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Also Known As: Harrison J. Ford Died:
Born: July 13, 1942 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, carpenter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Once deemed the highest-grossing actor of all time, Harrison Ford almost languished in thankless walk-on roles when he began his career in the early 1960s. Instead of accepting any role that came along, Ford was picky about his choices right from the start, despite a severe lack of Hollywood clout. While he made ends meet as a carpenter, Ford patiently pursued his career - even turning down several roles over the objections of his manager. But his persistence paid off with a memorable supporting role in "American Graffiti" (1973), George Lucas' 1960s coming-of-age tale. His struggle continued throughout the mid-1970s until Lucas reluctantly cast him as the cocky space pirate Han Solo in "Star Wars" (1977). From that moment on, Ford struggled no more, taking on some of the biggest movies of the 1980s, including genre classics "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) and "Blade Runner" (1982), as well as the finely crafted "Witness" (1985). By the time he starred in the heart-pounding thriller "The Fugitive" (1993), Ford was widely recognized as being one of the biggest stars in the world and the sole throwback to Golden Age swashbucklers like Clark Gable and Errol Flynn. Despite a few duds like "The Devil's...

Once deemed the highest-grossing actor of all time, Harrison Ford almost languished in thankless walk-on roles when he began his career in the early 1960s. Instead of accepting any role that came along, Ford was picky about his choices right from the start, despite a severe lack of Hollywood clout. While he made ends meet as a carpenter, Ford patiently pursued his career - even turning down several roles over the objections of his manager. But his persistence paid off with a memorable supporting role in "American Graffiti" (1973), George Lucas' 1960s coming-of-age tale. His struggle continued throughout the mid-1970s until Lucas reluctantly cast him as the cocky space pirate Han Solo in "Star Wars" (1977). From that moment on, Ford struggled no more, taking on some of the biggest movies of the 1980s, including genre classics "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) and "Blade Runner" (1982), as well as the finely crafted "Witness" (1985). By the time he starred in the heart-pounding thriller "The Fugitive" (1993), Ford was widely recognized as being one of the biggest stars in the world and the sole throwback to Golden Age swashbucklers like Clark Gable and Errol Flynn. Despite a few duds like "The Devil's Own" (1997), "Hollywood Homicide" (2003) and "Firewall" (2006) on his résumé, Ford continued to remain a top box office draw while remaining relevant with a new generation of fans.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
3.
 42 (2013)
5.
 Ender's Game (2013)
6.
 Anchorman 2 (2013)
7.
 Paranoia (2013)
8.
 Milius (2013)
9.
 Adaline (2012)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Park Ridge and Morton Grove, IL
1963:
Made professional debut in variety of musicals and dramas in summer stock in Williams Bay, WI
1964:
Moved to Laguna Beach, CA and appeared in local production of "John Brown's Body"
1964:
Signed seven-year contract with Columbia Pictures at $150 per week
1966:
Film acting debut, one-line appearance as a bellboy in "Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round"
1968:
Moved over to Universal from Columbia; featured in film "Journey to Shiloh"
1968:
Gave up acting and worked as a carpenter; built Sergio Mendes' $100,000 recording studio; also built elaborate entrance for Francis Ford Coppola's offices at Goldwyn Studios
1970:
TV movie debut, "The Intruders" (NBC)
1973:
First major success, George Lucas' "American Graffiti"
1977:
Breakthrough role, playing Han Solo in George Lucas' "Star Wars"
1980:
Reprised role of Han Solo for "The Empire Strikes Back"
1981:
First feature starring role, playing swashbuckling archaeologist Indiana Jones in "Raiders of the Lost Ark"; executive produced by Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg
1982:
Portrayed android bounty hunter in Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner"
1983:
Returned to role of Han Solo for "Return of the Jedi"
1984:
Reprised role of Indy for "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"
1985:
Earned Best Actor Academy Award nomination as a detective in Peter Weir's "Witness"
1986:
Teamed with Weir again for "The Mosquito Coast"
1988:
Delivered rare comic turn opposite Melanie Griffith in Mike Nichols' "Working Girl"
1989:
Donned the fedora again for "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"
1990:
Played an adulterous husband with a terrible secret in Alan J. Pakula's "Presumed Innocent"
1991:
Played a ruthless litigator transformed by a brain injury in Mike Nichols' "Regarding Henry"
1992:
Assumed Jack Ryan character (replacing Alec Baldwin) in Tom Clancy's "Patriot Games"
1993:
Cast as Dr. Richard Kimble in big screen adaptation of "The Fugitive"
1994:
Reprised role of Jack Ryan in "Clear and Present Danger"
1995:
Played role originated by Humphrey Bogart in Sydney Pollack's ill-advised remake of "Sabrina"
1997:
Starred as a NYC detective opposite Brad Pitt's Irish terrorist in "The Devil's Own"
1997:
Portrayed the President of the U.S. in Wolfgang Petersen's "Air Force One"
1998:
Played a cargo pilot opposite Anne Heche in romantic comedy "Six Days, Seven Nights"
1999:
Starred as widower cop obsessed with learning details of his late wife's affair in Pollack's "Random Hearts"
2000:
Played a professor whose wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) is haunted by a ghost in "What Lies Beneath"
2002:
Received reported $25 million salary to star as a Russian submarine officer in "K-19: The Widowmaker"
2003:
Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
2006:
Cast as a security specialist forced into robbing a bank in order to protect his family in thriller "Firewall"
2008:
Reprised role of Indy for fourth installment of adventure series "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"; re-teamed with George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg
2009:
Played immigrations officer Max Brogan in "Crossing Over"
2010:
Portrayed research scientist Robert Stonehill in "Extraordinary Measures," which ws based on a true story; also produced
2010:
Played a morning show anchor in ensemble comedy "Morning Glory"
2011:
Co-starred with Daniel Craig in sci-fi Western "Cowboys & Aliens"
2013:
Announced franchise return in "Star Wars: Episode VII," confirmed by George Lucas
2013:
Featured in the baseball drama "42"
2013:
Appeared in the sci-fi movie "Ender's Game"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Ripon College: Ripon , Wisconsin -
Maine Township High School: Park Ridge , Illinois - 1960

Notes

Not to be confused with, and not related to, prolific silent screen actor Harrison Ford (1892-1957). In fact, Ford was billed as Harrison J Ford until 1970 to avoid confusion.

