Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know About Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford is one of Hollywood’s most beloved and recognizable actors. He first became known when he took on the role of Han Solo in the legendary Star Wars Trilogy but also wowed audiences later with his portrayal of the iconic Indiana Jones. What makes Ford so unique as an actor is his relatability, as he is seen as the ultimate everyday man.
The actor has starred in some of the world’s most popular films and is still very active in Hollywood. His films have grossed almost $10 billion worldwide, making him the fourth highest-grossing star of all time. Despite his popularity, there are many things about the actor that nobody knows about.
He’s Quite the Builder
Harrison Ford’s life before becoming a Hollywood star significantly differed from the glamorous lifestyle he now leads. He was living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and building his own ranch house at the time. He constructed the house himself, carefully paying attention to detail and focusing on flawless execution. From the cabinetry to the window framing, everything was done with his own hands.
This simple, hardworking lifestyle may have contributed to the actor’s down-to-earth persona. Even though he’s now a celebrity, he still maintains that “everyday man” charm, which is part of his appeal to fans. His experience of building his own home also shows his resourcefulness and his willingness to take on a challenge, qualities that have undoubtedly helped him in his career.
Ford Crashed His Plane
Harrison Ford’s talents don’t just extend to the big screen – he’s also a licensed pilot and owns his own plane. However, flying is a dangerous hobby, and the actor has had some close calls. During a regular flight, Ford experienced engine failure and was forced to make a crash landing on a grassy patch of land. Despite sustaining numerous injuries, including a broken pelvis and ankle, the actor remained determined to get back in the air.
He credits his wife, actress Calista Flockhart, for motivating him during his recovery. She encouraged him to overcome his fear and continue pursuing his passion for flying. Their supportive relationship is an inspiration to many and speaks to the strength of their bond. Despite the risks involved, Ford remains passionate about flying and continues to enjoy it to this day.
He Saved Lives As a Pilot
Harrison Ford’s heroic actions aren’t just limited to the silver screen. He’s also been known to lend a helping hand in real life. One instance of this occurred when he used his helicopter to locate and rescue injured hiker Sarah George near his Idaho ranch.
In addition, Ford has rescued several boy scouts who had gotten lost in the woods. The actor’s willingness to help those in need highlights his compassionate nature and desire to positively impact the world. It’s clear that Ford is not only a talented actor but also a genuine hero both on and off the screen.
Cases of Heroism
Ford always jumps right in and helps with his hands. In 2017, he was driving along the highway in California when he heard a car roll off the highway and crash. The actor didn’t hesitate and immediately jumped out to help. Ford and several others quickly got the driver safely out of the vehicle and took care of him until paramedics arrived at the scene.
This ended up putting the beloved actor on the news, making him even more popular than he already was. It’s clear that Harrison Ford is not only a talented actor but also a true hero.
He Declined Many Film Opportunities
Ford used to be one of the most demanded actors in Hollywood and would get invited to play in major blockbuster films. Despite his abundance of opportunities, the actor is known for being very picky when it comes to his roles. Just some examples of some of the films Ford chose to pass up on over the years include Vanilla Sky, The Perfect Storm, and The Patriot.
All of these films ended up becoming successful blockbusters. We wonder if Ford ever regretted it. Regardless, his impressive career and iconic performances in films such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones have secured his status as a Hollywood legend.
Ford Has False Teeth
The actor has been known for some pretty daring action scenes over the years. He was lucky for most of his career, but his luck ended one day when he fell over a prop gun and lost most of his teeth. Due to an accident, many of his teeth were pulled out and replaced with false ones. You’ll never know by looking at him, though, as the actor could easily afford the best dentistry out there on his salary.
Despite this setback, Ford’s professionalism and commitment to his craft never wavered, and he continued to deliver top-notch performances. Today, he looks as confident and charismatic as ever, a true testament to his resilience and dedication.
Ford is quite a handsome guy but far from flawless. The actor has a very distinct scar below his lips. He received it back in 1968 after crashing his vehicle. The accident occurred when Ford was trying to put on his seat belt in mid-drive. There’s quite a lesson to be learned here about seat belts and safety.
