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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Hollywood. Harrison Ford turns 80. A cinema icon adored by viewers and underestimated by critics

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Adored by viewers, underestimated by critics. Harrison Ford has come a long way from an unnamed statistician to iconic roles over a six-decade long career that earned him the status of an icon of cinema. The Hollywood star turns 80 today.

“They give you your lines, they give you clean clothes, they give you a place to work and people to work. All you have to do is pretend you can’t see the camera, take that leap of faith,” said Harrison Ford of the role of Han Solo in “The Stars” wars “in an interview with The New York Times in 1977.

Although entering the role itself was not a challenge for him, his participation in George Lucas’ film was preceded by a series of unsuccessful attempts to appear in the film industry and earn extra money in other industries. The success of “Star Wars” brought him fans all over the world, but as noted by “Wired”, critics regarded him as “a kind of miracle, an artist of not very outstanding talent who was just lucky enough to meet George Lucas”.

Harrison Ford as Han Solo in “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back”distributor’s press materials

Difficult beginnings

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Harrison Ford was born on July 13, 1942, the son of radio actress Dorothy Nidelman and former actor and advertising director John William “Christopher” Ford. During his childhood he acted as a scout – he managed to get the second highest rank in American Scouting. In high school, he acted as a sports commentator for the school radio station.

He tried his hand at acting while studying philosophy at Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin. During his final semester of his senior year, “he broke his shyness and took a drama class,” noted Brad Duke later. After earning his master’s degree, Ford moved to Los Angeles to try his hand at Hollywood.

Carpenter and concert cameraman

At twenty-two, he signed with Columbia Pictures before joining Universal Studios. The budding actor played episodic roles in the studio’s television series, often without being even mentioned in the credits. Success did not come, and Ford was engaged in various extracurricular activities, working as a carpenter and concert cameraman. The turning point came in 1973. He was then given a role in the award winner Oscars “American Graffiti” by George Lucas.

Pictured: Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost ArkParamount Pictures

“It’s a stupid movie, but it is wonderfully made,” recalled Ford, the first part of Star Wars, filmed a few years later. The role of Han Sol was to be proposed by George Lucas himself. In the following years, the actor performed, inter alia, in “Apocalypse Now”. His position in Hollywood was strengthened by high-profile roles in the films “Indiana Jones” and “Blade Runner”.

Adored by viewers, by critics – not necessarily

Over the course of his six-decade long career, he has played a variety of characters who “are completely different and at the same time perfectly complement each other,” noted Wired magazine, noting that viewers’ sympathy was often not matched by appreciation by film critics.

Harrison Ford in “Android Hunter”press materials

“Ford’s expressive abilities have been underestimated for many years, probably due to the fact that he has long been associated with low-author films. If he had previously succumbed to a certain genre of filmmaking, perhaps the critics would have been more sympathetic to Ford,” we read on the portal. He was nominated for an Oscar only once – for the leading role in the 1985 film “The Witness”. However, his achievements include awards and distinctions.

There is, among others laureate of the honorary Golden Globe and Honorary Caesar. In recognition of his contributions to environmental protection, an ant species was named after the actor: Pheidole harrisonfordi.

Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott on the set of Blade Runner 2049United International Pictures Polska

He remains professionally active to this day. About what inspires him to play, he said years ago: – It’s really hard for me to play people in offices, during rehearsals and the like. The most exciting and what matters most is your last chance when you know: now or never. I react to that kind of pressure.

The New York Times, Wired, Bloomberg

Main photo source: DFree / Shutterstock



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