Star Wars and Indiana Jones’ Harrison Ford is one of the finest and well known American actor who was born on July 13, 1942. He gained worldwide fame for his starring roles as Han Solo in the Star Wars film series and as the title character of Indiana Jones movie series.
There are lots of things we know about him and there are some little known facts about the actor who is also the fourth highest-grossing U.S. domestic box-office star.
Let’s look at the 15 lesser-known surprising facts about Harrison Ford:
- Way before he became a mega movie star, Ford was a master carpenter. He still does the craft as a hobby.
Interestingly, he had no formal training as a carpenter. What he did was, he borrowed books on carpentry from the library and studied them. Then went on to practice in an empty house until he got good enough at this that this became his primary job.
- Ford is a licensed pilot of both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter.
On several occasions, he personally provided emergency helicopter services at the request of local authorities, in one instance; he rescued a hiker overcome by dehydration.
- Before Ford was chosen as the “sexiest man alive” by People magazine for 1998, he was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history in 1995.
- He is one of those few actors who prefer doing his own stunts.
Ford once said in an interview that he felt compelled to do his own stunts for the Indiana Jones trilogy because the films were very “action-oriented” and he felt if he were not in the middle of it, there was really not much else for him to do.
- He once scared director Steven Spielberg and the crew of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) when, without warning, he ran out across the rope bridge used in the film’s climax to test its safety.
Spielberg later quipped, “What can I say? Harrison really IS Indiana Jones”.
- Ford is very active in environmental issues and sits on the Board of Directors for Conservation International.
He is also honored for his work with the environment and Ford was asked to name a current breed of butterfly. He named this after his daughter, Georgia.
- He turned down many roles for films including Oskar Schindler’s role in Schindler’s List (1993), Jurassic Park (1993) and Kevin Costner‘s roles in JFK.
- When offered the title role in Schindler’s List (1993), Ford declined saying that some people would not be able to look past him as a star to see the importance of the film.
- He has played three characters named “Jack” in four films: Working Girl (1988), Patriot Games (1992), Clear and Present Danger (1994) and Firewall (2006).
- Neither of his two most famous roles, of Han Solo and Indiana Jones, was offered to him first.
Tom Selleck was the first choice to play Indiana Jones but there were issue with his contract with Magnum P.I.
Christopher Walken was the first choice to play Han Solo. Al Pacino is also known to have turned down the role of Han Solo.
- Ford has never been observant of any particular religion. So, once when he was asked what religion he was raised in, Harrison has jokingly replied “Democrat”
- He was once Hollywood’s highest-paid actor.
He was listed in the 2001 Guinness Book of Records as the richest male actor.