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31 Unbelievable Facts About Harrison Ford We Think You Should Know

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Harrison Ford, with a career spanning more than six decades and countless successful Hollywood movies, has an enormous fan base of die-hard fans. He is the fourth highest-grossing U.S. domestic box-office star of all time. Here are some facts about the American actor:

  1. Ford is described by film critic Roger Ebert as ‘the great modern movie everyman’ frequently playing characters who uses their intelligence rather than physical strength. Known for his iconic roles as Han Solo and Indiana Jones, he received an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination for his role in the movie ‘Witness.’
  2. He was born Harrison Ford on July 13, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. to Dorothy and Christopher Ford. His father, an Irish Catholic, was an actor who later became an advertising executive. His mother, a Russian Jewish, was a radio actress.
  3. As a struggling actor in the mid 1960’s, he was asked to change his name and was handed a picture of Elvis Presley, to remodel his hair style. At the time, young actors with potential were offered contracts. He didn’t oblige and was shunted out.
  4. His fascination for flying resulted in him taking flight training in the 1960’s at Wild Rose Idlewild Airport, Wisconsin. He is a private pilot of both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.
  5. He went to Maine East High School, Park Ridge, Illinois and later attended Ripon College in Wisconsin, majoring in philosophy. He was his school radio station’s first student voice broadcaster and first sportscaster.
  6. As a scout in the Boy Scouts of America, he achieved its second highest rank, Life Scout, and later received the Reptile Study merit badge for his work as a counselor at the ‘Napowan Adventure Base.’
  7. At the end of his senior year in College, Ford faced his fear of confronting an audience by enrolling in Professor Richard Bergstrum’s drama course. At the ‘Red Barn Theatre,’ he became involved in producing the ‘Three-Penny Opera,’ ‘The Fantastiks,’ and ‘The Skin of Our Teeth.’
  8. Ford’s initial acting stints in films were bit roles as a part of a $150-per-week contract with Columbia Pictures. He appeared in films such as ‘Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round,’ ‘Luv,’ and ‘A Time for Killing.’
  9. Ford declared that he would become a carpenter when his career as a contract actor stalled. He borrowed books from the library and turned to a career in professional carpentry to support his wife and two sons.
  10. In addition to acting in films, Ford made several TV appearances between 1967 and 1974 working for ‘Universal Studios,’ for a $250/week contract.He featured in ‘Gunsmoke,’ ‘Ironside,’ ‘The Virginian,’ ‘The F.B.I.,’ ‘Love,’ ‘American Style,’ and ‘Kung Fu.’
  11. Ford married Mary Marquardt in 1964 and settled down in the hills of Laguna Canyon in Los Angeles for $75-a-month rent with their two sons, Benjamin Ford and Willard Ford. He worked as a salesman at a local paint supply store, became a rigger aboard the America’s Cup yacht, Columbia, and was a late-night pizza maker in Hollywood.
  12. In 1973, George Lucas cast him in ‘American Graffiti,’ which started Ford on the road to stardom but it also nearly stopped him. The director Lucas held out against him in ‘Star Wars,’ simply because he didn’t want re-use someone from ‘Graffiti.’
  13. He was cast as ‘Han Solo,’ in the 1977 film ‘Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope,’ by director George Lucas, after he was impressed with Ford’s dialogue delivery. Ford was initially used to read lines with actors and actresses auditioning for the other roles.
  14. On February 17, 2000, Ford was honored by the ‘American Film Institute,’ receiving the ‘AFI Life Achievement Award,’ at its 28th  anniversary. The award was presented to him by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
  15. He is also recipient of ‘Cecil B.DeMille Award,’ ‘Jules Verne Award,’ ‘the ‘Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film,’ ‘Box Office Star of the Century,’ and the prestigious film honor the ‘Honorary Cesar,’ the Career Achievement Award from the Hollywood Film Award.
