Guest Author - Carol Taller
Harrison Ford, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, was born on July 13, 1942. His father was part Irish Catholic and part German Protestant and his mother was Russian Jewish. He has been known to call himself a Democrat when asked what his religion is since he does not practice any particular religion.
He grew up in a middle class suburb of Chicago and his childhood was average, as were his achievements in school. He was a quiet loner that attracted girls, but was picked on by the boys.
Ford went to college and began acting in school productions and summer stock. He never graduated college, but met his first wife there. Ford married Mary Marquardt on June 1, 1964 and had two children with her. They divorced in 1979.
Ford and Marquardt moved to Hollywood together and Ford signed a contract with Columbia followed by a contract with Universal. He had small parts, but was not happy with the financial rewards so he bought books on carpentry and began marketing himself as a carpenter. He did well and was recommended as a talented carpenter throughout Hollywood’s rich and famous.
While doing construction work for a casting director, he was recommended for a role in a George Lucas film. He was given the role of Bob Falfa in 1973's production of “American Graffiti”. The role boosted his career. Shortly after that Lucas cast Ford in the role of Hans Solo in the movie “Star Wars”, a blockbuster movie that made Lucas somewhat of a star.
In the early 1980’s he was in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. Movies that Ford was in became Hollywood’s biggest money makers and he became a mega star. He became known for his deep voice and his quiet but charming personality. Most of his characters used their intelligence as well as their physical strength.
On March 14, 1983 Ford married again. Melissa Mathison and Ford had two children together and were divorced in 2004. Mathison is best known as the screenwriter for “ET The Extra-Terrestrial”.
Later, Ford married Calista Flockhart, the Ally McBeal star that was 22 years younger than him. They were married June 15, 2010 and have one child together.
Ford maintains an 800 acre ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He is known for his activism in conservation.