Harrison Ford (born July 13, 1942) is an American actor, pilot, and environmental activist.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, he spent his early acting career in a degree of minor roles while working as a carpenter. In fact, he was so successful as a contractor he would pick and choose movies versus carpentry projects, the latter of which included creating a massive customized bookshelf for Francis Ford Coppola's home office. Thanks to his friend, casting director Fred Roos, his earliest notable film work was in George Lucas' American Graffiti and The Conversation, directed by Coppola. Later he came in to read lines for Lucas' next project, a Space Opera titled Star Wars. Steven Spielberg persuaded Lucas to cast him as Lovable Rogue Han Solo.
The rest, to use an old cliché, is history.
Following A New Hope, Ford was kept pretty busy with smaller films, as soon was cast as Adventure Archaeologist Indiana Jones in the Lucas-produced and Spielberg-directed Raiders of the Lost Ark (after original choice Tom Selleck was unable to get released from his Magnum, P.I. contract.) It became the biggest box office hit of 1981 and cemented him as an A-List star. With Indy, it made him one of the few actors who are recognizable for two incredibly iconic movie characters (alongside Sylvester Stallone for Rocky and Rambo, and Arnold Schwarzenegger for Conan the Barbarian and The Terminator). He followed up with three more Star Wars films and three more Indiana Jones films. In 1982 he starred in Ridley Scott's "future noir", Blade Runner, which initially lost money and received mixed reviews but has since become one of the critical darlings of the 1980's and has achieved a cult following.
Much of his career in the 80s and 90s was as Badass Bookworm and Badass Bureaucrat characters. In 1985 he played a cop hiding among the Pennsylvania Amish in Witness. It earned him his first and so far only Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Witness was directed by Peter Weir, who next made The Mosquito Coast with Ford. Based on the Paul Theroux novel about an American inventor who uproots his family to live in a Central American jungle, it also starred Helen Mirren and River Phoenix as his wife and eldest son. It was followed by Frantic, a thriller set in Paris directed by Roman Polanski, a supporting role in Mike Nichols' comedy Working Girl, and the Courtroom Drama Presumed Innocent by Alan J. Pakula.
Ford has become a very bankable actor (his work across 36 films has grossed a total of $3.6 billion; he was statistically the most bankable actor for many years until Tom Hanks and Samuel L. Jackson surpassed his numbers, though he regained the honor after the spectacular success of The Force Awakens), starring in many famous and successful films, including The Fugitive and Air Force One. He took over the Tom Clancy character Jack Ryan from Alec Baldwin (for The Hunt for Red October) in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger.
While no longer headlining those big movies nearly every year as he once did, he can still be seen frequently in newer films, experimenting with character-pieces alongside the big blockbusters. But he has no intention of stopping, even well into his 70's.
Once married to Melissa Matheson, screenwriter of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Ford is currently married to Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal, Brothers & Sisters, and Supergirl, with the latter featuring her character annoyed that Ford keeps hitting on her despite being married...to someone). He has a ranch in Wyoming and is a licensed pilot, at least twice used his helicopter to rescue hikers in distress. In 2015 he was injured when he crashed a World War II vintage plane onto a golf course (an investigation by the NTSB later revealed that Ford was trying to make an emergency landing after his plane lost power). Jokes about piloting the Millennium Falcon or Air Force One were made. It has been noted by many individuals that while he is a friendly guy he is actually rather quiet and reserved in real life, contrasting the roguish and charismatic characters he plays.
Ford is also notable for having worked on more Academy Award for Best Visual Effects-winning movies than any other actor. (The first three Star Wars movies, the first two Indiana Jones movies, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Blade Runner 2049 all won). note
Despite being delighted to return for the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, in the decades since the Original Trilogy, he's apparently developed a long standing feud with Chewbacca, the Wookiee sack of shit. Something involving his wife. See here for more details. However, they eventually made peace in time for the release of The Force Awakens. He's also apparently become good friends with his successor in the role of Han Solo, even interrupting him during an interview to tell him that he couldn't be happier with the job the younger man did (after first yelling at him to get out of his chair, of course.)
Side note, he is not the first famous film actor with the name "Harrison Ford"; there was an unrelated silent film (and Broadway) star named Harrison Edward Ford (1884 1957) who even got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame before this Ford, who did not even know about the older Ford's existence until he saw the star. The present-day Ford received his own star in 2003.
