On the 13th of July 1942, Harrison Ford was born in Chicago, Illinois. His family and upbringing gave no indication that he would ascend to the ranks of Hollywood royalty and star in several of the highest grossing films ever made. His net worth is estimated at $210 Million.
Ford’s father came from a Catholic background and his mother was Jewish but their faiths were not a major influence in his life. His mother Dorothy had once been an actress but gave up that life to raise her children as a stay at home mom. In his early childhood, Ford was a Boy Scout and rose fairly high up in their ranks.
At high school, Ford drew little notice. His grades were average or a little low, he wasn’t particularly athletic and even by his own admission he was painfully shy. This resulted in him being bullied by classmates so that the experience was less than pleasant for him. He did have a fondness for radio however and involved himself heavily in his school’s broadcasting club.
After High School, Ford attended Ripon College but it became clear that the environment was not much better suited to him than that of his high school. One of the few highlights of his time there was an acting course he took merely to become less shy. It showed him he had a talent in the field and he began to see acting as a possible career.
He flunked out of college and moved to California in the hopes of finding work acting. He worked with a studio briefly but he didn’t get much work and any roles he received at the time were minor ones. He grew somewhat despondent but in the meantime, he turned to carpentry to pay the bills and support his new wife and two sons.
Ford’s carpentry skills were still emerging but he would accept jobs and learn to complete them along the way and his name began to spread in some famous circles. This kept him in contact with industry professionals albeit in an unconventional way. He continued to take small roles but for several years the bulk of his income came from carpentry and not acting.
He met director George Lucas while building cabinets for him. Lucas was impressed with Ford and cast him in “American Graffiti” in 1973. It was his largest role yet and the first of many in which they worked together. He continued doing carpentry all the while until 1975 when George Lucas cast him rather than a more established actor for the role of Han Solo in “Star Wars”.
“Star Wars” was spectacularly successful and Ford went from a virtual unknown to superstar almost overnight. The movie spawned several sequels in which Ford reprized his role as Han Solo. They were similarly successful and inspired legions of fans worldwide while revolutionizing the genre of science fiction in film.
By the time he had filmed the last installment, his first marriage was over. In 1981, Ford worked with Lucas again on another film that would spawn a successful franchise, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. He played the lead character, Indiana Jones in that movie and two others shortly after. While filming the second of these, he married his second wife, actress Melissa Mathison, with whom he would go on to have two children.
Harrison Ford has acted in several hit movies from the 1980’s to the present including “Air Force One”, “Patriot Games” and “What Lies Beneath”. In more recent installments of the Indiana Jones franchise he also returned as the title character to critical acclaim. Although in his 70s, Ford claims to have no plans of retirement and continues to act as well as actively pursuing the protection of the environment.