Harrison Ford is an American actor and film producer. He gained worldwide fame for his starring roles as Han Solo in the original Star Wars epic space opera trilogy, and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series.
Ford is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in the neo-noir dystopian science fiction film Blade Runner (1982), John Book in the thriller Witness (1985), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, and Jack Ryan in the action films Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994). Most recently, Ford reprised his role of Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and will next reprise his role as Deckard in Blade Runner 2049 (2017).
Let’s see some interesting facts about him!
1. Harrison Ford was born July 13 in 1942 in Chicago, Illinois.
2. His parens were Christopher Ford, an advertising executive and former actor, and Dorothy, a former radio actress.
3. A younger brother, Terence, was born in 1945.
4. Ford’s paternal grandparents, John Fitzgerald Ford and Florence Veronica Niehaus, were of Irish Catholic and German descent, respectively.
5. Ford’s maternal grandparents, Harry Nidelman and Anna Lifschutz, were Jewish immigrants from Minsk, Belarus (at that time a part of the Russian Empire).
6. When asked in which religion he and his brother were raised, Ford jokingly responded, “Democrat,” “to be liberals of every stripe”.
7. In a television interview shown in August 2000, when asked about what influence his Irish Catholic and Russian Jewish ancestry may have had on his life as a person and as an artist, Ford humorously stated, “As a man I’ve always felt Irish, as an actor I’ve always felt Jewish.”
8. Ford was active in the Boy Scouts of America, and achieved its second-highest rank, Life Scout.
10. He worked at Napowan Adventure Base Scout camp as a counselor for the Reptile Study merit badge.
11. Because of this, he and director Steven Spielberg later decided to depict the young Indiana Jones as a Life Scout in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
12. In 1960, Ford graduated from Maine East High School in Park Ridge, Illinois.
13. His was the first student voice broadcast on his high school’s new radio station, WMTH, and he was its first sportscaster during his senior year (1959–60).
14. He attended Ripon College in Wisconsin, where he was a philosophy major and a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity.
15. He took a drama class in the final quarter of his senior year to get over his shyness.
16. Ford, a self-described “late bloomer,” became fascinated with acting.
17. In 1964, after a season of summer stock with the Belfry Players in Wisconsin, Ford traveled to Los Angeles to apply for a job in radio voice-overs.
18. He did not get it, but stayed in California and eventually signed a $150-a-week contract with Columbia Pictures’ New Talent program, playing bit roles in films.
19. His first known role was an uncredited role as a bellhop in Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966).
20. There is little record of his non-speaking roles (or “extra” work) in film. Ford was at the bottom of the hiring list, having offended producer Jerry Tokovsky after he played a bellboy in the feature.
21. He was told by Tokovsky that when actor Tony Curtis delivered a bag of groceries, he did it like a movie star; Ford felt his job was to act like a bellboy.
22. Ford managed to secure other roles in movies, such as A Time for Killing (The Long Ride Home), starring Glenn Ford, George Hamilton, and Inger Stevens.
23. 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” did not stand for anything, since he has no middle name.
24. 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.
25. 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 Fame.
26. 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.
27. He appeared in the western Journey to Shiloh (1968) and had an uncredited, non-speaking role in Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1970 film Zabriskie Point, as an arrested student protester.
28. 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.
29. While working as a carpenter, he became a stagehand for the popular rock band The Doors. He also built a sun deck for actress Sally Kellerman and a recording studio for Brazilian band leader Sérgio Mendes.
30. Casting director and fledgling producer Fred Roos championed the young Ford, and secured him an audition with George Lucas for the role of Bob Falfa, which Ford went on to play in American Graffiti (1973).
31. Ford’s relationship with Lucas would profoundly affect his career later on. After director Francis Ford Coppola’s film The Godfather was a success, he hired Ford to expand his office and gave him small roles in his next two films, The Conversation (1974) and Apocalypse Now (1979); in the latter film he played an army officer named “G. Lucas”.
32. Harrison Ford’s previous work in American Graffiti eventually landed him his first starring film role, when he was hired by Lucas to read lines for actors auditioning for roles in his then-upcoming film Star Wars (1977).
33. Lucas was eventually won over by Ford’s performance during these line reads and cast him as Han Solo.
34. Star Wars became one of the most successful movies of all time and established Ford as a superstar.
35. He went on to star in the similarly successful Star Wars sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), as well as the Star Wars Holiday Special (1978).
36. Ford wanted Lucas to kill off Han Solo at the end of Return of the Jedi, saying, “That would have given the whole film a bottom,” but Lucas refused.
37. However, in an interview in 2015, Ford admitted that “he was wrong” to want his character killed off.
38. Ford reprised the role of Han Solo in the sequel Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).
39. Ford’s status as a leading actor was solidified when he starred as globe-trotting archeologist Indiana Jones in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), a collaboration between George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
40. Though Spielberg was interested in casting Ford from the beginning, Lucas was not, due to having already worked with the actor in American Graffiti and Star Wars, but he eventually relented after Tom Selleck was unable to accept.
