July 13 ~  Wow, This Is It Harrison Ford: Imperfect Hero

"Being happy is something you have to learn. I often surprise myself by saying, 'Wow, this is it.' I guess I'm happy. I got a home I love. A career that I love. I'm even feeling more and more at peace with myself." ~ Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford

Hollywood box office star Harrison Ford (1942-) was born on this day in Park Ridge, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois and studied English and philosophy in college.

"I don't think I've seen a single one of the films I've been in all the way through after their first screening," Ford said. "It makes me too uncomfortable."

The handsome actor taught himself carpentry to survive the lean years and liked the steady income woodworking generated so much, he almost turned down George Lucas' offer to star in American Graffiti because the role only paid $500 a week.

In 1977, he exploded on the screen as Star Wars' Han Solo...and the rest is movie history. A successful and bankable actor, in 1999 he had starred in seven of the 30 top-grossing films of all time. Of his popularity, the humble Ford has said, "My occupation is assistant storyteller. It is not 'icon'."

Storyteller or icon, Ford remains one of Hollywood's best actors. In 1998, he was chosen People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive. "I never feel sexy." he said. "I have a distant relationship with the mirror."

In 2008, Ford starred in the highly-anticipated fourth installment of the Indiana Jones saga, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, again partnered with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.

"We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance," Ford said.

Of all his countless accolades, perhaps the most unique is the one he received in 1993 when the American Museum of Natural History named a new species of spider, Calponia harrisonford.

More Film-Making Quotations

Harrison FordThis is it. Be happy!