The One Role He’d Never Forget
Harrison Ford became a worldwide phenomenon for his iconic role as Han Solo in Star Wars, but his most famous role to date is still Indiana Jones. When asked which role is his proudest and which one is his favorite, he answered “Indiana Jones” to both. The media has had plenty of time to interview Ford.
When asked who he would choose to take over the character, Ford quickly responded, saying, “Nobody is going to be Indiana Jones. I’m Indiana Jones.” Despite his many accomplishments, Ford remains humble and appreciative of his fans, who have supported him throughout his illustrious career.
He Improvised Many of His Iconic Scenes
One of the most memorable scenes in the entire Star Wars franchise was when Han Solo was frozen alive by Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back. Solo received a final farewell from Princess Leia, who confessed to him, “I love you.” We expected him to say it back, but the actor confidently stared at her and replied, “I know”.
This famous scene was apparently an improvisation by Ford. He was originally supposed to say, “Just remember that, ‘cause I’ll be back,” but went off-script without telling anyone. The actor felt it would be more appropriate for Solo’s character to react as he did, and his improved moment made the cut into the final film.
He Believed Han Solo Should Sacrifice Himself
Throughout the original trilogy, Han Solo went from the lone carefree captain of the Millennium Falcon to a loving and moral person. This transformation ended up turning him into one of the most iconic characters of the entire Star Wars franchise.
However, this transformation wasn’t enough for Ford, who believed that Han Solo should sacrifice himself at some point during the trilogy for the good of the others. This never quite materialized, as he had to settle for being killed in Star Wars: The Force Awakens by his son Ben sending him to his untimely death.
Ford Used to Work as a Carpenter
Ford initially moved to LA in pursuit of an acting career but was turned down by many studios before finally scoring his first big role. In the meantime, the aspiring actor had to pay the bills to support his then-wife and two young sons. Ford taught himself to become a professional carpenter and used the profession as a way to continue auditioning for various roles.
Nowadays, the actor is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but he can also build you a damn good dresser. It’s clear that Ford’s talents go beyond acting and flying planes, and his commitment to hard work and craftsmanship is just one more reason why he is so beloved by fans all over the world.
Ford has done a great deal over the years to help conserve various exotic and endangered species. He was honored for his work by having two Central American insects named after him. The first is the Pheidole Harrisonfordi ant, and the second is the Calponia Harrisonfordi spider. Unlike many activist actors, Ford doesn’t only stand on stage and speak about helping animals but also takes many personal actions to help them.
He has done extensive work both in the wild and in boardrooms to help these helpless creatures. In recognition of his efforts, Ford was awarded the Jules Verne Award for his contributions to conservation and exploration. Despite being a Hollywood icon, Ford continues to prioritize his work to protect the environment and encourages others to do the same.
Commercials in Japan
Ford became a huge movie star during the ‘70s and ‘80s, a time when the Japanese TV and film industry was booming. Ford was approached by various Japanese companies and offered big commissions for participating in various ads. Ford appeared in Japanese commercials for many products, most notably Kirin Lager, a Japanese beverage. You can thank the internet, especially YouTube, for sharing with us the incredibly entertaining outcome of his work.
It took Ford a few years of hard work and bold efforts before he finally scored his first few big roles. One of the first jobs he got when moving to LA was when he signed up for the New Talent Program at Columbia Pictures, which netted him about $600 a month.
The program found various small film roles for him, which helped the aspiring actor start off on the road to fame. Eventually, his connection with George Lucas helped him get the role of Han Solo, and from there, the rest is history.
Discovering His Passion in College
Ford always described himself as a “late bloomer” when it came to developing his love of acting. He began his career in college by doing some radio and sportscasting gigs while majoring in English and Philosophy at Ripon College in Wisconsin. It was only by chance that Ford decided to pursue drama and only did it to help him become more extroverted.
His Love of Aviation
Ford is a licensed pilot of both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. In March 2004, he officially became chairman of the Young Eagles program of the Experimental Aircraft Association. The actor and pilot appears in many advertisements that advocate safe flying for aircraft owners and pilots.
