Yes, that's Harrison Ford, who will celebrate his 71st birthday on July 13. In honor, and as part of an iHomeschool Network celebration of some noted July birthdays, I thought it might be fun to talk about how our family has enjoyed Indiana Jones, Star Wars and more.
All about Harrison FordHarrison Ford was born July 13, 1942, in Chicago.
Disclosure: This post has some affiliate links, which will make me a little bit of money if you choose to purchase any of the products I've mentioned through them. I only link to things we legitimately use and recommend, so if you see such a link, it's because we really do believe in the book or item!Although he was the son of a former actor and radio actress, it wasn't until Harrison's final year of college, when he took a drama class to help deal with his shyness, that he became interested in the art of acting.
Start in the mid-1960s, Harrison Ford had several small roles in various movies. He was often credited as Harrison J. Ford in his early work to avoid confusion with a famous silent film star named Harrison Ford - much in the same way that Michael J. Fox adopted the J. in his own name!
The roles he got early on were so poor, though, that Ford learned to work as a carpenter so that he could support his wife and young sons. During that time, he was a stagehand for rock band The Doors as well... but his big break came when George Lucas hired Ford to build some cabinets!
Harrison Ford as Han Solo in Star WarsHarrison Ford's work with George Lucas did lead directly to his casting as Han Solo - but not in the way you might think.
Lucas actually originally paid him to read lines TO the people really auditioning! But he did so well that he landed the role of Han Solo himself, and performed the part in Star Wars in 1977, The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983.
That said, here's something Sarah LOVES: Lego Star Wars. Especially Lego Han Solo, who she has as an actual minifigure. But even more, she likes to play as his character in Lego Star Wars for Wii, which is one of her all-time favorite games!
So we owe Harrison Ford for the work he did even before I was born, because it turned into something that we all enjoy now! (And in the recently announced NEW Star Wars Episode VII coming out in 2015, Ford has already agreed to reprise Han Solo, so that, I'm excited for!)
Harrison Ford as Indiana JonesWhen Raiders of the Lost Ark came out in 1981, Harrison Ford marked his start in the second major series of his career (which would later also include Blade Runner, Air Force One, Patriot Games and many other action films).
This series remains a family favorite - including the newest movie, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which some people kind of panned but which we loved.
(Funnily, for all that Indiana Jones hates snakes, Harrison Ford actually has a lot of experience working with reptiles and other generally creepy things; he even has a species of spider and a species of ant named after him, a rather dubious honor!)
Anyway, like with Han Solo, Lego Indiana Jones is also a favorite of Sarah's especially. We don't have his minifigure, but we do have his Wii game!
Meanwhile, I've been watching the Indiana Jones series with a new eye now that I'm taking the Archaeology's Dirty Little Secrets class through Coursera. Seeing that portrayal of archaeology is pretty different than the real job, but it still makes for good watching!
Read more about Harrison Ford
- Harrison Ford's biography on Wikipedia
- Harrison Ford on IMDB
- Absolute Harrison Ford, a fan site (there is no official Harrison Ford website, amazingly!)
Ideas for discussionWe've been talking a lot about archaeology as it relates to my online course, which Sarah has been auditing with me. Thinking about the Indiana Jones series really brought up a lot of questions that we've worked through.
- Who owns the past? Can a person or an organization or a country "own" something like a historic site?
- What does good archaeology look like? Is it authorized looting (we sure hope not), is it treasure-hunting, or is it preservation of the past, which was NOT something our title Indiana Jones character was particularly known for?
- What really constitutes "treasure"? A crystal skull? An ark? A warehouse full of amazing goodies? Or something else?
- What's in a name? This is kind of a funny one, but we crack up over "We named the dog Indiana!" It's funny that the Indiana Jones character picked his own name to best represent his personality. Does your name reflect yours? I can't imagine being anyone but Joan, though I think I must have felt differently about that in the past!
- Do the clothes make the man (or woman)? C'mon. Fedora, whip, khakis. Light saber. Harrison Ford has been the recipient of some of the most well-known movie wardrobe props in history. What would you pick for your prop? What's kind of your "signature item?" (I'll give you a hint - mine's not a bullwhip! It's probably my spiky hair and my bright glasses.)
Join the birthday partyIf you're interested, there are many more cool "July birthday" lessons from my fellow iHomeschool Network bloggers. Click the image below to check them out!
And thanks for stopping by to help me wish Harrison Ford a happy birthday!
You can check out more posts in our Learning Party series here!