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Harrison Ford (born July 13, 1942) is an Americanmarker film actor and producer. Ford is best known for his performances as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. He is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, John Book in Witness and Jack Ryan in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. His four-decade career also includes roles in several other Hollywoodmarker blockbusters, including Apocalypse Now, Presumed Innocent, The Fugitive, Air Force One, and What Lies Beneath. At one point, three of the top four box-office hits of all time included one of his roles. Five of his films have been inducted into the National Film Registry.

In 1997, Ford was ranked # 1 in Empire's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. As of July 2008, the United States domestic box office grosses of Ford's films total almost $3.4 billion, with worldwide grosses surpassing $6 billion, making Ford the third highest grossing U.S. domestic box-office star.

Early life

Ford was born on July 13, 1942, to Dorothy (née Dora Nidelman), a homemaker and former radio actress, and Christopher Ford (born John William Ford), an advertising executive and a former actor. A younger brother, Terence was born in 1945. Harrison Ford's paternal grandparents, Florence Veronica Niehaus and John Fitzgerald Ford, were of German and Irish Catholic descent, respectively. His maternal grandparents, Anna Lifschutz and Harry Nidelman, were Jewish immigrants from Minskmarker, Belarusmarker (at that time a part of the Russian Empiremarker). When asked in which religion he was raised, Ford jokingly responded, "Democrat". He has also said that he feels "Irish as a person, but I feel Jewish as an actor".

Ford was active in the Boy Scouts of America, and achieved its second-highest rank, Life Scout. He worked at a Scout camp as a counselor for the Reptile Study merit badge. Because of this, he and Eagle Scout director Steven Spielberg later decided that the character of young Indiana Jones would be depicted as a Life Scout in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. They also jokingly reversed Ford's knowledge of reptiles into Jones's fear of snakes.

In 1960, Ford graduated from Maine East High Schoolmarker in Park Ridgemarker, Illinoismarker. His was the first student voice broadcast on his high school's new radio station, WMTHmarker, and he was its first sportscaster during his senior year, 1959–1960. The radio room still bears his graffiti. He attended Ripon College in Wisconsinmarker, where he was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. He took a drama class in his junior year, chiefly as a way to meet women. Ford, a self-described "late bloomer", became fascinated with acting. Towards the end of his freshman year, he was a member of a folk band called The Brothers Gross; playing gutbucket. Ford did not graduate.

Early career

In 1964, Ford travelled to Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker to apply for a job in radio voice-overs. He did not get it, but stayed in California and eventually signed a $150 a week contract with Columbia Pictures's New Talent program, playing bit roles in films. His first known part was an uncredited role as a bellhop in Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966). There is little record of his non-speaking roles (or "extra" work) in film.

His speaking roles continued next with Luv (1967), though he was still uncredited. He was finally credited as "Harrison J. Ford" in the 1967 Western film, A Time For Killing, but the "J" didn't stand for anything since he has no middle name. It was added to avoid confusion with a silent film actor named Harrison Ford, who appeared in more than 80 films between 1915 and 1932, and died in 1957. Ford later said that he was unaware of the existence of the earlier Harrison Ford until he came upon a star with his own name on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker.

Ford soon dropped the "J" and worked for Universal Studios, playing minor roles in many television series throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, including Gunsmoke, Ironside, The Virginian, The F.B.I., Love, American Style, and Kung Fu. He appeared in the western Journey to Shiloh (1968) and had an uncredited role in Michelangelo Antonioni's 1970 film Zabriskie Point as an airport worker. Not happy with the roles being offered to him, Ford became a self-taught professional carpenter to support his then-wife and two small sons. While working as a carpenter, he became a stagehand for the popular rock band The Doors. He also built a sun deck for ­­­Sally Kellerman and a recording studio for Sergio Mendes.

He returned to acting when George Lucas, who had hired him to build cabinets in his home, cast him in a pivotal supporting role for his film American Graffiti (1973). His relationship with Lucas was to have a profound effect on Ford's career. After director Francis Ford Coppola's film The Godfather was a success, he hired Ford to do expansions of his office and Harrison was given a small role in his next two films, The Conversation (1974) and Apocalypse Now (1979).

Milestone franchises

Star Wars

Ford's work as a carpenter would land him his biggest role to date. In 1975, George Lucas hired him to read lines for actors being cast for parts in his upcoming space opera, Star Wars (1977). However, Lucas was eventually won over by Ford's portrayal and decided to cast him as Han Solo. Star Wars became the highest-grossing film in history and established Harrison Ford as a superstar. He went on to star in the successful Star Wars sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), as well as The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978). Ford wanted Lucas to write in the death of the iconic Han Solo at the end of either sequel, saying "that would have given the whole film a bottom", but Lucas refused.

