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Date of Birth: 13/07/1942
Biography: An American film actor and producer. He is famous for his performances as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. Ford 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 Hollywood blockbusters, including Presumed Innocent, The Fugitive, Air Force One, and What Lies Beneath. At one point, three of the top five 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 No.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 US$3.4 billion, with worldwide grosses surpassing $6 billion, making Ford the third highest grossing U.S. domestic box-office star. Ford is the husband of actress Calista Flockhart.
Ford was born at Chicago, Illinois' Swedish Covenant Hospital. His mother, Dorothy (nee Dora Nidelman), was a homemaker and former radio actress, and his father, Christopher Ford (born John William Ford), was an advertising executive and a former actor. A younger brother, Terence, was born in 1945. Ford's paternal grandparents, John Fitzgerald Ford and Florence Veronica Niehaus, were of Irish Catholic and German descent, respectively. Ford's maternal grandparents, Harry Nidelman and Anna Lifschutz, were Jewish immigrants from Minsk, Belarus (at that time a part of the Russian Empire). When asked in which religion he and his brother were raised, Ford has jokingly responded, "Democrat," "to be liberals of every stripe". 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 Napowan Adventure Base Scout camp as a counsellor for the Reptile Study merit badge. Because of this, he and Eagle Scout director Steven Spielberg later decided to depict the young Indiana Jones as a Life Scout in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. They also jokingly reversed Ford's knowledge of reptiles into Jones' fear of snakes.
In 1960, Ford graduated from Maine East High School in Park Ridge, Illinois. 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 (1959-1960). He attended Ripon College in Wisconsin, 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.
In 1964, Ford travelled to Los Angeles, California 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' 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. Ford was at the bottom of the hiring list, having offended producer Jerry Tokovsky after he played a bellboy in the feature. He was told by Tokovsky that when actor Tony Curtis delivered a bag of groceries, he did it like a star. Ford felt his job was to act like a bellboy. Ford managed to secure other roles in movies, such as The Long Ride Home, starring Glenn Ford, George Hamilton and Inger Stevens.
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. 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 Fame. 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. 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 actress Sally Kellerman and a recording studio for director Sergio Mendes.
He was then hired to build cabinets at the home of director George Lucas, who subsequently cast him in a pivotal supporting role for his film American Graffiti (1973). Ford's relationship with Lucas affected 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).
Ford's carpentry work eventually landed him his first starring film role. In 1975, George Lucas hired him to read lines for actors auditioning for parts in his space opera Star Wars (1977). Lucas was eventually won over by Ford's portrayal, and cast him as Han Solo. Star Wars became one of the most successful movies of all time worldwide, and established Ford as a superstar. 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). 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.
Ford's status as a leading actor was solidified when he starred as Indiana Jones in the George Lucas/Steven Spielberg collaboration Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Though Spielberg was interested in casting Ford in the lead role from the start, 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. Ford reprised the role for the prequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and the sequel Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). 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).
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.
Ford is one of Hollywood's most private actors, 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.
Ford began dating actress Calista Flockhart after meeting at the 2002 Golden Globes, and together they are parents to her adopted son, Liam. 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 and Aliens.
Ford has three grandchildren: Eliel (born 1993), Giuliana (born 1997), and Ethan (born 2000). Son Benjamin owns Ford's Filling Station, a gastro pub in Culver City, California. Son Willard is co-owner of Ford & Ching showroom, as well as Ludwig Clothing company.
Ford injured his chin at the age of 20 when his car, a Volvo 544, 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, forcing him to fly back to Los Angeles for an operation. He returned six weeks later.
Ford is a private pilot of both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, and owns an 800-acre (3.2 km2) ranch in Jackson, Wyoming, 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.