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Harrison Ford

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Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford (born July 13, 1942) is an American actor who, between 1977 and 1983, appeared in what were then four of the top ten highest-grossing movies ever.

In most of his roles, Ford plays a tough, wise-cracking action hero, and is well known for his repeated performances as the character Han Solo of the Star Wars films, and Indiana Jones of Raiders of the Lost Ark and its sequels.

Contents

Biography

Ford was born in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Dorothy Ford, was a Russian Jew; his father, Christopher Ford, was Irish and Roman Catholic (and a former actor). He graduated from Maine Township High School in Park Ridge, Illinois, in 1960 where he reportedly was picked on by bullies and ignored by girls. He attended Ripon College in Wisconsin, where he took a drama class in his junior year chiefly as a way to meet women, he said. Ford, a self-described "late bloomer," became fascinated with acting. While in college, toward the end of his freshman year, he was a member of a folk band called The Brothers Gross. He played the gutbucket (an upside-down washbucket rigged with a broomstick and a single bass string).

He married his college sweetheart, Mary Marquardt, in 1964. Ford and his new wife moved to Los Angeles, California, and he contracted with Columbia Pictures for $150 a week in the studio's New Talent program, where he had bit parts in three films. He then went to Universal Studios and did minor television roles. Not happy with the acting jobs being offered to him, Ford became a self-taught professional carpenter to better support his wife and two small sons before his break-through role in American Graffiti. Coincidentally, it was his work as a carpenter that would land Ford his biggest role. George Lucas hired Ford in 1975 to build some cabinets in his home and used him to read lines for actors being cast for parts in Star Wars. It was Steven Spielberg who first noticed that Ford was perfect for the part of Han Solo.

Harrison Ford as  in
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Harrison Ford as Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back

Ford went on to star as Han Solo in the first three Star Wars films. He starred as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark and two sequels, and as Jack Ryan in Tom Clancy's Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. He also has starred in Blade Runner, Witness, The Fugitive (1993), and the remake of Sabrina, among others.

Many of Ford's major film roles came to him by default - Han Solo, due to him reading lines for other actors; Indiana Jones, because Tom Selleck was not available; and Jack Ryan, apparently due to Alec Baldwin's fee demands. While some of his most revered work is in the science-fiction category with Star Wars and cult classic Blade Runner, he said the latter was one of his least favorite roles, and he has yet to return to the genre.

The Guinness Book of Records (2001) listed Ford as the richest actor alive. His reported salary for the 2002 movie K-19: The Widowmaker was more than $25 million. The 27 movies he made grossed a combined box office of more than $3.3 billion. Despite being one of the most successful actors of his generation, Ford has received only one Oscar nomination, for Best Actor for Witness. However, in 2000, he received the Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.

Ford assisted musician Jimmy Buffett by recording whip cracks (a skill learned for Raiders of the Lost Ark) used in the song "Desperation Samba (Halloween in Tijuana)."

Ford was credited as "Harrison J. Ford" for a small role in a 1967 Western A Time for Killing, but the "J" didn't stand for anything; Ford does not have a middle name. He was credited as such to avoid confusion with another actor named Harrison Ford, a silent-film actor who died in 1957. The first Ford has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of famed eatery Musso & Frank. The modern-day Harrison Ford received a star on Hollywood Boulevard on June 2, 2003.

Ford has been married twice. He married Mary Marquadt in 1964, and divorced in 1979, and he had two children with her, Benjamin and Willard. He married again, to Melissa Mathison writer of Black Beauty and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, in 1983, divorcing in 2003, and had with her another two children: a son, Malcom, and a daughter, Georgia. He is engaged to actress Calista Flockhart.

Ford is a private pilot of both planes and helicopters, and owns an 800 acre (3.2 km²) ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. On several occasions he personally has provided emergency helicopter services at the behest of local authorities. In one instance, he rescued a hiker overcome by dehydration. He is the current Chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagle program, taking over after Chuck Yeager retired. Ford also gives of his time and money for environmental causes. He sits on the Board of Directors of Conservation International.

Though he dislikes public speaking and can be mean, cantankerous, and gruff in interviews, he once appeared before a U.S. Senate subcommittee on behalf of the people of Tibet. His goal was to prevent China from gaining Most Favored Nation status, because of the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Filmography

Year Film Role Other notes
2006 Indiana Jones 4 Indiana Jones Announced
2006 Godspeed

Pre-Production

2005 The Wrong Element Filming
2004 Water To Wine Jethro (as Jethro the Bus Driver)
2003 Hollywood Homicide Joe Gavilan
2002 K-19: The Widowmaker Alexei Vostrikov
2000 What Lies Beneath Dr. Norman Spencer
1999 Random Hearts Sergeant William "Dutch" Van Den Broeck
1998 Six Days Seven Nights Quinn Harris
1997 Air Force One President James Marshall
1997 The Devil's Own Tom O'Meara
1995 Sabrina Linus Larrabee
1995 Les Cent et une nuits Himself
1994 Jimmy Hollywood Himself
1994 Clear and Present Danger Jack Ryan
1994 A Century of Cinema Himself
1994 Mustang: The Hidden Kingdom (TV) Narrator
1993 The Fugitive Dr. Richard Kimble
1992 Commercial Entertainment Product Himself (uncredited)
1992 Earth and the American Dream Narrator
1992 Patriot Games Jack Ryan
1992 L'Envers du décor: Portrait de Pierre Guffroy
1991 Regarding Henry Henry Turner
1990 Presumed Innocent Rusty Sabich
1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Indiana Jones
1988 Working Girl Jack Trainer
1988 Frantic Dr. Richard Walker
1986 The Mosquito Coast Allie Fox
1985 Witness Detective Captain John Book
1984 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Indiana Jones
1983 Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Han Solo
1982 Blade Runner Rick Deckard
1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark Indiana Jones
1980 Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Han Solo
1979 More American Graffiti Officer Bob Falfa (uncredited)
1979 The Frisco Kid Tommy Lillard
1979 Apocalypse Now Colonel Lucas
1979 Hanover Street David Halloran
1978 The Star Wars Holiday Special (TV) Han Solo
1978 Force 10 from Navarone Lieutenant Colonel Mike Barnsby
1977 Heroes Ken Boyd
1977 Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Han Solo
1977 The Possessed (TV) Paul Winjam
1976 Dynasty (TV) Mark Blackwood
1975 Judgement: The Court Martial of Lt William Calley (TV) Frank Crowder
1974 The Conversation Martin Stett
1973 American Graffiti Bob Falfa
1970 The Intruders (TV) Carl
1970 Getting Straight Jake
1970 Zabriskie Point Airport worker (uncredited)
1968 Journey to Shiloh Willie Bill Rearden
1967 A Time for Killing Lieutenant Shaffer
1967 Luv Hippy (uncredited)
1966 Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round Bellhop

Salary history

  • K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) - $25,000,000 + 20% of the Gross
  • What Lies Beneath (2000) - $20,000,000
  • Random Hearts (1999) - $20,000,000
  • Six Days Seven Nights (1998) - $20,000,000
  • Air Force One (1997) - $22,000,000
  • The Devil's Own (1997) - $20,000,000
  • Presumed Innocent (1990) - $12,500,000
  • American Graffiti (1973) - $500/week

External links

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