Indiana Jones

Ford's stardom as a leading man was solidified when he starred as Indiana Jones in the Lucas/Spielberg collaboration Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). He reprised the role for the prequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), and the sequel Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), which turned Ford himself into a blockbuster phenomenon. He later returned to his role as Indiana Jones again for a 1993 episode of the television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and for the fourth film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008).

Other film work

Ford has been in numerous other films including Heroes (1977), Force 10 from Navarone (1978), and Hanover Street (1979). Ford also co-starred alongside Gene Wilder in the buddy-Western The Frisco Kid (1979), playing a bank robber with a heart of gold. He then starred as Rick Deckard in Ridley Scott's cult sci-fi classic Blade Runner (1982), and in a number of dramatic-action films: Peter Weir's Witness (1985) and The Mosquito Coast (1986), and Roman Polanski's Frantic (1988).

The 1990s brought Ford the role of Jack Ryan in Tom Clancy's Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994), as well as leading roles in Alan Pakula's Presumed Innocent (1990) and The Devil's Own (1997), Andrew Davis's The Fugitive (1993), Sydney Pollack's remake of Sabrina (1995), and Wolfgang Petersen's Air Force One (1997). Ford has also played straight dramatic roles, including an adulterous husband with a terrible secret in both Presumed Innocent (1990) and What Lies Beneath (2000), and a recovering amnesiac in Mike Nichols' Regarding Henry (1991).

Many of Ford's major film roles came to him by default through unusual circumstances: he won the role of Han Solo while reading lines for other actors, was cast as Indiana Jones because Tom Selleck was not available, and took the role of Jack Ryan due to Alec Baldwin's fee demands (Baldwin had previously played the role in The Hunt for Red October).

Recent work

Ford in 2007
Ford's star power had waned in recent years, the result of appearing in numerous critically derided and commercially disappointing movies, including Six Days Seven Nights (1998), Random Hearts (1999), K-19: The Widowmaker (2002), Hollywood Homicide (2003), and Firewall (2006). One exception was 2000's What Lies Beneath, which ended up grossing over $155 million in the United States and $300 million worldwide.

In 2004, Ford declined a chance to star in the thriller Syriana, later commenting that "I didn't feel strongly enough about the truth of the material and I think I made a mistake." The role eventually went to George Clooney, who won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his work. Ford also turned down leading roles in Traffic and A History of Violence as well as The Patriot.

In 2008, Ford enjoyed success with the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, another collaboration between George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. The film received generally mixed reviews but was the second highest-grossing film worldwide in 2008. He later said he would like to star in another sequel "if it didn't take another 20 years to digest".

Other 2008 work included Crossing Over, directed by Wayne Kramer. In the film, he plays an immigrations officer, working alongside Ashley Judd and Ray Liotta. He also narrated a feature documentary film about the Dalai Lama entitled Dalai Lama Renaissance.

Ford filmed the medical drama Extraordinary Measures in 2009 in Portland, Oregon. Scheduled to be released in April 2010, the film also stars Brendan Fraser and Alan Ruck. The movie is Ford is also set to star in the film Morning Glory, costarring along with Patrick Wilson, Rachel McAdams, and Diane Keaton.

Recently he has expressed interest in returning to the Jack Ryan franchise.


Ford received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor for Witness, for which he also received "Best Actor" BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations. He received the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2002 Golden Globe Awards and on June 2, 2003, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker. He has received three additional "Best Actor" Golden Globe nominations for The Mosquito Coast, The Fugitive and Sabrina.

In 2006, Ford was awarded the Jules Verne Spirit of Nature Award for his work in nature and wildlife preservation. The ceremony took place at the historic Shrine Auditoriummarker in Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker.

He received the first ever Hero Award for his many iconic roles, including Han Solo and Indiana Jones, at the 2007 Scream Awards, and in 2008, the Spike TV's Guy's Choice Award for Brass Balls.

Harrison Ford received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2000.

Personal life

Ford is one of Hollywood's most notoriously private actors, zealously guarding his personal life. He has two sons (Benjamin and Willard) with his first wife, Mary Marquardt, as well as two children (Malcolm and Georgia) with his second wife, screenwriter Melissa Mathison. He is engaged to Calista Flockhart, who has an adopted son, Liam. Ford's first grandson, Eliel, was born in 1993, his first granddaughter, Giuliana, in 1997 and his second grandson, Ethan, in 2000. Eliel is Willard's son, and Ethan is Benjamin's son. Benjamin is also the owner of Ford's Filling Station, a gastro pub in Culver City, California.