His Famous Affair
When Star Wars came out, Han Solo and Princess Leia were one of the most talked-about potential couples in film history, and fans hoped to see their romance materialize. In a 2016 interview with Carrie Fisher (who portrayed Princess Leia in the films), the actress confessed that, apparently – it actually did!
Despite being just 19 years old at the time, she and Harrison Ford had a famous affair. Ford was more than 30 years old and married with two children at the time. He has not commented publicly about the affair since it was first revealed.
Married Three Times
Throughout his life, Ford was married three times. His first marriage was to his college sweetheart, Mary Marquardt. The marriage began in 1964, around the time the aspiring actor moved to LA to pursue his acting career, and resulted in two children. They separated fifteen years later in 1979.
A Costly Divorce
One of Ford’s less fortunate titles at the time was that of the most expensive divorce in Hollywood history. He and Melissa Mathison decided to end the deal after more than two decades together, with two kids and no prenup in place. This resulted in a long legal battle, which ended up costing Ford more money than he made in all of Star Wars.
Not the Best Decisions
While Ford has worked hard to keep his private life as guarded as possible, there were a few leaks, especially from actress Carrie Fisher. She claimed that the two had the opportunity to party with The Rolling Stones back when they were shooting The Empire Strikes Back.
Fans of Harrison Ford are usually surprised to discover that the veteran actor has a small earring on his left ear, which he wears almost everywhere he goes. He originally had it pierced back in 1997 when he was already 55 years old. The actor was sitting at lunch with his friends one day and noticed that he was the only one without an earring. This prompted him to get his ear pierced later that day. Since then, he has been making up for lost earring time.
His rebellious spirit and unique sense of style have helped make him one of the most iconic figures in pop culture. From his signature fedora in “Indiana Jones” to his rugged leather jacket in “The Fugitive,” Ford has always managed to make even the simplest outfit look effortlessly cool.
His Secret Relationship
Calista Flockhart is a popular American actress. She and Ford began a secret relationship after meeting at the Golden Globe Awards on January 20, 2002. Seven years later, the couple got engaged on Valentine’s Day in 2009. They were married one year later in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on June 15, 2010.
Friendship with Roman Polanski
Ford appeared in famous director Roman Polanski’s 1988 mystery thriller, Frantic, and the two have become great friends ever since. The director got in legal trouble, has since been hiding abroad from U.S. law enforcement, and currently resides in France.
First Feature Film
Ford finally got his chance to be seen on the big screen in a film titled Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round. He had a very short and small role and was not credited for his performance. If that wasn’t bad enough, he actually did receive some pretty bad feedback from producers.
One of the executives that saw Ford’s performance went as far as to advise him to quit while he was ahead. He told the young actor that he had no future in the film industry and that it would be best to just stop trying.
Friendship With George Lucas
Harrison Ford and esteemed film director George Lucas were first introduced by a mutual friend just a few years before Lucas began creating his Star Wars film franchise. Both were relatively unknown at the time and had pretty good chemistry from the beginning. After their fantastic work in Star Wars, the two continued working together in films such as American Graffiti and Indiana Jones. Lucas is largely responsible for Ford’s fame, and the two are great friends to this day. They also had a very unique working relationship.
An Iconic Improvised Scene
You might recall the iconic scene from Indiana Jones, which literally made the phrase “Don’t Bring a Sword to a Gun Fight“ famous. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy runs into a large menacing Egyptian with a sword. The master swordsman begins showing off his skills and waits for Indy to make the first move.
He Was Given a Hollywood Star
One of the greatest honors for any Hollywood actor is their very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Although Ford has never received an Academy Award for his work, he was extremely excited about receiving this very high honor. The actor can be seen here during the iconic signing of the star. It was a moment he dreamed of for decades, which finally became a reality. And he couldn’t have been happier about it.
Getting Injured on Set
Ford has seen quite a few injuries while filming his various movies. Many of these failed stunts involved him receiving the type of damage that would normally end a career, but he magically recovered from all of them.
