At 81 years old, Harrison Ford has this physical status:
In 1964, after a season of summer stock with the Belfry Players in Wisconsin, Ford traveled to Los Angeles to apply for a job in radio voice-overs. He did not get it, but stayed in California and eventually signed a $150-per-week contract with Columbia Pictures' new talent program, playing bit roles in films. His first known role was an uncredited one as a bellhop in Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966). There is little record of his non-speaking (or "extra") roles in film. Ford was at the bottom of the hiring list, having offended producer Jerry Tokovsky after he played a bellboy in the feature. He was told by Tokovsky that when actor Tony Curtis delivered a bag of groceries, he did it like a movie star; Ford felt his job was to act like a bellboy.
His speaking roles continued next with Luv (1967), though he was still uncredited. He was finally credited as "Harrison J. Ford" in the 1967 Western film A Time for Killing, starring Glenn Ford, George Hamilton and Inger Stevens, but the "J" did not stand for anything since he has no middle name. It was added to avoid confusion with a silent film actor named Harrison Ford, who appeared in more than 80 films between 1915 and 1932 and died in 1957. Ford later said that he was unaware of the existence of the earlier actor until he came upon a star with his own name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ford soon dropped the "J" and worked for Universal Studios, playing minor roles in many television series throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, including Gunsmoke, Ironside, The Virginian, The F.B.I., Love, American Style and Kung Fu. He appeared in the western Journey to Shiloh (1968) and had an uncredited, non-speaking role in Michelangelo Antonioni's 1970 film Zabriskie Point as an arrested student protester. French filmmaker Jacques Demy chose Ford for the lead role of his first American film, Model Shop (1969), but the head of Columbia Pictures thought Ford had "no future" in the film business and told Demy to hire a more experienced actor. The part eventually went to Gary Lockwood. Ford later commented that the experience had been nevertheless a positive one because Demy was the first to show such faith in him.
Not happy with the roles offered to him, Ford became a self-taught professional carpenter to support his then-wife and two young sons. Clients at this time included the writers Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, who lived on the beach at Malibu. Ford appears in the documentary Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold. He and his wife became friends of the writers. Casting director and fledgling producer Fred Roos championed the young Ford and secured him an audition with George Lucas for the role of Bob Falfa, which Ford went on to play in American Graffiti (1973). Ford's relationship with Lucas profoundly affected his career later. After director Francis Ford Coppola's film The Godfather was a success, he hired Ford to expand his office and gave him small roles in his next two films, The Conversation (1974) and Apocalypse Now (1979); in the latter film, Ford played an army officer named "G. Lucas".
Ford began to receive bigger roles in films throughout the late 1970s, including Heroes (1977), Force 10 from Navarone (1978) and Hanover Street (1979). Ford also co-starred alongside Gene Wilder in the buddy-comedy western The Frisco Kid (1979), playing a bank robber with a heart of gold. His previous work in American Graffiti eventually landed him his first starring film role when he was hired by Lucas to read lines for actors auditioning for roles in Lucas' upcoming epic space-opera film Star Wars (1977). Lucas was eventually won over by Ford's performance during these line reads and cast him as Han Solo. Star Wars became one of the most successful and groundbreaking films of all time, and brought Ford, and his co-stars Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, widespread recognition. He returned to star in the similarly successful Star Wars sequels The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), as well as the Star Wars Holiday Special (1978). Ford wanted Lucas to kill off Han Solo at the end of Return of the Jedi, saying, "That would have given the whole film a bottom," but Lucas refused.
Ford's status as a leading actor was solidified with Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), an action-adventure collaboration between George Lucas and Steven Spielberg that gave Ford his second franchise role as the heroic, globe-trotting archaeologist Indiana Jones. Like Star Wars, the film was massively successful and became the highest-grossing film of the year. Spielberg was interested in casting Ford from the beginning, but Lucas was not, having already worked with the actor in American Graffiti and Star Wars. Lucas eventually relented after Tom Selleck was unable to accept. Ford went on to reprise the role throughout the rest of the decade in the prequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), and the sequel Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. During the June 1983 filming of Temple of Doom in London, Ford herniated a disc in his back. The 40-year-old actor was forced to fly back to Los Angeles for surgery and returned six weeks later.
