To us he’ll always be a scruffy-looking nerf herder, but to the world at large, Mr. Harrison Ford is the highest-grossing actor in history, thanks to a little series of movies we call Star Wars. The 73-year old actor is newly named to the top post, after his most recent film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, demolished box office records left and right.
Ford, who began his career as a part-time carpenter, was famously discovered by George Lucas after a few years of bit parts. After starring in the one of the young director’s first films, American Graffiti, Lucas hired him to read lines with actors coming in to audition for his, at the time, rather silly-sounding space opera, Star Wars. Of course once you’ve heard Ford utter the words “I take orders from just one person: me” it’s easy to understand why casting anyone else as roguish reluctant hero Han Solo would seem ridiculous, and Mr. Lucas eventually hired the young actor for the role. The rest is box office history.
Box Office Mojo’s recent release of the highest grossing domestic star list means that Harrison Ford unseats previous leader Samuel L. Jackson, who owes much of his prominence on the list to his honored place in Marvel franchises like The Avengers, as well as cameos in many related films. Ford’s success comes primarily from the Star Wars universe, but let’s not forget a a mildly popular character this guy had called (ahem) Indiana Jones.
Still, it’s Ford’s newest hit that put him on top. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is something beyond a box-office juggernaut, with over $741 million at the domestic US box office so far, as well as breaking records for becoming the fastest film to gross $1 billion dollars (in just 12 days), and unseating Avatar as the highest grossing film of all time. And funny thing about that last one: it broke that record in 20 days, while Avatar took nearly a year to hit its final total!
So congratulations to Mr. Ford on picking a winner with that Lucas fellow. And lucky for us, the seasoned veteran actor doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon; according to IMDB, he has sequels coming up for two other franchises: Indiana Jones and Blade Runner.
(Images Via Entertainment Weekly/Twitter)