Happy 80th Birthday to Harrison Ford

Herbie J Pilato

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[Author’s Note: This article is based on entertainment postings and accredited media reports. All information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: IMDB.com, the New York Post, Biography.com, HollywoodReporter.com, Variety.com, and Deadline.com.]

Film superstar Harrison Ford began his career with bit roles on classic TV shows from the 1970s such as Petrocelli and Love, American Style. Ford's first credited role was in the 1967 Western movie, A Time for Killing, in which he portrayed Lt. Shaffer.

The actor went on to have small parts in feature films such as The Conversation and Apocalypse Now. These two films in particular were directed by Francis Ford Coppola, a good friend of producer/director George Lucas, who then cast Ford in the now-iconic movie American Grafitti.

Shortly after Grafitti (which also featured Suzanne Three's Company Sommers, Candy Clark, MacKenzie One Day at a Time Phillips, and Ron Happy Days Howard - who found a second career as a director with movies like Cocoon), Ford made his debut as Hans Solo in Lucas' Star Wars, and then later, as Indiana Jones in The Raiders of the Lost Ark (produced by Lucas, and directed by Steven Spielberg) and the rest is history.

Ford has made legendary big-screen appearances in countless motion pictures that have won over both the movie-going public and the critics. Those movies include Witness, Working Girl, The Mosquito Coast, Patriot Games, Blade Runner, and The Fugitive (a reboot of the beloved television series starring David Jansen), Ford is now considered one of the most popular male superstars of the silver screen.

According to Biography.com,

In late April 2014, Ford delighted film fans everywhere with the news that he would appear in the latest installment in the long-running Star Wars franchise. The cast also included his earlier co-stars Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill and. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams, opened in the U.S. on December 18, 2015, and broke an array of box office records, earning more than $247 million domestically in its opening weekend.
Two years later, Ford reprised his Blade Runner role in its sequel, Blade Runner 2049, with Ryan Gosling. The longtime actor then signed up for his first animated project, voicing a farm dog named Rooster for The Secret Life of Pets 2, before starring alongside a CGI canine for a big screen adaptation of Jack London's The Call of the Wild.

With a crooked-smile charm and wit unique to his own, Ford has recently turned 80 years old and shows no signs of slowing down. Wed to actress Calista Flockhart (of TV's Ally McBeal fame), since 2010 (they began dating in 2002), Ford was previously married to Melissa Matheson and Mary Marquardt).

Through the years, Ford has managed to keep his private life just that. But whenever he is approached by fans, the actor remains cordial and kind.

In the big-picture scheme of things, Harrison Ford is also revered by colleagues in the entertainment industry, including James Bond legend Sean Connery, who played Ford's father in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

As it turned out, when Lucas and Spielberg were casting the role of Indiana Jones for the Raiders of the Lost Ark, they envisioned the part as similar to James Bond with a North American twist.

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Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS: A TREASURE HOUSE OF DECEMBER MEMORIES REVEALED, MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, TWITCH UPON A STAR, GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, DASHING, DARING AND DEBONAIR, and NBC & ME: MY LIFE AS A PAGE IN A BOOK, among others. He's also a TV writer/producer, and has worked for Reelz, Bravo, E!, TLC, and hosted THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, the hit classic TV talk show (which premiered on Amazon Prime in 2019).

Los Angeles, CA
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