41. Ford went on to star in the prequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and the sequel Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).
42. He returned to the role yet again for a 1993 episode of the television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and even later for the fourth film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008).
43. On March 15, 2016 Walt Disney Studios announced that Ford will appear in a fifth film due for release in July 2019.
44. Ford has been in 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.
45. 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 film) (1985) and The Mosquito Coast (1986), and Roman Polanski’s Frantic (1988).
46. 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’ The Fugitive (1993), Sydney Pollack’s remake of Sabrina (1995), and Wolfgang Petersen’s Air Force One (1997).
47. Ford also played straight dramatic roles, including an adulterous husband in both Presumed Innocent (1990) and What Lies Beneath (2000), and a recovering amnesiac in Mike Nichols’ Regarding Henry (1991).
48. 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 supposedly due to Alec Baldwin’s fee demands, although Baldwin disputes this.
49. Starting in the late 1990s, Ford appeared in several critically derided and commercially disappointing movies, including Six Days, Seven Nights (1998), Random Hearts (1999), K-19: The Widowmaker (2002), Hollywood Homicide (2003), Firewall (2006), and Extraordinary Measures (2010).
50. One exception was 2000’s What Lies Beneath, which grossed over $155 million in the United States and $291 million worldwide.
51. In 2008, Ford enjoyed success with the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, another Lucas/Spielberg collaboration.
52. 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.
53. He also narrated a feature documentary film about the Dalai Lama entitled Dalai Lama Renaissance.
54. Ford filmed the medical drama Extraordinary Measures in 2009 in Portland, Oregon.
55. In July 2011, Ford starred alongside Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde in the science fiction Western film Cowboys & Aliens.
56. In 2011, Ford starred in Japanese commercials advertising the video game Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception for the PlayStation 3.
57. In 2013, Ford co-starred in the corporate espionage thriller Paranoia, with Liam Hemsworth and Gary Oldman, and directed by Robert Luketic, as well as Ender’s Game, 42, and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
58. On February 26, 2015, Alcon Entertainment announced Ford would reprise his role as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner 2049.
59. Ford is one of Hollywood’s most private actors, guarding much of his personal life.
60. He has two sons, Benjamin and Willard, with his first wife, Mary Marquardt, to whom he was married from 1964 until their divorce in 1979.
61. With his second wife, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, whom he married in March 1983 and from whom he was separated in August 2001 and eventually divorced, he has two more children, Malcolm and Georgia (born 1990).
62. Ford began dating actress Calista Flockhart after meeting at the 2002 Golden Globes, and together they are parents to her adopted son, Liam (born 2001).
63. Ford proposed to Flockhart over Valentine’s Day weekend in 2009. They married on June 15, 2010, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Ford was filming Cowboys & Aliens.
64. Ford has three grandchildren: Eliel (born 1993), Ethan (born 2000) and Waylon (2010).
65. Son Benjamin, a chef and restaurateur, owns Ford’s Filling Station, a gastropub at The Marriott, L.A. Live, Los Angeles.
66. Son Willard is the owner of Strong Sports Gym, and was co-owner of Ford & Ching and owner of the Ludwig Clothing company.
67. Harrison Ford’s net worth is $210 million.
68. He has reprised unforgettable roles like Han Solo and Indiana Jones and been the star of 4 out of 10 biggest blockbusters ever produced.
69. He loves adventure and “has eight to nine motorbikes, four or five BMWs, a couple of Harleys, a couple of Hondas and a Triumph; plus I have sports touring bikes.”
70. Harrison Ford never signed any contract for his roles in the Star Wars trilogy.
71. He had his ear pierced at Claire’s Accessories. Ford decided to pierce his ear at the age of 55, after lunching with his friend Jimmy Buffett and becoming jealous of the stud in his ear. He and his then-wife, ET screenwriter Melissa Mathison, promptly walked into a Los Angeles branch of Claire’s Accessories and had his ear pierced by a sales assistant named Tavora. According to Mathison, Ford “didn’t flinch, and when it was done, he said, ‘That didn’t hurt.'” He then left a note reading: “To Tavora. You made a hole in me. Harrison Ford.”
72. He has creatures named after him. Ford is an active conservationist, and in 1993 was honoured by an arachnologist who named a new species of spider Calponia harrisonfordi. Then, in 2002, his friend entomologist Dr EO Wilson named a new ant species Pheidole harrisonfordi. Ford admits that he still hasn’t met his namesakes in real life: “I’ve seen pictures, as they say, but I have not run across one I recognized crawling on the ground.”
73. He’s a life-saver. In 2000, Ford took to the skies in his own helicopter to help Sarah George, a hiker who had become stranded in the mountains of Idaho. The actor owned a ranch not far away, and offered to join the search and rescue operation in order to save the authorities money; he landed his helicopter in a meadow and picked up the stricken woman himself.