Happy 75th Birthday, Harrison Ford!

Harrison Ford as Han Solo in The Force Awakens

It’s Harrison Ford’s birthday! Time to raid creepy temples, assassinate replicants, kick droids and blow up terrorists on Air Force One.

Born on this day in 1942, Harrison Ford  is a well known heroic figure of stage and screen, but it wasn’t always that way. He didn’t take any drama classes at all in high school until the final quarter of his senior year, in part to help him get over his shyness. He had a moderately successful career in movies and television shows from 1966 through the early 70’s, but dissatisfied with the roles he was getting, turned to carpentry to provide a stable life for his wife and two sons. Even here, Ford was remarkable. He was a stage hand for The Doors, built a deck for Sally Kellerman,

Harrison Ford mugs for the camera in this promotional still from the original Star Wars

This alone should distinguish him. How many come to Hollywood thinking they’re going to be the Next Big Thing, and how many walk away with nothing at all to show for the effort? That Ford was able to pound any kind of career out of the unforgiving endless parking lot bounded by gigantic locked iron gates that is Hollywood is impressive all on its own.

Then came Ford’s role as Bob Falfa in George Lucas’ American Graffitti in 1973, an opportunity that would have a profound effect on the rest of his career. Star Wars came just three years later.

Since then, he’s been Indiana Jones in the film by the same name, Matt Deckard in Bladerunner, and even the President of the United States in Air Force One. He reappeared in 2016’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and he’s recast as Rick Deckard in the upcoming Bladerunner 2049.

The world loves Harrison Ford. Happy birthday, you old scoundrel.

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