The Highs and Lows of Harrison Ford’s Seven Decade-Long Career and The Gist On His Marriages

Harrison Ford is, without doubt, one of the most successful Hollywood stars of all time. Ever since his movie debut in 1966, Ford has gone on to carve a niche for himself in the entertainment industry. The veteran actor’s extensive career has seen him star in several high-grossing film productions for which he has earned both local and international acclaim.

For his extensive stay in the film industry, Ford has been conferred with numerous awards and honours. Notable amongst which include 2 Saturn Awards, AFI Life Achievement Award, and a star on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame. However, in spite of all the success stories he has recorded over the years, Ford’s career has not been without its low points.

The First Decade Of Harrison Ford’s Career Was Characterized By Minor Roles

Harrison Ford did not initially start out to be an actor but while he attended Ripon College, Wisconsin, his interest in acting was piqued. Although he studied Philosophy, he delved into a short-acting stint after a drama class in the final quarter of his senior year.

Upon graduation in 1960, he decided to establish himself as an actor but did not become successful immediately. The veteran actor has even described himself as a late bloomer in the film industry. In 1966, Ford earned his much-awaited film debut after landing an uncredited role in Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round. The widely acclaimed actor later got his first film credit in 1967 as Lt. Shaffer in A Time for Killing.

Some of the other film and television projects that make up the American actor’s early years include Luv, The Virginian, The F.B.I, Gunsmoke, Journey to Shiloh, Getting Straight, Zabriskie Point, American Graffiti, and The Conversation. However, after a failed trial with the movies back then, Ford went into carpentry to fend for his wife and two sons but returned to his acting pursuits shortly afterwards, when he landed the role of Bob Falfa in American Graffiti (1973).

Harrison Ford Earned His Acting Break Playing Han Solo In Star Wars

Four years after he bounced back as an actor, Ford broke into mainstream fame with his role as Han Solo in the first film of the Star Wars franchise released in 1977. A couple of years later, he starred as Indiana Jones Jr, in Raiders of the Lost Ark and this marked the beginning of several other Indiana Jones movies, as well as TV series. It is believed that he got his role in the film because of his experience as a member of the Boys Scout during his teenage years when he even climbed to the rank of Life Scout. The actor was also featured in other films like Heroes, Force 10 from Navarone, Hanover Street, Apocalypse Now, and The Frisco Kid which earned him more popularity.

More so, in 1982, Ford starred as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner which became an instant box office hit, grossing over $41 million. He went on to receive some Academy and Golden Globe nominations for his role as John Book in Witness (1985). For his appearance in other works like The Mosquito Coast, The Fugitive, and Sabrina, Ford got Golden Globe nominations in 1987, 1994, and 1996 respectively.

The American actor received the prestigious AFI Life Achievement Award in 2000 and 3 years later, he earned his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003. These are only some of the many honours and awards Ford has received in his lifetime.

The Star Actor Is A Licensed Fixed-Wing and Helicopter Pilot

In addition to being a prolific actor, Harrison Ford is also a trained pilot who has embarked on several emergency rescue missions on behalf of the local authorities in Wyoming. With regard to how he attained his skills as a pilot, it is gathered that Ford began learning how to fly in the 1960s in Wild Rose, Wisconsin, but had to discontinue the flight training after a while as he couldn’t meet up with the financial obligations. However, in the mid-1990s, the veteran actor resumed his flight training. By this time, he already owned a Gulfstream II aircraft and currently, he owns a fleet of aircraft, including planes and helicopters.

The actor is also notable for being affiliated with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and the Wings of Hope. However, Harrison had also witnessed some challenges as a flyer and his first air mishap dates back to October 23rd, 1999, in California. It was reported that Ford had been piloting a Bell 206L4 LongRanger helicopter over the Lake Piru before it crashed. Thankfully, both Ford and his instructor left the scene unscathed. He has also had a couple of other not so pleasant incidents over the years with the recent one happening on April 24, 2020, when he crossed the path of another plane that was landing at the Los Angeles Airport but no casualties were recorded.

