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Quintessential American hero

HARRISON FORD was the recipient of the 2002 Cecil DeMille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for his "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field."

Over the course of his career, Harrison Ford has become one of the most popularly acclaimed actors of our time. His body of work includes 35 feature films, 10 of which have exceeded $100 millions each at the box office. Through his starring roles in such cinematic blockbusters as the "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" trilogies, "The Fugitive", "Air Force One" and "Patriot Games", he has come to embody the quintessential American hero for moviegoers around the world.

The National Association of Theatre Owners named him `Star of the Century' in 1994. People picked Ford as "The Sexiest Man Alive" in 1998 and that same year, he won the People's Choice Award as the Favourite Motion Picture Actor. In 1999, he won the People's Choice Award as the Favourite All Time Movie Star and, again, in 2000 they named him the Favourite Motion Picture Actor.

Born in Chicago, Ford attended Ripon College in Wisconsin before moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He began as a contract player with Columbia Pictures, making his film debut in the crime drama ``Dead Heat in a Merry Go-Round'' (1966). After a small role in ``Getting Straight'' (1970), he resolved not to let his career choices be dictated by financial concerns, so he turned to carpentry while he waited for the right role.

In 1973, after a three-year hiatus from the screen, George Lucas cast him in ``American Graffiti''. The next year, he landed a prominent supporting part on Francis Ford Coppola's ``The Conversion'', which was followed by an important role in Stanley Kramer's television production, "Judgment: The Court Martial of Lt. William Calley."

Ford returned to features in 1977 when Lucas cast him as the cocky rebel star ship pilot Han solo in ``Star Wars'', the film that shattered all box office records and made Ford a household name. He went on to star in "Force 10 From Navarone" (1978), "Hanover Street" (1978) and "The Frisco Kid" (1979), and had cameo roles in "Apocalypse Now" (1979) and "More American Graffiti" (1979), before being cast by Steven Spielberg as intrepid adventurer Indian Jones in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981). The movie became another of the highest-grossing films of all time.

Between the "Star Wars" sequels, "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) and "Return of the Jedi" (1983) and the Raiders sequels "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984) and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989), Ford starred in a number of other memorable films. In "Blade Runner" (1982), he delivered a gritty performance as a cop in the nihilistic future of Los Angeles. He earned critical acclaim for his role as a cop on the lam, hiding out in amish country, in ``Witness'' (1985). Ford followed that with a daring portrayal of an eccentric idealistic inventor in "The Mosquito Coast" (1986). He went on to play a Hitchcock protagonist in "Frantic" (1988) before showing his flair for romantic comedy in "Working Girl" (1988). In the past 10 years, ford has starred in 13 films. He played a lawyer accused of murder in "Presumed Innocent" (1990), and arrogant yuppie transformed by a mugger's bullet in "Regarding Henry" (1991), the heroic ex-CIA agent Jack Ryan in "Patriot Games" (1992) and "Clear and Present Danger" (1994), a doctor wrongly convicted of murdering his own wife in "The Fugitive" (1993), a deeply committed New York City cop in "The Devil's Own" (1997) and President James Marshall in "Air Force One" (1997). He also starred in the remake of ``Sabarina'' (1995) in the role originated by Humphrey Bogart.

Ford's most recent credits include the romantic action comedy "Six Days, Seven Nights" (1998), the romantic drama "Random Hearts" (1999) and the thriller "What Lies Beneath" (2000). Early next year, his latest film "K-19", a drama directed by Kathryn Bigelow and also starring Liam Neeson, will be released.

Strongly committed to environmental concerns, Ford is actively involved in a number of conservation groups. He lives in Jackson, Wyoming, where he donated 389 acres of his property for a conservation easement to the Jackson Hole Land Trust.

Recent Cecil B. DeMille winners include Al Pacino (2001), Barbra Streisand (2000), Jack Nicholson (1999), Shirley MacLaine (1998), Dustin Hoffman (1997), Sean Connery (1996) and Sophia Loren (1995).

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