Richard Kimble, ‘The Fugitive’
Ford is the innocent man in the action-thriller that sees him on the run from the law. Here he balances his quick wit and book smarts with a driving desperation to clear his name and track down the infamous one-armed man who murdered his wife.
Han Solo, ‘Star Wars’ Franchise
Ford almost didn’t land his most iconic role. Director George Lucas worked with a fresh-faced Ford in “American Graffiti”, the carpenter-turned-actor’s first major movie role, in 1973. Lucas wanted brand new actors for his space odyssey and merely brought Ford in to read lines with other potential cast members during the audition process. He did so well, he won the part and the rest is movie history.
Henry Turner, ‘Regarding Henry’
Long before they teamed up on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, Ford starred in “Regarding Henry”, a drama penned by a young J.J. Abrams. Ford stars as a workaholic Manhattan lawyer with questionable morals who gets shot during a convenience store hold-up, rendering him brain damaged and an amnesiac. Now in recovery, Henry becomes a vulnerable man who is trying to rebuild his life. Playing both sides of the character gave Ford a chance to show his true range as an actor.
Indiana Jones, ‘Indiana Jones’ Franchise
Next to Han Solo, Ford’s second-most synonymous role is that of archaeologist-adventurer Indiana Jones. Spanning four movies, Ford is at his charismatic best when he’s cracking a whip and out-running a boulder in “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” or sparring with his on-screen pop Sean Connery in “The Last Crusade”.
John Book, ‘Witness’
Ford landed his first and so far only Academy Award nomination for playing a detective who travels to Amish country in order to protect a young witness to a murder. Cultures collide as Ford’s John Book falls in love with Amish woman Kelly McGillis in the tense drama that’s all about decisions and consequences.
Rick Deckard, ‘Blade Runner’
Considered a sci-fi noir masterpiece, 1982’s “Blade Runner” sees Ford as jaded replicant hunter Rick Deckard. Emotionally drained and morally ambiguous, Ford’s dramatic and weighty turn symbolizes everything about what it means to be human in a world full of androids. He’ll reprise his cult role again in 2017’s “Blade Runner 2049” opposite Ryan Gosling.
Jack Ryan, ‘Patriot Games’
While other actors have since stepped in to CIA analyst Jack Ryan’s shoes, Ford is a determined and reluctant action hero who keeps finding himself – and his family – in dangerous situations in both “Patriot Games” and in follow-up “Clear And Present Danger”. His unwavering drive to do the right thing makes him a driven and relatable hero.
Dr. Richard Walker, ‘Frantic’
Ford ditches his usual cool, tough-guy persona to show a more vulnerable side as a desperate man who wants to recover his wife from kidnappers in Roman Polanski’s “Frantic”. Set in a cold and unfriendly Paris, the film depicts Ford’s character as an ordinary man in an extraordinary circumstance who makes even the most far-fetched situation involving a terrorist smuggling plot wholly believable – and riveting.
Norman Spencer, ‘What Lies Beneath’
While it’s not the best Ford movie, “What Lies Beneath” gives us a great performance, as the actor plays against type as a devious and philandering husband with buried secrets at the centre of the ghost story. Like Ford, Norman Spencer is used to being seen as the good guy and hero so his deception in the thriller makes his fall from grace all the more entertaining. It’s a treat to see him go dark in the pulpy box-office hit.
Rusty Sabich, ‘Presumed Innocent’
Ford plays a prosecutor framed for the murder of his colleague – who just so happens to be his mistress – in the tense courtroom thriller “Presumed Innocent”. A Hitchcock-eque drama, Ford gives a riveting and solid performance as the accused man.