Indy, Han, Deckard, And Beyond: Harrison Ford, Then And Now

By | December 18, 2018

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Left: Anthony Daniels and American Harrison Ford on the set of 'Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back' (1980). Right: Ford in 'Blade Runner' (1982). Sources: Lucasfilm/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images; IMDB

Known as Han Solo in Star Wars movies, as well as Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford is a throwback -- a classic Hollywood lead actor who's always gone about his business onscreen and off without pretense. He's played physical roles, but the camera has never lingered longingly on his pics or biceps. He's handsome without being pretty. His most heroic moments are often punctuated with a look of bewilderment or a sigh of relief. Ford wasn't in any sort of young Hollywood hotshot posse, being 30-year-old married father of two when he made his first movie of note (American Graffiti). He can do a little romance and a little comedy, but neither have been his forte. He possesses a calm strength, trustworthy and only slightly vulnerable.

A generation earlier, Harrison Ford would have played all of Humphrey Bogart's roles.

As it happened, though, Harrison Ford played Harrison Ford's roles, and made some of the greatest modern films along the way. Though his career started later than he might have wanted, once it was underway he established a box-office batting average that few actors can claim.

Ford Didn't Grow Up Wanting To Be An Actor

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A young Harrison Ford with Sergio Mendes. Ford worked as a carpenter before the acting took off, and around 1970 built a recording studio for the Brazilian musician. Source: Reddit

Harrison Ford was born on July 13, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois, the son of an advertising executive and former actor, Christopher Ford, and former radio actress, Dorothy Nidelman. He grew up just outside of Chicago, in a suburb called Des Plaines, and was often subjected to bullying. While attending Maine Township High School in Park Ridge, Illinois, he developed an interest in social sciences and model trains. In 1960, he attended Ripon College in Wisconsin where he studied English and Philosophy. He took a drama class in an attempt to overcome shyness and because he thought it would be an easy class. This led to his interest in acting.