Ford injured his chin at the age of 20 when his car hit a telephone pole in Northern California; the scar is visible in his films. An explanation for it on film is offered in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when a young Indiana Jones cuts his chin while attempting to crack a whip to ward off a lion. In Working Girl, Ford's character explains that it happened when he passed out and hit his chin on the toilet when a college girlfriend was piercing his ear. In June 1983, at age 40, during the filming of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in London, he herniated a disc in his back, resulting in him flying back to Los Angeles for an operation and returning to work just over six weeks later.

Environmental causes

Ford sits on the board of directors of Conservation International. He was awarded the Jules Verne Spirit of Nature Award for his ongoing work in preservation of the planet.

In 1993, the arachnologist Norman Platnick named a new species of spider Calponia harrisonfordi, and in 2002, the entomologist Edward O. Wilson named a new ant species Pheidole harrisonfordi (in recognition of Harrison's work as Vice Chairman of Conservation International).

Since 1992, Ford has lent his voice to a series of public service messages promoting environmental involvement for EarthShare, an American federation of environmental and conservation charities.

In April 2008, Ford waxed a portion of his chest hair to illustrate the effect of deforestation. Critics hail the commercial for its use of lighting and subtle humor to illustrate a serious point.

Political views

Like his parents, Ford is a lifelong Democrat, and a close friend of former President Bill Clinton.

On September 7, 1995, Ford testified before Congress in support of the Dalai Lama and an independent Tibet. In 2008, he narrated the documentary Dalai Lama Renaissance.

In 2003 he publicly condemned the Iraq War, and called for "regime change" in the United States. He also criticized Hollywood for making violent movies, and called for more gun control in the United States. He opposed the recall of Californian Governor Gray Davis, and stated in an interview that replacing Davis with Arnold Schwarzenegger would be a mistake.


Following on his success portraying the archaeologist Indiana Jones, Ford also plays a part in supporting the work of professional archaeologists. He serves as a General Trustee on the Governing Board of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), North America's oldest and largest organization devoted to the world of archaeology. Ford assists them in their mission of increasing public awareness of archaeology and preventing looting and the illegal antiquities trade.

Community work

Ford volunteered as a food server near Ground Zero in 2001.On November 21, 2007, Ford and other celebrities, including Kirk Douglas, Nia Long and Calista Flockhart, helped serve hot meals to the homeless at the annual Thanksgiving feast at the Los Angeles Mission.


Ford is a private pilot of both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, and owns an 800-acre (3.2 km²) ranch in Jacksonmarker, Wyomingmarker, approximately half of which he has donated as a nature reserve. On several occasions, Ford has personally provided emergency helicopter services at the behest of local authorities, in one instance rescuing a hiker overcome by dehydration.

Ford began flight training in the 1960s at Wild Rose Airport in Wild Rose, Wisconsinmarker, flying in a Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer, but at $15 an hour he was unable to continue the training. His interest returned in the mid-1990s when he bought a used Gulfstream II and asked one of his pilots, Terry Bender, to give him flying lessons. They started flying a Cessna 182 out of Jacksonmarker, Wyomingmarker. He later switched to Teterboromarker, New Jerseymarker, flying a Cessna 206, the aircraft he soloed in.

On October 23, 1999, Harrison Ford was involved in the crash of a Bell 206L4 LongRanger helicopter (N36R). The NTSB accident report states that Ford was piloting the aircraft over the Lake Pirumarker riverbed near Santa Claritamarker, Californiamarker, on a routine training flight. While making his second attempt at an autorotation with powered recovery Ford allowed the aircraft's altitude to drop to 150–200 feet before beginning power up. As a result the aircraft was unable to recover power before hitting the ground. The aircraft landed hard and began skidding forward in the loose gravel before one of its skids struck a partially embedded log and flipped onto its side. Neither Ford nor the instructor pilot suffered any injuries though the helicopter was seriously damaged. When asked about the incident by fellow pilot James Lipton in an interview on the TV show Inside the Actor's Studio Ford replied "I broke it."

Ford owns various aircraft:

Previous aircraft:

Ford keeps his aircraft at Santa Monica Airportmarker, though the Bell 407 is often kept and flown in Jackson, Wyoming, and has been used by the actor in two mountain rescues during the actor's assigned duty time assisting the Teton Countymarker Search and Rescue. On one of the rescues Ford recovered a hiker who had become lost and disoriented. She boarded Ford's Bell 407 and promptly vomited into one of the rescuers' caps (she says it was not Ford's cap), unaware of who the pilot was until much later, saying, "I can't believe I barfed in Harrison Ford's helicopter!"