The Veteran Actor Has A Net Worth Of $230 Million

It’s not entirely surprising seeing how much the actor has amassed so far. The majority of Ford’s wealth, if not all, is gotten from the proceeds of his acting career. It was reported in 2019 that all of the films the actor had featured in had grossed over $9.3 billion globally. This figure ranks him on the list of highest-grossing box office movie stars of all time.

With such massive net worth, the A-list Hollywood star is known for buying several exotic properties across the United States. Ford also co-owns two filling stations with his son, Benjamin Ford. Additionally, he owns a 320-hectare ranch in Jackson, Wyoming. Being an environmental activist, Harrison donated about half of the property to be used as a natural reserve.

Harrison Ford’s First Marriage Lasted For 14 Years

Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford and Mary Marquardt image source

Ford got married to his first wife, Mary Marquardt, on June 18, 1964. The pair met each other for the first time at Ripon College where they both attended and started dating shortly afterwards. Mary is reputed to have been by Harrison’s side during the lowest points of his career. What’s more, the popular actor had reportedly embarked on his first trip to Hollywood with Marquardt back in the early 1960s. The college sweethearts welcomed their first child, Benjamin Ford, on March 26, 1967. Their second son, Willard Ford, was born on May 14, 1969. Unfortunately, the union between the two was annulled in 1979.

There has been widespread speculation regarding the reason behind the divorce. Official records cite irreconcilable differences while other reports refute the claim. Many believe that Ford’s affair with Star Wars co-star, Carrie Fischer, may have been responsible for the fallout with his wife.

Mary Marquardt, a celebrity chef, is popular in her own right asides being the ex-wife of a Hollywood celebrity. She took up the craft shortly after graduating from college and has gone on to garner massive acclaim in the United States. Benjamin towed the same career path as his mother by becoming a chef. He also co-owns a couple of gastropubs with his father in Los Angeles, California.

Willard, on the other hand, is a clothier and an entrepreneur with chains of businesses across the United States. Some of his business ventures include the Strong Sports Gym, Ludwig Clothing Company, and Kim Sing Theatre.

The Actor Moved On With Melissa Mathison

Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison image source

A couple of years passed after Ford’s divorce with his first wife before fans got wind of his relationship with Melissa Mathison, an award-winning film and television screenwriter. She is best known for writing the screenplay for the critically acclaimed 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Melissa earned a Saturn Award for her work on the film.

The pair got married at a courthouse in Santa Monica, California. Melissa and Harrison welcomed their first child, Malcolm, on March 10, 1987. Their second child, Georgia, followed three years after on June 30, 1990. However, their marriage began to experience some strain around the early 2000s. In 2001, Mathison filed for the dissolution of their marriage, claiming the actor had been unfaithful. The divorce was finalized in 2004 with the screenwriter walking away with about $85 million in the settlement.

Sadly, Melissa Mathison died on November 4, 2015, at age 65 after suffering from neuroendocrine cancer. She is survived by her two children – Malcolm, a musician, and Georgia, an actress.

Ford Found Love Again With Calista Flockhart

Harrison Ford.
Harrison Ford and his wife, Calista Flockhart

The award-winning actor met his third wife, Calista Flockhart, at the 2002 Golden Globe Awards. The lovebirds immediately hit it off and began what would be a budding romance. Flockhart is a multiple award-winning actresses best known for featuring in several iconic films and television shows. Notable amongst which include Ally McBeal (1997-2002), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999), and Supergirl (2015-2019).

Ford proposed to the beautiful actress on Valentine’s Day in 2009 and the lovebirds went on to tie the nuptial knot on June 15, 2010, at a private ceremony held in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The wedding was attended by the A-listers of the society, including then Governor of New Mexico, William Richardson.

The couple is yet to have their own biological children but it is known that Calista adopted a son, Liam, prior to dating Harrison. Liam, who was born on January 11, 2001, is currently enrolled in college where he’s studying liberal arts.


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