FORD, HARRISON, (1942– ), U.S. actor. Born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of a Russian Jewish mother and an Irish father, Ford's first career was as a professional carpenter. Dabbling as a film actor, he was noticed in a small role in George Lucas' American Graffiti (1973). Four years later, Lucas picked Ford for the lead role of Han Solo in his mega-blockbuster Star Wars, and Ford became an "instant" star. Steven Spielberg subsequently chose Ford for the leading role in his Indiana Jones cinematic trilogy.
Ford's other films include The Conversation (1974), Heroes (1977), Force 10 from Navarone (1978), Hanover Street (1979), Apocalypse Now (1979), The Frisco Kid (1979), Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Blade Runner (1982), Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983), Witness (1985), The Mosquito Coast (1986), Working Girl (1988), Frantic (1988), Presumed Innocent (1990), Regarding Henry (1991), Patriot Games (1992), The Fugitive (1993), Clear and Present Danger (1994), Sabrina (1995), The Devil's Own (1997), Air Force One (1997), Six Days Seven Nights (1998), Random Hearts (1999), What Lies Beneath (2000), K-19: The Widowmaker (2002), and Hollywood Homicide (2003).
In 1986 he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in the dramatic film Witness. In 1996 the U.S. Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1998, 1999, and 2000 he won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actor. And in 2002, Ford was presented with the Golden Globe's Cecil B. DeMille Award, which honors a performer's outstanding contribution to the entertainment field. In 1997 he was chosen by People Magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World, and in 1998 the magazine dubbed him "The Sexiest Man Alive." Ford is credited with having the highest worldwide box-office grosses of any actor in history.
G. Jenkins, Harrison Ford: Imperfect Hero (1998); B. Duke, Harrison Ford (2004).
[Jonathan Licht /
Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.