- "Starring in a science fiction film doesn't mean you have to act science fiction."
- ―Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford is an Academy Award-nominated actor most famous for his portrayals of the character Han Solo in the Star Wars saga as well as the archaeologist Indiana Jones in the Indiana Jones franchise.
Ford has also been the star of many high-grossing hit Hollywood blockbusters such as Air Force One and The Fugitive, which have distanced him from his famous Star Wars and Indiana Jones roles. At one point Ford had roles in the top five box-office hits of all time, though his role in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (as Elliot's school principal) was deleted from the final cut of the film. Five of his films have been inducted into the National Film Registry.
As of May 2007, the combined domestic box office grosses of Ford's films total approximately 3.10 billion with worldwide grosses approaching the $6 billion mark, making Ford the number-three all-time domestic box-office star behind Eddie Murphy and Tom Hanks.
In 1964 Ford moved to Los Angeles, California where he signed a contract with Columbia Pictures for $150 a week in the studio's New Talent program, playing bit roles in films. His first film appearance was uncredited as a bellhop in Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966), then followed by Luv (1967). In his next film he was credited as "Harrison J. Ford" in the 1967 western, A Time For Killing, but the "J" didn't stand for anything because he does not have a middle name. It was added to avoid confusion with the other actor named Harrison Ford, who died in 1957.
Ford dropped the "J" from his name and worked for Universal Studios playing minor roles in many television series throughout the late 1960s and early 70s including Gunsmoke, Ironside, The Virginian, The F.B.I., Love American Style and Kung Fu. Ford was offered the role of Mike Stivic in Norman Lear's All in the Family but he turned down the part because of expressions of bigotry uttered by the leading character Archie Bunker.[source?] Then, he played 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 acting jobs being offered to him, Ford became a self-taught professional carpenter to better support his then-wife and two small sons. Some of Ford's carpentry work remains in the Hollywood Hills area. While working as a carpenter, he became a stagehand for the popular rock band, The Doors, including operating one of the four cameras for their taped concert at the Hollywood Bowl in 1968.[source?] He also built a sun deck for Sally Kellerman and a recording studio for Sergio Mendes.
He turned to acting again 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). The relation he forged 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 film, The Conversation (1974), and a cameo appearance in 1976 in Apocalypse Now which did not appear in theatres until 1979.
In 1975, director George Lucas used him to read lines for actors being cast for parts in his upcoming space opera, Star Wars. At the reading, Steven Spielberg noticed that Ford was well suited for the part of Han Solo and convinced Lucas to give Harrison the role that would eventually shoot him to fame.
Ford went on to star as Han Solo in the next two Star Wars sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, as well as in The Star Wars Holiday Special. He asked George Lucas to write in the death of Han Solo at the beginning of the third act of Return of the Jedi, saying that it would lend more dramatic weight to the film, but Lucas refused. Ford's likeness was used on the covers of Expanded Universe novels that were published decades after the Original Trilogy, giving him an older face.
Ford made many movies in the wake of Star Wars, 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. In these four movies, despite having shot to super-stardom, he played either sidekicks or buddies (to Gene Wilder or Henry Winkler) or co-leads with famous veteran actors (like Robert Shaw and Christopher Plummer). Ford then starred in 1981 as Indiana Jones in Lucas and Spielberg's blockbuster historical action-yarn, Raiders of the Lost Ark , and its first two hugely successful sequels; Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) which turned Ford himself into a blockbuster phenomenon. Unlike many other actors of the same or similar genre, Ford's authenticity as a daring action hero was supported by his willingness to perform many of his own stunts for the Indiana Jones films. During this time, Ford also starred in a number of dramatic-action films: Peter Weir's Witness (1985) and The Mosquito Coast (1986) and Roman Polanski's Frantic (1988). He also starred in Mike Nichols' romantic drama Working Girl (1988) and Ridley Scott's now cult sci-fi classic, Blade Runner (1982).
The 1990s brought Ford the role of Jack Ryan in Tom Clancy's Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, as well as leading roles in Alan Pakula's Presumed Innocent (1990) and The Devil's Own (1997, with Treat Williams), Mike Nichols' Regarding Henry (1991), Andrew Davis' The Fugitive (1993), Sydney Pollack's remake of Sabrina (1995) and Wolfgang Petersen's Air Force One (1997). During production of The Fugitive, he reprised his role as Indiana Jones in an episode of the television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. While often playing the hero in action films, Ford has also played straight dramatic roles in several films, including an adulterous husband with a terrible secret in both Presumed Innocent (1990) and What Lies Beneath (2000), and a recovering amnesiac in Regarding Henry (1991).
Many of Ford's major film roles came to him by default or 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[source?] (Baldwin had previously played the role in The Hunt for Red October).
The 2001 edition of the Guinness Book of Records listed Ford as the richest actor alive: his reported salary for the 2002 flop K-19: The Widowmaker was $25 million. The 27 movies that he has starred in have grossed a combined box office of more than $3.3 billion.
Despite being one of the most financially successful actors of his generation, Ford has received just one Oscar nomination, that of Best Actor for Witness. It has been speculated that this has been because action movies (such as the Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies) typically don't receive the same critical acclaim as for other genres.
Ford's star power has waned in recent years, the result of appearing in numerous critically derided and commercially disappointing movies. 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 the critically acclaimed films Traffic and A History of Violence as well as The Patriot. Also in 2004, Ford appeared in the straight-to-video Water to Wine as a favor to his son Malcolm. Ford was credited as "Jethro the Bus Driver," and his line, "What up, biotch?" has become an Internet phenomenon.[source?].
