Born in: Chicago, Illinois
Harrison Ford is an Academy Award-nominated American actor, best known for his role as space pilot ‘Han Solo’ in the Star Wars series. Apart from that, the actor has also been seen in a number of other notable films, like ‘Witness’, ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Air Force One’, ‘The Fugitive’, ‘Sabrina’, etc, along with the ‘Indiana Jones’ film series. He even has the privilege of having five of his films inducted into the National Film Registry. Harrison Ford has also been ranked as No.1 in ‘The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time’ list, released by Empire.
Ford was born on 13th July 1942 in Swedish Covenant Hospital (Chicago, Illinois). His father Christopher Ford was an advertising executive and former actor, while his mother Dorothy was a former radio actress and a homemaker. While Ford’s maternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants, his paternal grandparents were of German and Irish Catholic descent. During his early years, he was quite active in the Boy Scouts of America and also achieved its second-highest rank, Life Scout.
Ford graduated from Maine East High School (Park Ridge, Illinois) in the year 1960. While studying there, he became the first student to have voice broadcast on the school's new radio station, WMTH-FM. Along with that; he was also the radio’s first sportscaster during his senior year, 1959-1960. After graduating from school, Ford attended Ripon College in Wisconsin. There, he became a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity and later, joined a folk band called ‘The Brothers Gross’. He never graduated from college.
Ford went to Los Angeles in 1964, with the aim of pursuing a job in radio voice-overs. Though he didn’t get a job, he did manage to sign a contract in Columbia Pictures' New Talent program and was seen in bit-roles. His first known speaking part was an uncredited one, as a bellhop, in ‘Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round’ (1966). During the next couple of years, he continued to do small roles in movies. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, he also played minor roles in many television series.
Since he wasn’t getting any major roles, Ford started working as a self-taught professional carpenter. It was during his carpentry work that he became stagehand for the popular rock band The Doors. He was hired by George Lucas to build cabinets in his home. Lucas was the one who introduced Ford to acting once again, by casting him in a critical supporting role for his film ‘American Graffiti’ (1973). Thereafter, Ford worked for Francis Ford Coppola, both as a carpenter and as an actor (in ‘The Conversation’ and ‘Apocalypse Now’).
It was in 1975 that Lucas used Ford for read lines for actors being cast for ‘Star Wars’. Steven Spielberg noticed Ford at the reading and convinced Lucas to cast Ford for the role of ‘Han Solo’. Ford starred as Solo in two Star Wars sequels – ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ (1980) and ‘Return of the Jedi’ (1980), along with ‘The Star Wars Holiday Special’. After the first Star Wars sequel, Ford’s next major role was as ‘Indiana Jones’, in Lucas/Spielberg collaboration ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, released in 1981.
He also acted in the film’s sequels - ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ (1984) and ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ (1989). During this time, Ford also starred in a number of dramatic-action films, including ‘Blade Runner’ (1982), ‘Witness’ (1985), ‘The Mosquito Coast’ (1986), ‘Frantic’ (1988), ‘Working Girl‘ (1988). It was for his film ‘Witness’ that Harrison Ford bagged Academy Award nomination, BAFTA Award nomination and also Golden Globe nomination, for ‘Best Actor’.
The decade of 1990s saw him playing lead roles in ‘Patriot Games’, ‘Regarding Henry‘, ‘Clear and Present Danger’, ‘Presumed Innocent’, ‘The Devil's Own’, ‘The Fugitive’, ‘Sabrina’ and ‘Air Force One’. Though he did not receive most of them, he was nominated for Golden Globe many times, for films like ‘The Mosquito Coast’, ‘The Fugitive’ and ‘Sabrina’. In 2000, he starred in ‘What Lies Beneath’, a commercial success. Ford’s latest film was ‘Firewall’ and he has just wrapped up the 4th Indiana Jones movie - ‘Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’.
Harrison Ford is one of the Hollywood actors who keep their personal life fiercely guarded. He married Mary Marquardt in 1964. The couple has two sons - Benjamin, a chef, and Willard, a history teacher. He is one of the Board of Directors of Conservation International and was awarded the ‘Jules Verne Spirit of Nature Award’, for his ongoing work in preservation of the planet. Ford also serves as a General Trustee on the Governing Board of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA).
Awards and Nominations
1985 - Academy Award nomination for ‘Best Actor’, for ‘Witness’; BAFTA Award nomination for ‘Best Actor’, for ‘Witness’
1986 - Golden Globe nomination for ‘Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama’, for ‘Witness’
1987 - Golden Globe nomination for ‘Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama’, for ‘The Mosquito Coast’
1994 - Golden Globe nomination for ‘Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama’, for ‘The Fugitive’
1996 - Golden Globe nomination for ‘Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama’, for ‘Sabrina’
2002 - Won Cecil B. DeMille Award (Golden Globe)
2007 - Won the first ever Hero Award for his many iconic roles, including Han Solo and Indiana Jones
1966 - Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round
1967 - Luv, The Long Ride Home: A Time For Killing
1968 - Journey To Shiloh
1970 - Zabriskie Point, Getting Straight
1973 - American Graffiti
1974 - The Conversation
1977 - Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Heroes
1978 - Force 10 from Navarone, Star Wars Holiday Special
1979 - Apocalypse Now, Hanover Street, The Frisco Kid, More American Graffiti
1980 - Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
1981 - Raiders of the Lost Ark
1982 - Blade Runner
1983 - Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
1984 - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
1985 - Witness
1986 - The Mosquito Coast
1988 - Frantic, Working Girl
1989 - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
1990 - Presumed Innocent
1991 - Regarding Henry
1992 - Patriot Games
1993 - The Fugitive
1994 - Clear and Present Danger, Jimmy Hollywood
1995 - Sabrina
1997 - The Devil's Own, Air Force One
1998 - Six Days Seven Nights
1999 - Random Hearts
2000 - What Lies Beneath
2002 - K-19: The Widowmaker
2003 - Hollywood Homicide
2004 - Water To Wine
2006 - Firewall