Grove (1936)
- The Avenging Hand (1936)
- Seven Sinners (1936)
- Wings Over Africa (1936) as Wilkins
- Return of a Stranger (1937)
- Kate Plus Ten (1938)
- Penny Paradise (1938) as Amos Cook
- Follow Your Star (1938)
- You're the Doctor (1938)
- I Met a Murderer (1939)
- The Stars Look Down (1939) as Will
- The House of the Arrow (1940)
- Night Train to Munich (1940) as Azel Bomasch
- The Farmer's Wife (1941)
- Penn of Pennsylvania (1941)
- You Will Remember (1941)
- Hard Steel (1942)
- He Snoops to Conquer (1944) as Counciler Hopkins
- Johnny Frenchman (1945) as Joe Pender
- The Captive Heart (1946)
- I See a Dark Stranger (1946) as Butler
- Meet Me at Dawn (1947) as Henri, the butler
- Obsession (1949) as Aikins (butler)
- "James Harcourt".
- "James Harcourt - Theatricalia".
- Goldie, Grace Nisbet (1 January 1935). "The Liverpool repertory theatre, 1911-1934". The University press of Liverpool – via Google Books.
- McFarlane, Brian (16 May 2016). "The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth edition". Oxford University Press – via Google Books.
- "Bless the Bride - A.P. Herbert and Vivian Ellis - The Guide to Musical Theatre".
- "Production of Bless the Bride - Theatricalia".
- "David Harcourt".
- "Halliwell's Who's Who in the Movies" - published by Harper-Collins 1981 - ISBN 0-06-093507-3
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