As Indiana Jones and Han Solo, Harrison Ford has proved to the world that he is indeed an ageless action hero in Hollywood. Seeing Han Solo flying a ship in the Star Wars and masterfully dodging several attacks from enemy ships is a sequence glued in most folks’ minds. In reality, the actor who played Han Solo is not far away from such master skills. Besides being a famous Hollywood hero, Harrison Ford is also an aviator and a pilot.
The main source of Ford’s fame in Hollywood comes from the Star Wars and the Indian Jones movie franchises. However, other than these, he has given several remarkable performances in titles like Blade Runner and The Fugitive. From his choice of movies, it is evident that Ford is indeed a master when it comes to performing in action-themed films.
Here is how Harrison Ford, the ageless action classic, achieved success in the movies.
The Early Life Of Harrison Ford
Born on 13th July 1942 in Chicago, Illinois, Harrison Ford was a rather shy child. He attended Ripon College in Wisconsin. To get over his social awkwardness, he began grooming himself to be more presentable on the stage. He began taking drama classes towards the end of his senior year, and after some time, he realized that he loved acting.
Soon after, the Indian Jones actor answered his true calling. After graduating from college in Wisconsin, he still remained in that place to be a part of the theatre productions. In 1964, Ford moved to Los Angeles to audition for a voice-over job on the radio.
Ford’s Early Career
Harrison soon landed another job from a new talent program at Columbia Pictures. He made about $150 per week from this job, as stated by Empire. Following which he got a chance to act in a few small and sometimes uncredited roles. Harrison didn’t mind taking up uncredited roles since he had his family to look after.
To provide for his wife and children, he also took up carpentry. However, this difficult time in Harrison’s life was indeed a blessing in disguise. Miraculously, he landed a carpentry job for the famous Hollywood filmmakers George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. Coppola liked him and hooked him up with Fred Roos, one of the producers of The Godfather.
At this point, George Lucas was looking to start his new project American Graffiti, and Coppola himself was producing it. They took the chance and let Harrison audition for the same. Harrison impressed the producers and bagged the part, and American Graffiti later became one of the highest-grossing movies with a budget of about $770,000 and an income of over $140 million. Ford reportedly made about $500 every week from the movie.
Getting His Big Break In Star Wars
After American Graffiti, Ford did earn a few small roles in Coppola’s movies like The Conversation that came out in 1974 and Apocalypse Now that was released in 1979. But what changed his life forever was the 1979 release of the first Star Wars movie. As Harrison himself said in an interview, George Lucas was not looking to work with artists he had already worked within American Graffiti. But after auditioning, Lucas decided that none other than Harrison should do the iconic role of Han Solo.
For the first Star Wars movie, Harrison earned a grand amount of $10,000, which would be equivalent to almost $42,000 in the current day. Its sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, helped him improve his economic standing exponentially, and he made about $100,000 from the same. 1983’s The Return Of The Jedi made things even better by making Ford earn about $500,000.
2015’s The Force Awakens made him a sumptuous amount of about $15 million. Harrison also had a percentage in the box office earnings, which made his total income equivalent to almost $25 million.
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Becoming The Beloved Action Hero Of Hollywood
According to GQ, Harrison was only 34 years old when he played Han Solo on the big screen for the first time. Star Wars was undoubtedly one of the best things that happened to Harrison Ford, but the movie franchise that made him the most beloved action hero of Hollywood was none other than Indiana Jones. He played Indiana Jones for the first time in 1981 in the movie Raiders Of The Lost Ark. The second movie came out three years later and was called Temple Of Doom, and after five years, the third movie Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, was released. Harrison did such a fantastic job in all the movies consistently that this character became crucial in pop culture.
The following Indian Jones movie came out in 2008, and once again, it was a massive success. This installment was called Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. Harrison had planned to go into semi-retirement by this time, but the profit margin was set so high that he was lured out of his cave. He made the record of receiving the 12th biggest paycheck in the history of filmmaking. His total income from the Indian Jones movie was a massive $65 million. Harrison, along with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, received an extravagant amount of money from the franchise.
Harrison has also acted in some other movies that earned him fancy paychecks. Some of these include 1992’s Patriot Games, for which he earned about $9 million; 1994’s Clear And Present Danger, which made him about $10 million; and 1997’s The Devil’s Own, which made him a massive $20 million.
The current net worth of the 78-year-old actor is a mindblowing $300 million. He lives a lavish life laden with private planes and luxury estates in Los Angeles. He also has a luxury penthouse in the Flatiron District which cost him about $5.3 million, and a ranch in Wyoming that spans over 800 acres of land.
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Source: GQ, Vanity Fair, Celebrity Net Worth, Empire, Britannica
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