Not Quite a Father
Indiana Jones was an extremely successful action franchise and ended up spawning three films during the ’80s. In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which came out in 1989, the main character spent some of the film with his father, Henry, who was played by Sean Connery.
Sexiest Man Alive
Ford was quite a handsome and beloved actor back in his prime and saw his fair share of nominations in “Sexiest” and “Best Looking” lists at the time. For example, in 1997, Ford was chosen as one of People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.
A Silent ‘J’
Ford used to have a very tough time getting cast in his first few years as an actor. He also almost never got credited for his minor roles, which meant that producers couldn’t even find him if they liked his performance. Things only got worse when the aspiring actor discovered that he shared the exact same name as a silent film actor.
Answering an Age-Old Fan Question
Ford definitely likes to keep to himself and only does interviews when it’s time to promote another big movie. When the actor first announced he was going to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the popular discussion site Reddit, fans prepared questions that were on their minds for years.
Lead Role in Blade Runner
Other than his roles as Han Solo in Star Wars and Indiana Jones in the franchise by the same name, there is one film that fans of Harrison Ford absolutely adore. We’re obviously talking about 1982’s Blade Runner, the legendary sci-fi film by director Ridley Scott. The dystopian movie quickly became a cultural phenomenon and has a cult following even today.
A Much-Needed Sequel
Fans were initially skeptical when Warner Bros. Pictures announced a sequel to the legendary Blade Runner was due for release in 2017. After more than three decades since the original’s release, the film’s many cult followers were worried that studios were merely trying to bank on the franchise’s reputation.
Chemistry With Ryan Gosling
Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling did many interviews together to help promote Blade Runner 2049 in the months before its release. They got asked many different questions by reporters ranging from funny personal questions and anecdotes to mind-wrecking inquiries by hardcore fans of the franchise.
His Large Net Worth
While Ford initially had to take up carpentry just to support his family, the actor has since built a substantial net worth of over $200 million. He uses his money to buy expensive cars, motorcycles, and aircraft and also helps support various humanitarian and animal causes.
His Role as Indiana Jones
While Han Solo made for a great supporting character in George Lucas’s Star Wars franchise, he was only able to attain this legendary status when coupled with the rest of the cast. Unlike Solo, Indiana Jones is known by many as Harrison Ford’s most iconic role and managed to successfully lead three different films from the ‘80s and even one in recent years. Many young boys and girls were deeply inspired by Indie’s courage, assertiveness, and ability to solve problems.
Working on a Handshake
Harrison Ford and director George Lucas were friends, but the nature of their relationship was so trusting that the two worked exclusively on a handshake basis when it came to the making of the three original Star Wars films.
Empire’s #1 Movie Star of All Time
Many fans of Harrison Ford honestly consider him one of the best classic actors from the last few decades. Despite having only a brief list of classic, iconic characters, his roles as Indiana Jones, Han Solo, and Rick Deckard made him one of the most recognized actors of all time. The actor was ranked first place in Empire (UK) magazine’s “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time” list.
Ford’s Beach-Front Property
Ford was approached by British director Richard Loncraine to take up the lead in 2006’s action thriller, Firewall. Despite the movie being a disappointment both in terms of reviews and based on revenue, it had a silver lining, at least for Ford. During the filming in Vancouver, British Columbia, Ford was so impressed by the location that he decided to purchase a $13-million waterfront property on Bowen Island.
His Support of Archaeology
Harrison Ford was always interested in unique fields such as aviation and zoology. When he portrayed Indiana Jones, these interests also expanded to the field of archaeology. Since then, the actor has supported researchers in the field and serves as a General Trustee on the Governing Board of the Archaeological Institute of America.
His Political Views
Harrison Ford doesn’t like to share his political views too much and keeps his opinions mostly to himself. Although he portrays himself as the everyday rural American in most of his films, the actor is actually a lifelong Democrat. Or at least, that’s what he gave up when he was finally pressed a little on the topic. Ford jokingly claims “Democrat” was the religion in which he and his brother were raised.
