Oscar Actors: Ford, Harrison–Raiders of the Lost Ark

Over the course of his career, HARRISON FORD has become one of the most popularly acclaimed actors of our time. His body of work includes 38 feature films, eleven of which have exceeded $100 million each at the box office. Through his starring roles in such cinematic blockbusters as the Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies, The Fugitive, Air Force One and Patriot Games, he has come to embody the quintessential American hero for moviegoers around the world.

An Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominee for his performance in the suspense thriller Witness (1985), Ford also earned Golden Globe nominations for his starring roles in Sabrina (1995), The Fugitive (1993) and The Mosquito Coast (1986). The National Association of Theatre Owners named him Star of the Century in 1994. People picked Ford as The Sexiest Man Alive in 1998 and, that same year, he won the Peoples Choice Award as Favorite Motion Picture Actor. In 1999, he won the Peoples Choice Award as Favorite All Time Movie Star and, again, in 2000 they named him Favorite Motion Picture Actor. Also in the year 2000, he received the prestigious Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. In 2002, the Golden Globes honored him with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Born in Chicago, Ford attended Ripon College in Wisconsin before moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He began as a contract player with Columbia Pictures, making his film debut in the crime drama Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966). After a small role in Getting Straight (1970), he resolved not to let his career choices be dictated by financial concerns, so he turned to carpentry while he waited for the right role.

In 1973, after a three-year hiatus from the screen, George Lucas cast him in American Graffiti. The next year, he landed a prominent supporting part in Francis Ford Coppolas The Conversation, which was followed by an important role in Stanley Kramers television production of Judgment: The Court Martial of Lt. William Calley.

Ford returned to features in 1977 when Lucas cast him as the cocky rebel starship pilot Han Solo in Star Wars, the film that shattered all box office records and made Ford a household name. He went on to star in Hanover Street (1978) and The Frisco Kid (1979), and had cameo roles in Apocalypse Now (1979) and More American Graffiti (1979), before being cast by Steven Spielberg as intrepid adventurer Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). The movie became another of the highest-grossing films of all time.

Between the Star Wars sequels The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), and the Raiders sequels Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Ford starred in a number of other memorable films. In Blade Runner (1982), he delivered a gritty performance as a cop in the nihilistic future of L.A.

He earned critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for his role as a cop on the lam, hiding out in Amish country, in Witness (1985). Ford followed that with a daring portrayal of an eccentric idealistic inventor in The Mosquito Coast (1986). He went on to play a Hitchcockian protagonist in Frantic (1988) before showing his flair for romantic comedy in Working Girl (1988).

He played a lawyer accused of murder in Presumed Innocent (1990), an arrogant yuppie transformed by a muggers bullet in Regarding Henry (1991), the heroic ex-CIA agent Jack Ryan in Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994), a doctor wrongly convicted of murdering his wife in The Fugitive (1993), a deeply committed New York City cop in The Devils Own (1997) and President James Marshall in Air Force One (1997). He also starred in the remake of Sabrina (1995) in the role originated by Humphrey Bogart.

Fords most recent credits include the romantic action comedy Six Days, Seven Nights (1998), the romantic drama Random Hearts (1999) and the thriller What Lies Beneath (2000). In 2002, his film, K-19, a drama directed by Kathryn Bigelow and also starring Liam Neeson, was released. June of 2003 saw the release of Hollywood Homicide, which was directed by Ron Shelton and starred Ford along with Josh Hartnett.

Strongly committed to environmental concerns, Ford is actively involved in a number of conservation groups. He serves on the Board of Directors of Conservation International. In Jackson, Wyoming he has donated 389 acres of his property for a conservation easement to the Jackson Hole Land Trust.

Ford’s most recent awards are: Heart of the City Award from City Harvest for fighting hunger, NRDC ” Forces for Nature, the Lindbergh Foundation for balance between technology and the environment, the Distinguished Humanitarian Award from Bnai Brith also for his environmental work, the World Stunt Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Laguna Playhouse, and on May 30, 2003 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.