Harrison Ford was born on July 13, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. He moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting in 1964 and signed a contract for $150 a week with Columbia Pictures as part of their “new talent program”. He was originally credited as Harrison J. Ford because there was another Harrison Ford who was an actor but when that actor died in 1957, Ford dropped the fictitious J. from his name.
In order to support his wife at the time (Mary Marquardt) and two young children, he taught himself carpentry. He was a stagehand for the Doors at one point and when he got the chance opportunity to build cabinets for George Lucas, Lucas cast him in <i>American Graffiti</i> in 1973.
During a line reading for <i>Star Wars</i> with Lucas and Steven Spielberg, Spielberg convinced Lucas that Ford would be well suited for the part of Han Solo, a part that sealed his fate as an actor rather than a cabinet maker.
He is best known for <i>Star Wars</i> and the <i>Indiana Jones</i> films. Although he has does many others including <i>The Fugitive</i>, <i>Bladerunner</i>, <i>Clear and Present Danger</i> and <i>Witness</i> for which he was nominated for an Oscar.
Ford is an environmentalist and an animal conservationist. He is a pilot of private planes and helicopters and provided emergency services on several occasions.