Ford Played a Fictional U.S. President
Speaking of politics, Ford had the chance to portray a president during his acting career. Sure, it was a fictional one, but still cool, don’t you think? The actor played President James Marshall in 1997’s Air Force One. Ford’s serious demeanor and everyday-man look definitely make him appear presidential, but the actor prefers to stay as far away from politics as humanly possible.
Work With the Dalai Lama
Ford has taken a keen interest in the various controversies and issues that regarded the independence of Tibet. On September 7, 1995, the actor testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of the Dalai Lama. In 2007, he narrated the documentary Dalai Lama Renaissance.
The World’s Highest-Grossing Actor
For a brief period of time, Ford actually became the world’s highest-grossing actor of all time. This was right after the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which ended up grossing more than $2 billion in movie theaters. The actor has since been in a close rivalry with Samuel L. Jackson, who beat him with his revenues from all the Avengers films.
You’d think that someone like Harrison Ford was always a hero, but this is far from the truth. When asked about his childhood, Ford claimed that he was picked on at school. When asked why he thought that happened, the actor responded: “I was kind of short and geeky, I guess.” Can you imagine Ford being geeky? He’s gotten famous for being anything but a nerd, so the joke is actually on those who bullied him.
Sharing Sets With the Lord of the Rings Cast
Thanks to his long career as an actor, Ford has appeared in quite a few films over the years. Throughout his acting years, the actor has appeared in films with four actors from the legendary Lord of the Rings cast. Harrison Ford was in the same films as John Rhys-Davies (Gimli), Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), Sean Bean (Boromir), and even Miranda Otto (Éowyn). The movies were Raiders of the Lost Ark, Patriot Games, and What Lies Beneath, respectively.
Harrison Ford was blessed to have been born to two parents who loved him and supported him throughout his life. His mother, Dorothy Ford, was a radio actress, and his father, Christopher Ford, was an actor turned advertising executive. The young actor regularly appeared with his mother in film premiers until she passed away in 2004 at age 87.
Ford has a total of five children from his three marriages. His first marriage to Mary Marquardt bore him two sons. The first is Benjamin Ford, a chef-restaurateur who co-owns Ford’s Filling Station, a gastropub with two locations. The second, Willard Ford, is the owner of Strong Sports Gym, Kim Sing Theater, and the Ludwig Clothing Company.
His second marriage resulted in two more children, who both ended up becoming actors. The first is Malcolm Ford, and the second is Georgia Ford. Since then, the famous actor remarried a third time. When he met Flockhart, it was just after she adopted a child. Ford adopted her child, making himself the proud father of five.
He Could Have Been in Jurassic Park
Back in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, Harrison Ford was one of the most highly sought-after actors in Hollywood. In 1992, director Steven Spielberg approached Ford and asked him to portray Dr. Alan Grant, one of Jurassic Park’s leading characters. He seemed like the perfect choice for the role, as he resembled Indiana Jones in many ways.
Unfortunately, Harrison turned down the role, probably unaware of what a major phenomenon the movie would end up becoming. It was later decided that Sam Neill would portray the character instead. The new actor had less than a month to get ready for the role but ended up doing a fantastic job.
Missed Acting Opportunities
Harrison Ford is known for declining some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. In 2000, he chose to let Russell Crowe take the lead in the romance-action film Proof of Life. Later that year, he was approached to act in The Patriot but declined the role, which ended up being played by Mel Gibson. Ford has some strict principles and rules when choosing the films he agrees to act in.
He Likes to Point
Many actors are remembered for having weird quirks in their on-screen performances. For example, Tom Cruise ends up running in almost all of his movies. Perhaps one of the things that makes Ford so unique and memorable is his tendency to point angrily at other characters, which seems to repeat itself from film to film.
He Loves Driving Adventures
If there’s one thing that Ford loves almost as much as acting, it’s taking one of his vehicles (whether land or air-based), and traveling around while enjoying the warm breeze and some old-school music. The actor claims to own “eight to nine motorbikes, four or five BMWs, a couple of Harleys, a couple of Hondas and a Triumph; (and a few) sports touring bikes.”