Following his leading-man success as Indiana Jones, he played Rick Deckard in Ridley Scott's dystopian science-fiction film Blade Runner (1982). Compared to his experiences on the Star Wars and Indiana Jones films, Ford had a difficult time with the production. He recalled to Vanity Fair, “It was a long slog. I didn’t really find it that physically difficult—I thought it was mentally difficult.” Ford and Scott also had differing views on the nature of his character, Deckard, that persist decades later. While not initially a success, Blade Runner went on to become a cult classic and one of Ford's most highly regarded films. Ford also proved his versatility throughout the 1980s with dramatic parts in films such as Witness (1985), The Mosquito Coast (1986), and Frantic (1988) as well as the romantic male lead opposite Melanie Griffith and Sigourney Weaver in the comedy-drama Working Girl (1988). Witness and The Mosquito Coast in particular allowed Ford to explore his potential as a dramatic actor and both performances were widely acclaimed. Ford later recalled that working with director Peter Weir on both Witness and The Mosquito Coast were two of the best experiences of his career.
In the 1990s, Ford became the second actor to portray Jack Ryan in two films of the film series based on the literary character created by Tom Clancy: Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994), both co-starring Anne Archer and James Earl Jones. Ford took over the role from Alec Baldwin who had played Ryan in The Hunt for Red October (1990). This led to a long-lasting resentment from Baldwin who stated that he wanted to reprise the role but Ford had negotiated with Paramount behind his back. Ford also played leading roles in other action-based thrillers throughout the decade such as the critically acclaimed The Fugitive (1993), The Devil's Own (1997), and Air Force One (1997). For his performance in The Fugitive, which also co-starred Tommy Lee Jones, Ford received some of the best reviews of his career, including from Roger Ebert who concluded that, "Ford is once again the great modern movie everyman. As an actor, nothing he does seems merely for show, and in the face of this melodramatic material he deliberately plays down, lays low, gets on with business instead of trying to exploit the drama in meaningless acting flourishes." He also played more straight dramatic roles in Presumed Innocent (1990) and Regarding Henry (1991) as well as another romantic lead in Sabrina (1995), a remake of a classic 1954 film with the same name.
Ford established working relationships with many well-regarded directors during this time, including Peter Weir, Alan J. Pakula, Mike Nichols, Phillip Noyce, and Sydney Pollack, collaborating twice with each of them. This was the most lucrative period of Ford's career. From 1977 to 1997, he appeared in fourteen films that reached the top fifteen in the yearly domestic box office rankings, twelve of which reached the top ten. Six of the films he appeared in during this time were also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture amongst numerous other awards: Star Wars, Apocalypse Now, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Witness, Working Girl, and The Fugitive.
In the late 1990s, Ford started appearing in several critically derided and/or commercially disappointing films that failed to match his earlier successes, including Six Days, Seven Nights (1998), Random Hearts (1999), K-19: The Widowmaker (2002), Hollywood Homicide (2003), Firewall (2006) and Extraordinary Measures (2010). One exception was What Lies Beneath (2000) which grossed over $155 million in the United States and $291 million worldwide. Ford served as an executive producer on K-19: The Widowmaker and Extraordinary Measures, both of which were based on true events.
In 2004, Ford declined a chance to star in the thriller Syriana, later commenting that "I didn't feel strongly enough about the truth of the material and I think I made a mistake." The role eventually went to George Clooney, who won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his work. Prior to that, Ford had passed on a role in another Stephen Gaghan-written film, that of Robert Wakefield in Traffic, which eventually went to Michael Douglas.
In 2008, Ford enjoyed success with the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the first Indiana Jones film in nineteen years and another collaboration with Lucas and Spielberg. The film received generally positive reviews and was the second highest-grossing film worldwide in 2008. Ford later said he would like to star in another sequel, "...if it didn't take another 20 years to digest."
Other 2008 work included Crossing Over, directed by Wayne Kramer. In the film, Ford plays an ICE/Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent, working alongside Ashley Judd and Ray Liotta. He also narrated a feature documentary film about the Dalai Lama entitled Dalai Lama Renaissance. Ford filmed the medical drama Extraordinary Measures in 2009 in Portland, Oregon. Released January 22, 2010, the film also starred Brendan Fraser and Alan Ruck. Also in 2010, he co-starred in the film Morning Glory, along with Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton and Patrick Wilson. Although a disappointment at the box office, Ford's performance was well received by critics, some of which thought it was his best role in years. In July 2011, Ford starred alongside Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde in the science-fiction/western hybrid film Cowboys & Aliens. To promote the film, Ford appeared at the San Diego Comic-Con International and, apparently surprised by the warm welcome, told the audience, "I just wanted to make a living as an actor. I didn't know about this." Also in 2011, Ford starred in Japanese commercials advertising the video game Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception for the PlayStation 3.
