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Young boys aspire to be Han Solo, or maybe Indiana Jones, but Harrison Ford was able to play both iconic characters in his storied career. Aside from crewing two legendary screen characters, Ford has had a long and adventurous career as one of the most formidable leading men in American film history.
Here are 14 things about Harrison Ford you may not have known…
1. The scar: Ford has a scar on his chin that was explained away in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. In reality, Ford got the scar in 1968 when he tried to “buckle up” while already driving, and lost control of the car.
2. While Ford is a renowned pilot and crashed one of his planes recently, in 2000, he piloted his helicopter to rescue dehydrated 20-year-old hiker Sarah George from Table Mountain near his ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
3. He nearly turned down the role of Henry in Regarding Henry because the main character was a trial lawyer. He had just played one in Presumed Innocent and was afraid of being typecast. He took the role when he realized that Henry would only be functioning as a lawyer for the first ten minutes of the film.
4. Ford worked as a carpenter in Los Angeles before achieving fame in movies, mainly doing home remodeling work. He had a reputation as one of the best cabinetmakers in the city, and his services were much in demand on Los Angeles’ trendy Westside long before he became a movie star.
5. He scared the life out of Steven Spielberg on the set of Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom when he took off running across the rope suspension bridge to test the safety.
6. Ford had a role as the school principal in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial who reprimands Elliott about the dangers of alcohol. The scene was cut because director Steven Spielberg felt that Ford’s presence would break the flow of the film. The only footage known to exist appeared in The E.T. Storybook released at the same time as the film.
7. He has often said Blade Runner was the most frustrating film he’s ever made because of constant studio meddling and recuts. Ford even allegedly did the voiceover in the theatrical release with major disinterest because he didn’t like the idea. The studio didn’t notice anything wrong with his delivery and left it in.
8. Said in an interview that he felt compelled to do his own stunts for the Indiana Jones trilogy because the film was very “action oriented” and that he felt if he weren’t in the middle of it, then were really wasn’t much else for him to do.
9. In 2003, he accepted the Oscar for Best Director on behalf of his friend Roman Polanski, who wasn’t present at the awards ceremony, being a fugitive from U.S. justice since fleeing the country in 1978. Ford delivered the Oscar to Polanski in France.
10. Turned down the role of Bob Barnes in Syriana, which then went to George Clooney. He later said that it was one of the few choices in his career that he regretted. Clooney would win Best Supporting Actor for the role; Ford has never won an Oscar.
11. Neither Han Solo nor Indiana Jones was offered to him first. Han Solo was originally set to go to Christopher Walken while Tom Selleck was slated to play Indiana Jones before backing out to play Magnum P.I.
12. He has injured himself several times on set, including breaking his ankle on the new Star Wars Episode VII, hurting his back during filming Temple of Doom, and tearing a ligament on the set of The Fugitive.
13. He was close with late actor River Phoenix, who played his son in The Mosquito Coast. He suggested Phoenix for the role as young Indy in The Last Crusade.
14. Honored for his work with the environment, Ford was asked to name a new breed of butterfly. He named it after his daughter, Georgia.