Ford flies his de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver (N28S) more than any of his other aircraft, and although he dislikes showing favoritism, he has repeatedly stated that he likes this aircraft and the sound of its Pratt & Whitney R-985 radial engine. Ford first encountered the Beaver while filming Six Days Seven Nights, and soon purchased one. Kenmore Air in Kenmoremarker, Washingtonmarker, restored Ford's yellow and green Beaver — a junked former U.S. military aircraft — with updated avionics and an upgraded engine. According to Ford, it had been flown in the CIA's Air America operations, and was riddled with bullet holes, which had to be patched up. He uses it regularly for impromptu fly-ins at remote airports and bush strips, as well as gatherings with other Beaver owners and pilots.

In March 2004, Ford officially became chairman of the Young Eagles program of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Ford was asked to take the position by Greg Anderson, Senior Vice President of the EAA at the time, to replace General Charles "Chuck" Yeager who was vacating the post that he had held for many years. Ford at first was hesitant, but later accepted the offer and has made appearances with the Young Eagles at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh gathering at Oshkoshmarker, Wisconsinmarker for two years. In July 2005 at the gathering in Oshkosh Ford agreed to accept the position for another two years. Ford has flown over 280 children as part of the Young Eagles program, usually in his DHC-2 Beaver, which can seat the actor and five children. Ford is involved with the EAA chapter in Driggsmarker, Idahomarker, just over the mountains from Jackson, Wyoming.

As of 2009, Ford appears in Web advertisements for General Aviation Serves America, a campaign by advocacy group AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association).

He has also flown as an invited VIP with the Blue Angels.


Year Film Role Notes
1966 Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round Bellhop uncredited
1967 Luv Hippy uncredited
A Time for Killing Lt. Shaffer
The Virginian Cullen Tindall/Young Rancher TV series
Ironside Tom Stowe TV series
1968 Journey to Shiloh Willie Bill Bearden
The Mod Squad Beach Patrol Cop TV series — uncredited
1969 My Friend Tony TV series
The F.B.I. Glen Reverson/Everett Giles TV series
Love, American Style Roger Crane segment "Love and the Former Marriage"
1970 Zabriskie Point Airport Worker uncredited
Getting Straight Jake
The Intruders Carl TV
1971 Dan August Hewett TV series
1972–1973 Gunsmoke Print/Hobey TV series
1973 American Graffiti Bob Falfa
1974 Kung Fu Harrison TV series
The Conversation Martin Stett
Petrocelli Tom Brannigan TV series
1975 Judgment: The Court Martial of Lieutenant William Calley Frank Crowder TV
1976 Dynasty Mark Blackwood TV
1977 The Possessed Paul Winjam TV
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Han Solo
Heroes Ken Boyd
1978 Force 10 from Navarone Lieutenant Colonel Mike Barnsby
The Star Wars Holiday Special Han Solo TV
1979 Apocalypse Now Colonel Lucas
Hanover Street David Halloran
The Frisco Kid Tommy Lillard
More American Graffiti Officer Bob Falfa uncredited
1980 Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Han Solo
1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark Indiana Jones
1982 Blade Runner Rick Deckard
1983 Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Han Solo
1984 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Indiana Jones
1985 Witness Det. Capt. John Book Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor

Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama

Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
1986 The Mosquito Coast Allie Fox Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
1988 Frantic Dr. Richard Walker
Working Girl Jack Trainer
1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Indiana Jones
1990 Presumed Innocent Rusty Sabich
1991 Regarding Henry Henry Turner
1992 Patriot Games Jack Ryan
1993 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Indiana Jones — age 50 TV series
The Fugitive Dr. Richard David Kimble Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
1994 Clear and Present Danger Jack Ryan
1995 Sabrina Linus Larabee Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1997 The Devil's Own Tom O'Meara
Air Force One President James Marshall
1998 Six Days Seven Nights Quinn Harris
1999 Random Hearts Sergeant William 'Dutch' Van Den Broeck
2000 What Lies Beneath Dr. Norman Spencer
2002 K-19: The Widowmaker Alexei Vostrikov
2003 Hollywood Homicide Sgt. Joe Gavilan
2004 Water to Wine Jethro the Bus Driver
2006 Firewall Jack Stanfield
2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Indiana Jones
Dalai Lama Renaissance Narrator Theatrical documentary
2009 Crossing Over Max Brogan
Brüno Himself Uncredited cameo
2010 Extraordinary Measures Dr. Robert Stonehill
Morning Glory Mike Pomeroy

See also


  1. Worldwide Box Office (domestic) to 1983
  2. Box Office Mojo - People Index
  3. Stated on Inside the Actors Studio;
  5. "Harrison Ford Proposes to Calista Flockhart." Yahoo News. March 22, 2009.
  6. Harrison Ford (I) - Biography
  7. "Harrison Ford and Tibet"
  8. Per Ford's remarks on Late Night With David Letterman, (viewed July 9, 2008)

External links


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