2013 began a trend that saw Ford accepting more diverse supporting roles. That year, Ford co-starred in the corporate espionage thriller Paranoia with Liam Hemsworth and Gary Oldman, who he had previously worked with in Air Force One, and he also appeared in Ender's Game, 42 and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. His performance as Branch Rickey in 42 was praised by many critics and garnered Ford a nomination as best supporting actor for the Satellite Awards. In 2014, he appeared in The Expendables 3 and the documentary Flying the Feathered Edge: The Bob Hoover Project. The next year, Ford co-starred with Blake Lively in the romantic drama The Age of Adaline to positive notices.
Ford reprised the role of Han Solo in the long-awaited Star Wars sequel Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), which became highly successful like its predecessors. During filming on June 11, 2014, Ford suffered what was said to be a fractured ankle when a hydraulic door fell on him. He was airlifted to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England, for treatment. Ford's son Ben released details on his father's injury, saying that his ankle would likely need a plate and screws, and that filming could be altered slightly with the crew needing to shoot Ford from the waist up for a short time until he recovered. Ford made his return to filming in mid-August, after a two-month layoff as he recovered from his injury. Ford's character was killed off in The Force Awakens, but it was subsequently announced, via a casting call, that Ford would return in some capacity as Solo in Episode VIII. In February 2016, when the cast for Episode VIII was confirmed, it was indicated that Ford would not reprise his role in the film after all. When Ford was asked if his character could come back in "some form", he replied, "Anything is possible in space." He eventually made an uncredited appearance as a vision in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
On February 26, 2015, Alcon Entertainment announced Ford would reprise his role as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner 2049. The film, and Ford's performance, was very well received by critics upon its release in October 2017. Scott Collura of IGN called it a, "deep, rich, smart film that's visually awesome and full of great sci-fi concepts" and Ford's role, "a quiet, sort of gut-wrenching interpretation to Deckard and what he must've gone through in the past three decades." The film grossed $259.3 million worldwide, far short of the estimated $400 million that the film needed in order to break even. In 2019, Ford had his first voice role in an animated film, as a dog named Rooster in The Secret Life of Pets 2. With filming for a fifth Indiana Jones film having been delayed by a year, Ford headlined a big-budget adaptation of Jack London's The Call of the Wild, playing prospector John Thornton. The film was released in February 2020 to a mixed critical reception but its theatrical release was shortened due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the film industry.
In October 2022, Ford was cast as Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross in the 2024 films Captain America: New World Order and Thunderbolts, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, replacing the late actor William Hurt who played the character in previous MCU films.
Harrison Ford, 81, kisses and embraces wife Calista Flockhart, 59, next to private plane after celebrating Thanksgiving in Montana
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Harrison Ford Finally Responds, With Some Difficulty, To Carrie Fisher Revealing Their Star Wars Affair
Harrison Ford has finally broken his silence on the shocking reveal that he and Carrie Fisher had an affair on the set of Star Wars in 1977. Though it wasn’t easy. In her memoir The Princess Diarist, Carrie confessed to a torrid behind-the-scenes romance with her costar — who happened to be married with children besides being 14 years her senior. Video: Billie Lourd Reflects With Ellen On Her ‘Surreal’ New Life Without Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds Speaking to GQ, Ford, who is returning to another of his classic franchises next month with Blade Runner 2049, finally spoke about how the book’s revelation affected him. The 75-year-old is taciturn at the best of times, so the interviewer did not have an easy time asking him about such a sensitive subject. Here is the entire interchange:
GQ: How strange for you was it when Carrie Fisher put out her ├óΓé¼╦£Star Wars’ book? HF: “It was strange. For me.” Did you have any advance warning? “Um, to a degree. Yes.” And what did you think? “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know. You know, with Carrie’s untimely passing, I don’t really feel that it’s a subject that I want to discuss.” Can I ask you whether you’d prefer that it hadn’t been written? “Yes. You can ask me.” Do you want to answer? “No.” Can I ask you whether you read it? “No. I didn’t.”