Richard Gere (born 31.8.1949)
Richard Gere is an American movie actor, best known for his roles in films such as Pretty Woman and Primal Fear.
Richard Gere: Childhood
Richard Gere was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Doria Anna Gere and Homer George Gere. His mother was a housewife and his father worked for an insurance company.
Richard Gere graduated from North Syracuse Central High School in 1967. At school, he performed well at gymnastics as well as playing the trumpet. Gere went on to study at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he had won a gymnastics scholarship. He left university after two years, without graduating.
Richard Gere's first professional acting job came in 1971, when he performed in a production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the Provincetown Playhouse on Cape Cod. His first major role, however, came with the original stage production of Grease in London, two years later.
Gere began working in Hollywood in the mid 1970s and in 1977 he co-starred in Looking For Mr. Goodbar opposite Diane Keaton and Tuesday Weld. This was followed by a role in Days of Heaven in 1978. The film was directed by Terrence Malick and also featured Brooke Evans and Sam Shepard.
Richard Gere returned to the stage in 1980 when he appeared on Broadway, in Bent. That same year, his career took something of an upturn with the release of American Gigolo. Gere took the lead role and the film also starred Lauren Hutton and Hector Elizondo. Over the years, it has become a cult classic. An Officer and a Gentleman followed in 1982. Featuring Debra Winger as the female lead, the film grossed over $130 million in its first year of release.
The remainder of the 1980s were not successful years for Richard Gere. In fact, it was not until the release of Internal Affairs (with Andy Garcia) in 1990 that his career got back on track. That same year, Richard Gere starred in Pretty Woman, alongside Julia Roberts. The film was a huge global success and grossed well over $464 million at the box office.
Luckily for Gere, these two films had helped to cement his reputation and he maintained a steady stream of successful lead roles. In 1993, he starred opposite Jodie Foster in Sommersby, the soundtrack to which was scored by Danny Elfman. Three years later, he appeared in Primal Fear. This highly regarded drama had a cast that included Laura Linney, Frances McDormand and Edward Norton, who received an Oscar nomination for his supporting role.
In 1999, Richard Gere took on a more lighthearted role, when he appeared in Runaway Bride, which saw him reunited onstage with Julia Roberts and Hector Elizondo. The film shared the same director as Pretty Woman - Garry Marshall - but failed to regain the glory of its predecessor.
2002 proved to be another milestone for Richard Gere. As well as appearing in The Mothman Prophecies (with Debra Messing and Laura Linney) and Unfaithful (with Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez), he also starred in the screen version of Chicago. Gere won a Golden Globe for his performance in the musical.
Richard Gere's next two films received a varied response. The first, a ballroom drama, entitled Shall We Dance. Co-starring Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandon, the film raked in over $170 million. In contrast, his next film, Bee Season (with Juliette Binoche), was a flop.
2007 was a more successful year for Gere, as he starred in the comic thriller The Hunting Party, with Jesse Eisenberg and Terrence Howard. Later in the year, he featured in I'm Not There, Todd Haynes' semi-fictional Bob Dylan biopic. The film also starred Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. The following year, Gere released another clanger, when he starred with Diane Lane in the romantic drama Nights in Rodanthe.
Richard Gere: Personal Life
Between 1991 and 1995, Richard Gere was married to Cindy Crawford. He then married the actress Carey Lowell in 2002, with whom he has a son, Homer James Jigme Gere.
Despite being raised as a Methodist, Richard Gere is now a practicing Buddhist. He protested against the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, in order to pressurise China into liberating Tibet.