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To me, success is choice and opportunity - Harrison Ford

Posted by Baldev raj on

Tenacity - noun - the quality or fact of being very determined; determination.



To me, success is choice and opportunity - Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford, born July 13, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois.  His career in Hollywood has spanned six decades!  His popularity with audiences is truly remarkable.  His films have grossed more than $3.5 billion at the U.S. box office and more than $6 billion at the worldwide box office. He is the recipient of the 28th American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

His journey into acting began in Los Angeles, California in 1964.  Ford came to L.A looking for a job in a radio station. Though he did not get a job as a radio jockey he was signed with Columbia Pictures for $150 a week to play short roles in their productions. Though he did short roles in a number of films his name was never inserted in the credits, until finally in the film ‘A Time for Killing’ his name appeared on the credits for the first time. 

It took him 3 years to earn a film credit.

Even after this Ford struggled to get juicy roles in the films.  He dabbled in television soap operas but quickly felt that if he continued down that path that his passion for acting would burn out.  Ford was depressed and unable to get better roles.  So he went on to teach himself carpentry and became a professional carpenter to support his wife and two children. With his carpentry skills he went on work for various celebrities and at one time went to build cabinets at the home of director George Lucas. Soon he gave him an important role in the 1973 film ‘American Graffiti’. Next Ford got a chance to star as Hans Solo in the movie ‘Star Wars’ directed by George Lucas. This movie became a huge success, grossing more than $750 million on an $11 million budget.      

This made him an overnight superstar in Hollywood. Then he went on to star in ‘Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark’ directed by Steven Spielberg which went on to make nearly $390 million on an $18 million budget. This propelled director Steven Spielberg to make ‘Indiana Jones’ into a franchise and direct subsequent sequels. 

Ford starred in all the sequels of the ‘Indiana Jones’ series which went on to collect a total of nearly $2 billion. The ‘Star Wars’ series was even more successful with Ford playing the lead roles in sequels like ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ (1980), ‘Return of the Jedi’ (1983), ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’ (1978) with combined worldwide gross of nearly $4.5 billion. 

From quitting acting and taking up carpentry Harrison Ford has gone a long way to achieving all the accolades that he has achieved in his prestigious career. His persistence and skill helped him get the big break after long years of struggle. He is a soft-spoken, shy person by nature, and a very hard worker to boot. But his continuous pursuit for excellence has made his performances memorable and helped him achieve continued success over such a long period of time. His story is a true rags to riches tale that will not be forgotten in the years to come. 

Ford credits his tenacity for being able to stick with his dreams.  His presence in Hollywood will forever be felt. 

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