Harvey maintained throughout his life that his birth name was Laruschka Mischa Skikne. However, his legal name was Zvi Mosheh (Hirsh) Skikne. He was the youngest of three boys born to Ber “Boris” and Ella Skikne, a Jewish family in the town of Joniškis, Lithuania.
Harvey’s breakthrough to international stardom came in 1959 when he was cast as the social climber Joe Lampton in Room at the Top. For his performance, Harvey received a BAFTA Award nomination and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor, the first person of Lithuanian descent to be nominated for an acting Oscar.