In 1993, a new species of spider, Calponia harrisonford, was named after him by the American Museum of Natural History.

"Acting is basically like carpentry--if you know your craft, you figure out the logic of a particular job and submit yourself to it. It all comes down to detail." --Harrison Ford (quoted in Earl Blackwell's Entertainment Celebrity Register, 1991).

"If you become a part of that machinery, someone the machinery thinks it can use and exploit at that particular moment, then there is sure to be a time limit on you, and you are soon going to be unfashionable. Because I have never been fashionable, I can never be unfashionable." --From Vanity Fair, July 1993.

"I think part of what has led me to a commercially successful career has been a certain wisdom about choosing projects, and choosing movies that people might want to see. This is a business, and I'm in the business of making movies." --Harrison Ford quoted in Us, June 1997.

"I don't feel any lack of noble purpose if I do a film that's commercial". --Harrison Ford to The Daily Telegraph, June 14, 1997.

"I wasn't too much of a wild child. I knew my limits. And rarely exceeded them." --Ford quoted in Newsday, July 20, 1997.

"I'll say it again. [Movie acting] ain't brain surgery. But it is, nonetheless, a craft, a skill that demands that you twist yourself into emotional situations connected with the issues you're dealing with. It helps to have your craft skills developed so that you can give expression to a variety of different moods and psychological situations. It helps to know how to support your fellow actors and contrive to get them to support you. All these things take time to develop, And there's no mystery, really, to the acting process. There are occasional suprises. But no mystery." --Harrison Ford in Newsday, July 20, 1997.

"Because I've never been fashionable, I can never be unfashionable". --quoted in Us, August 1998.

On why he doesn't play villains: "I've never read a script where I thought the bad guy was as interesting as the good life ... But it depends on what comes my way." --From Daily News, October 3, 1999.

Harrison Ford has said he suffered from clinical depression when he was in college, admitting: "I would sleep for four or five days at a time". --to The Daily Telegraph, November 15, 1999.

In one TV film, Ford played a girls' school biology teacher who kept his class enthralled with a pet tarantula. To prepare for the role, Ford went out and got a real tarantula to work with. "So I brought the spider which I had tamed to my hand. I said to the director, 'We got us a spider we can work with.' And the director said, 'Get the f**k outta here.' And I ended up doing it with a little ball of black twine. So the girls were acting, instead of having the chance to see a real spider." --Harrison Ford to The Daily Telegraph, June 14, 1997.

"I refuse to sell myself. That's not what I'm about". --Los Angeles Times, February 13, 2000.

After college, Harrison Ford applied for--and received--conscientious objector status to avoid being drafted.

The scar on the actor's chin came from car accident when he was in his 20s.

Ford has done the voice-overs for the Oldsmobile commercials.

He earned his pilot's license in 1996.

Ford has done commercials in Japan for the Honda motor company, Kirin beer and a cellular phone company.

Ford is actively involved in a number of environmental conservation groups and does public service annopuncements for the Archaeology Advisory Groups of Colorodo, Arizona, Alaska, New Mexico, North Carolina and Mississippi. He has donated 389 acres of his property for a conservation easement to the Jaskson Hole Land Trust. In addition, Ford is the spokesman for the Lancaster Farmland Trust to protect Amish farms in Pennsylvania.

The actor set tongues a-wagging in 1997 when--after a male-bonding session with a couple of pals--he fulfilled a life-long dream and got his ear pierced.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Mary Ford. Married in 1964; divorced in 1979; met at Ripon College.
wife:
Melissa Mathison. Screenwriter. Married on March 14, 1983 in Los Angeles; wrote screenplay for "The Black Stallion" (1979), "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" and "The Escape Artist" (both 1982); announced separation in November 2000; reportedly reconciled in March 2001; she filed for legal separation on August 23, 2001 citing irreconcilable differences and seeking joint custody of the couple's two children; divorce final early 2004.
companion:
Calista Flockhart. Actor. Reportedly dating as of early 2002.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Christopher Ford. Advertising executive, former actor. Irish-Catholic; born November 20, 1906; died on February 10, 1999.
mother:
Dorothy Ford. Russian-Jewish.
brother:
Terence Ford. Actor. Born c. 1945; starred in the first pan-Europe soap opera, "Riviera" (1992); career was stalled in the 1970s and 80s by addiction to drugs and alcohol; divorced from third wife, Los Angeles TV executive Terri Guitron-Ford (married 1987-1991).
son:
Benjamin Ford. Chef. Born in 1967; mother Mary Ford.
son:
Willard Ford. Teacher. Born in 1969; mother Mary Ford.
son:
Malcolm Carswell Ford. Born on March 10, 1987; mother, Melissa Mathison.
daughter:
Georgia Ford. Born on June 30, 1990; mother. Melissa Mathison.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

Editions Caranoc
"Harrison Ford: Imperfect Hero" Birch Lane Press

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