Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on June 14, 1998 · Page 29
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 29

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 14, 1998
Page 29
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Harrison Ford: Built tough Whether blasting Into hyperspace or cutting through jungle, Ford's movie heroes are both strong and sensitive, appealing to men and women alike. The family Ford With, sjaserw/iitef wife Mgllssj Malftispn (fJ.) and §on Ben, an LA chef, ily to support. Like lots of men his age, Ford has separate sets of kids: two adult sons with first wife Mary Marquardt, and a young son and daughter with second wife Melissa Mathison, a screenwriter. He also has a grandchild. He takes little credit for raising the older two, Ben, 31, a chef, and Willard, 29, a teacher. "My older kids are fantastic people. It can't be the result of my influence on them." He loves being involved with son Malcolm, 11, and daughter Georgia, 7. But don't ask for parenting tips: "It's an impossible job at any age." F ord plays roles appealing to both sexes; often he's a handsome prince who scoops a damsel in distress out of harm's way, never making a mistake — or at least laughing when he does. Ivan Reitman, who directed Six Days, Seven Nights, says Ford is "a throwback to those great '40s movie stars that we don't seem to have anymore, guys like Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable." "He's the guy who is every woman's dream and the man who's every man's dream," says Six Days co-star Anne Heche. Their chemistry is sure to be the topic of water-cooler talk Monday morning because Heche, 29, is the offscreen love of comedian Ellen DeGeneres. The couple went public with their relationship soon after Heche was cast in Six Days, causing a bit of a stir. Ford's support never wavered, and they talk about each other with genuine warmth. Reports from the set were that they got along swell. Filming was arduous because the stars did their own stunts. "He told me how to keep safe," Heche says. "He was always taking care of me, helping me know about the explosives before we had to jump off the boat." O f course, jumping oft cliffs and out of planes is part of Ford's daredevil screen image. But the real guy is more complicated and circumspect. In an age of celebrity confessionals and dirt-digging tabloids, he manages to keep his personal business his own. It's not surprising, then, to learn that the most popular actor in America doesn't have an identifiable best friend. "I have relationships with people I'm working with. ... The relationship is based on our combined interest. It doesn't make the relationship any less sincere, but it does give it a focus that may not last beyond the experience." And to experience Harrison Ford is to find he is both not what he appears and everything you might expect. He's been known to be cranky or gruff, yet, as Reitman says, "There's a nobility to Harrison when you first meet him." A seriousness, too, though Ford claims he's not a serious person. "If I were a serious person, I'd probably have a real job." YEARS OF MOVIES Tuesday, the American Film Institute will name the 100 top movies ever, in celebration of a century of filmmaking (CBS, 8 p.m. ET). Beginning June 23, TNT presents a 10-part documentary on the films (Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET). * Today's top stars tell USA WEEKEND their favorite films of all time. Pages 6-8 * Your favorite movies, stars, lines. Page 10 Ford and family keep houses in Wyoming and Los Angeles, but they have made New York their main home for several years. He has admitted to getting antsy about city life, but he easily indulges his passion for airplanes and helicopters there. "I love flying. It's very important to me." He's been a pilot for three years and flies "all the time. It's something I always wanted to do, and at a certain point I bought a plane for myself and I became more interested and involved in it. "I find it continually challenging, and it's great fun for me to continue to try to refine "I wanted to be a forest ranger or a coal man," Ford says. It took him 13 years to establish himself as an actor. and polish my skills. I like little planes. I like the places you can put a little plane down. I like grass strips, dirt roads, dry lake beds, tricky crosswind situations. I like that kind of flying." That said, he also just got a helicopter license and says there's no better place to fly one of those birds than around New York's skyline. F or a multitalented guy who has tremendous clout in Hollywood, Ford is refreshingly unambitious. Those who have worked with him say that he has strong opinions, that he knows every detail about moviemaking. So why doesn't he go the route of so many huge actors — to directing and producing as well as starring? For him it's always been this simple: "I've never wanted to be the boss." ea Associate Editor Lorrie Lynch writes the "Who's News" column. USA WEEKEND • June 12-14. 1998 6

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