Ford reprised his role as Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, with the story by George Lucas, screenplay by David Koepp, and direction by Steven Spielberg. The movie was released May 22, 2008, and was both a critical and financial success, bringing a revival to Ford's career. He later had a main role in the 2011 adaptation of the graphic novel Cowboys & Aliens.
Current and upcoming projectsEdit
He starred in the independent film Crossing Over as ICE Special Agent Max Brogan. He also appeared as himself in the film Bruno. Ford just recently finished up principal photography for the film Extraordinary Measures (scheduled for release January 2010), a story about the true life events of biotech executive John Crowley - Ford plays the role of Dr. Robert Stonehill; he is also an executive producer on the project.
In an interview on September 14, 2009 with Ford, he stated that a fifth Indiana Jones film is in primary stages. The story is said to be finished, and Ford has expressed his willingness to reprise the role.  
Ford is one of Hollywood's most notoriously private actors, zealously guarding his private life. Outside of film promotion, he rarely appears in the press, preferring to keep to himself at his Jackson, Wyoming home. Ford despises the Internet for facilitating the spread of malicious gossip about him.
Marriages and childrenEdit
Ford has been married thrice. He married Mary Marquardt in 1964, and they divorced in 1979. They had two sons, Benjamin (born in 1967) and Willard (born in 1969). He married again, to Melissa Mathison, screenwriter of The Black Stallion, Kundun, and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, on March 14, 1983. They had two children: a son, Malcolm (born on March 10, 1987), and a daughter, Georgia (born on June 30, 1990). Mathison filed for legal separation on August 23, 2001, and their subsequent divorce in January 2004 has become one of the most expensive in Hollywood history, as she was awarded a share of Ford's residual paychecks. Ford married actress Calista Flockhart June 15, 2010 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, while filming Cowboys & Aliens.
Awards and NominationsEdit
- Nominated: Best Actor, Witness (1985)
- Nominated: Best Actor, Witness (1985)
Golden Globe AwardEdit
- Nominated: Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama, Witness (1986)
- Nominated: Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama, The Mosquito Coast (1987)
- Nominated: Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama, The Fugitive (1994)
- Nominated: Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical/Comedy, Sabrina (1996)
- Won: Cecil B. DeMille Award (2002)
|2015||Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens||Han Solo|
|2014||The Expendables 3||Max Drummer|
|2013||Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues||Mack Harken|
|2013||Ender's Game||Hyrum Graff|
|2011||Cowboys & Aliens||Col. Woodrow Dolarhyde|
|2010||Morning Glory||Mike Pomeroy|
|2010||Extraordinary Measures||Dr. Robert Stonehill|
|2009||Crossing Over||Max Brogan|
|2008||Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull||Indiana Jones|
|2007||Manhunt||Col. Everton Conger|
|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|
|1994||Clear and Present Danger||Jack Ryan|
|1993||Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues||Indiana Jones (age 50)||made-for-television|
|1993||The Fugitive||Dr. Richard Kimble|
|1992||Patriot Games||Jack Ryan|
|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||Apocalypse Now||Colonel Lucas|
|1979||The Frisco Kid||Tommy Lillard|
|1979||Hanover Street||David Halloran|
|1978||The Star Wars Holiday Special||Han Solo||television special|
|1978||Force 10 from Navarone||Lieutenant Colonel Mike Barnsby|
|1977||Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope||Han Solo|
|1977||The Possessed||Paul Winjam||made-for-television|
|1975||Judgment: The Court Martial of Lieutenant William Calley||Frank Crowder||made-for-television|
|1974||The Conversation||Martin Stett|
|1973||American Graffiti||Bob Falfa|
|1970||Zabriskie Point||Airport Worker||uncredited|
|1968||Journey to Shiloh||Willie Bill Rearden|
|1967||A Time for Killing||Lt Shaffer||as Harrison J. Ford|
|1966||Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round||Bellhop||uncredited|
- Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966) - $150
- Luv (1967) - $150/week
- A Time For Killing (1967) - $150/week
- American Graffiti (1973|) - $500/week
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (1977) - $650,000 + royalties
- Presumed Innocent (1990) - $12,500,000
- Patriot Games (1992) - $9,000,000
- The Devil's Own (1997) - $20,000,000
- Air Force One (1997) - $22,000,000
- sub_271 (1998) - $19,500,000
- Six Days Seven Nights (1998) - $20,000,000
- Random Hearts (1999|) - $20,000,000
- What Lies Beneath (2000) - $20,000,000
- K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) - $25,000,000 + 20% of the Gross
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ Starpulse News Blog: Harrison Ford Wanted Han Solo to Die.
- ↑ on syriana Starpulse News Blog: Harrison Ford Regrets Passing on 'Syriana'
- ↑ http://www.firstshowing.net/2009/09/14/harrison-ford-says-the-story-for-indiana-jones-5-is-ready/
- ↑ http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2009/06/16/shia_labeouf_confirms_fifth_indiana_jone_1
- ↑ contactmusic.com: Ford: 'I hate the internet'.
- Harrison Ford on Wikipedia
- Harrison Ford at TriviaTribute.com
- Celebrity Interviews | Harrison Ford
- Harrison Ford at Fan History