Personal detailsName: Harrison Ford
Born: 13 July 1942 (Age: 72)
Where: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Height: 6' 1"
Awards: 1 Golden Globe, 1 Oscar, 1 BAFTA nominations
All about this star
As we all know, the biggest Hollywood stars are amongst the highest-paid people on the planet. Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Jim Carrey, all receive fees of over $20 million for a single picture, often with a hefty slice of the film's gross thrown in. This is because their names are a guarantee of sorts. Millions will go see a Hanks film simply because it's Hanks, because Hanks makes good films, because Hanks films are so often An Event.
But none of these guys can yet hold a candle to the grand-daddy of all current cinematic superstars. Harrison Ford is the richest of them all. He has starred in no fewer than 4 of the 10 top grossing movies of all time, 8 of the top 50. His movies have grossed nearly $6 billion, and this without taking into account inflation - you could add a few more billion by updating the takes of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. Even at the age of 60, Ford was still taking $25 million per picture, with 20% of gross on top. Financially speaking, he's the biggest there ever was.
There are good reasons for this. In most of his movies, he is America personified. America believes itself to be a good guy. Troubled but good. America is decent with high moral standards. America doesn't start fights, but woe betide you if you push it around. It may not start fights, but it certainly finishes them. And this is Harrison Ford's appeal. He's not a bash-'em-up superhero like Arnie or Stallone. His characters don't want trouble, they don't like it, they might even be scared of it, but when pushed to extremes they come through, always victorious.
That's Ford's appeal, but it's in no way an adequate summation of the man and his talents. He's of course best known for his action heroes, yet over four decades he's played any number of different characters. And, while he's had it, he's used his power well. A pain-in-the-ass perfectionist, he's ensured that very, very few of the movies he's headlined have been duds. The guy works hard, he's a trooper. A super-trooper perhaps, but a trooper nonetheless.
He was born on the 13th of July, 1942, in Chicago. His Irish-Catholic father, Christopher, worked in advertising while his Russian-Jewish mother, Dorothy, looked after Harrison and his brother Terence. As a kid, Harrison was very shy, sensing that he was different, not like the other kids. At school in suburban Des Plaines, just north-west of Chicago, he was bullied continually for not fitting in, not craving popularity or success. Each day, the hard kids would take the future Indiana Jones to the edge of the road where the playground sloped down, beat him up and roll him down the hill. He would never fight back.