US film actor, who rose to stardom in action-adventure movies.
Born in Chicago, Ford attended Ripon College, Wisconsin, before heading for Hollywood and a contract with Columbia at the age of twenty-four. After minor parts in second-feature films, he was dropped so decisively that he took up carpentry as a career. However, he returned – via television and minor roles in such films as American Graffiti (1973) – to triumph in George Lucas's Star Wars (1977), as Han Solo. He played this role again in two successful sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983).
Ford had a similar trilogy of success with the three ‘Indiana Jones’ movies he made for Steven Spielberg – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). The science-fiction Blade Runner (1982) was followed by the claustrophobic thriller Witness (1985), which showed Ford as an actor of greater depth than he had previously been required to display and earned him an Oscar nomination. He went on to star in the comedy Working Girl (1988) and the dramas Presumed Innocent (1990) and The Fugitive (1993). Ford's more recent films include the immensely popular Clear and Present Danger (1994) and The Devil's Own (1996).
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).