- American Graffiti (1973) - Bob Falfa
- More American Graffiti: A cameo reprising his character, who had become a cop.
- The Conversation (1974) - Martin Stett
- Star Wars - Han Solo
- Force 10 from Navarone (1978) - Lt. Col. Mike Barnsby
- Apocalypse Now (1979) - Colonel Lucas; A cameo as one of the officers giving Willard his assignment; his name tag read Lucas.
- Indiana Jones: Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
- Indiana Jones 5 (2021)
- Blade Runner (1982) - Rick Deckard
- Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
- Witness (1985) - Det. Capt. Johnny Book; Academy Award nominee for Best Actor
- The Mosquito Coast (1986) Allie Fox; His work with River Phoenix had Ford himself recommend him as young Indy for Last Crusade.
- Frantic (1988) - Dr. Richard Walker
- Working Girl (1988) - Jack Trainer
- Presumed Innocent (1990) - Rusty Sabich
- Regarding Henry (1990) - Henry Turner
- Patriot Games (1992) - Jack Ryan
- Clear and Present Danger (1994)
- The Fugitive (1993) - Dr. Richard Kimble
- Sabrina (1995) - Linus Larabee
- The Devil's Own (1997) - Tom O'Meara
- Air Force One (1997) - President James Marshall
- Six Days, Seven Nights (1997) - Quinn Harris
- What Lies Beneath (2000) - Dr. Norman Spencer
- K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) - Capt. Alexei Vostrikov
- Hollywood Homicide (2003) - Sgt. Joe Gavilan
- Firewall (2006) - Jack Stanfield
- Extraordinary Measures (2010) - Dr. Robert Stonehill
- Morning Glory (2010) - Mike Pomeroy
- Cowboys & Aliens (2011) - Colonel Dolarhyde
- FortyTwo (2012) - Branch Rickey
- Ender's Game (2013) - Col. Hyrum Graff
- Paranoia (2013) - Jock Goddard
- Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) - Mack Tannen
- The Expendables 3 (2014) - Max Drummer
- The Age of Adaline (2015) - William Jones
- The Call of the Wild (2020) - John Thornton
Tropes Associated with Harrison Fords roles
- Badass Baritone: He has tended to deepen his voice for some of his more action-oriented characters over the years. It's become more natural as his ordinary voice has deepend (see Guttural Growler).
- Character Tic: He has two throughout his career. First, he often gives a half-smile. Second, and more notably, he'll point at people if he's angry enough.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of his characters, especially Han and Indy. The trope applies to Ford himself; if his wit were any drier, it could be served with fish.
- Doing It for the Art: He never intended to be a mega star, he just wanted to be a working character actor and that mindset remained throughout. He has made the goal of appearing in small roles in certain projects and attempts to disappear so that it doesn't overwhelm the film. He has also worked through legitimate injuries on set believing that his character would have been hurt too in some way, and add more tension seeing him limp.
- Funny Character, Boring Actor: He is known for charismatic quip-a-minute characters like Han Solo and Indiana Jones, but in real life is famous for being a very reserved, thoughtful man who needs a good interviewer asking the right questions to make his interviews interesting. Even then he has a very dry, understated sense of humour.
- Grumpy Old Man: Will jokingly play this up for laughs in interviews, especially with talk show hosts that he knows well.
- Guttural Growler: His voice has only gotten more gravelly with age.
- I Am Not Spock: He doesn't hate Han Solo, although he did think that Han's character development was finished in the original Star Wars and had nowhere to go from there. What he does hate is when people act as though he is Han, or Indy, or Rick Deckard. He's stated that he has no need for nostalgia, and only reflects on characters when he is playing them.
- Method Acting: He will sometimes purposefully avoid memorizing his lines when he feels his character should be desperately reacting to the moment. For the most part Ford jokes that he's from the "let's pretend school of acting."
- No Stunt Double: He has one, but reserves them for only the most difficult stunts. He does everything he can himself, but calls it "physical acting." He became close friends with his stunt man and stunt coordinator for Indiana Jones, Vic Armstrong, and their resemblance was well noted.
- Reclusive Artist: He's well known for being very private and works diligently to keep his family out of the public eye (though he seems comfortable endorsing his eldest son Ben's career as a restaurateur and celebrity chef). Watch him in any interview - he's at his most animated when talking about his costars or the craft of filmmaking, not his characters or personal life.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: One of the most iconic examples of the 80s.
- Get off my page!