  16. He serves as a General Trustee on the Governing Board of the Archaeological Institute of America, to bring about public awareness of archaeology and to prevent looting and the illegal antiquities trade. He portrayed an archaeologist in his role as Indiana Jones.
  17. The biologist Norman Platnick named a new species of spider ‘Calponiaharrisonfordi,’ in 1993 and the entomologist Edward O. Wilson, named a new ant species ‘Pheidoleharrisonfordi,’ in 2002, in recognition of his work as a conservationist.
  18. On October 23, 1999, piloting a Bell 206L4 Long Ranger helicopter over the Lake Piru, during a routine training flight, he attempted an auto-rotation, failed to recover, and crashed his helicopter.
  19. After his first marriage ended in divorce, he married Melissa Mathison, a screenwriter with whom he fathered two children, Malcolm Ford, an actor/musician, and Georgia Ford. They separated in 2000, before his marriage to current wife Calista Flockhart.
  20. Ford had a miraculous escape in March 2015, when he made an emergency landing on ‘Penmar Golf Course,’ with his World War-II era open-cockpit plane, Ryan PT-22 Recruit, after an engine failure. He fractured his pelvis, shattered a vertebra, and lacerated his head but survived.
  21. As the Vice-Chairman of ‘Conservation International,’ he interviewed Indonesia’s Forest Minister, Zulkifli Hasan, for an environmental documentary. Ford was accused of ‘harassing state institutions,’ and was publicly threatened with deportation in September 2013.
  22. Ford, as a supporter of the Dalai Lama’s independent Tibet, testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and was subsequently banned by China from visiting Tibet. He also lent his voice as narrator for the ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance,’ documentary.
  23. He established himself as an actor when he starred as Indiana Jones, the archaeologist in the 1981 film ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark.’ He went on to star further Indiana Jones movies, including the fifth film due for release in July 2020.
  24. He featured in many films between 1977 to 2000, such as ‘Heroes,’ ‘Force 10 from Navarone,’ ‘The Frisco Kid,’ ‘Blade Runner,’ ‘The Mosquito Coast,’‘Frantic,’ ‘The Fugitive,’ ‘Air Force One,’ ‘Presumed Innocent,’ ‘What Lies Beneath,’ and ‘Regarding Henry.’ This was the most lucrative period of Ford’s career.
  25. In December 2015, Donald Trump, was so inspired by Ford’s performance in the film ‘Air Force One,’ that he commented, ‘he stood up for America.’ When Ford was told of this complement in a television interview, he turned to the camera and said ‘Donald, it was just a movie. Things like this don’t happen in real life.’
  26. In the 2001, ‘Guinness Book of World Records,’ Ford was listed as the richest male actor in the world, despite some of his film such as ‘Six Days, Seven Nights,’ ‘Random Hearts,’ ‘K-19: The Windowmaker,’ ‘Hollywood Homicide,’ and ‘Firewall,’ performing dismally.
  27. He has turned down roles in blockbuster movies such as ‘The Perfect Storm,’ ‘Proof of Life,’‘The Patriot’, ‘JFK,’ ‘The Untouchables,’ ‘Dragonfly,’ ‘The Hunt for Red October,’ ‘The Sum of All Fear,’ ‘Schindler’s List,’ and ‘Syriana,’ among others.
  28. In 2003, he publicly condemned the Iraq War and called for ‘regime change’ in the United States. He also criticized Hollywood for making movies which were more akin to video games than stories about human life and relationship.
  29. Ford was speaking at the ‘United Nations’ Climate Action Summit,’ in 2019 and said, world leaders should ‘get the hell out of the way’ and ‘let angry young people save the planet.’ He also highlighted the effects of Amazon rain forest destruction.
  30. In 2018, Ford and Lady Gaga were honored by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation with the Artists Inspiration Award for their contribution to humanitarian and philanthropic causes.
  31. Harrison Ford Net Worth: $230 Million
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