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Richard Gere

                   
Richard Gere

Gere in Venice, 2007
Born Richard Tiffany Gere
(1949-08-31) August 31, 1949 (age 62)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Actor
Years active 1973–present
Notable work(s) Pretty Woman, Dr. T & the Women, Chicago, Primal Fear, First Knight, The Jackal (1997 film)
Religion Buddhist
Spouse Cindy Crawford (1991–1995)
Carey Lowell (2002–present)
Children Son

Richard Tiffany Gere[1] (play /ˈɡɪər/ GEER; born August 31, 1949) is an American actor. He began acting in the 1970s, playing a supporting role in Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and a starring role in Days of Heaven. He came to prominence in 1980 for his role in the film American Gigolo, which established him as a leading man and a sex symbol. He went on to star in several hit films including An Officer and a Gentleman, Pretty Woman, Primal Fear, and Chicago, for which he won a Golden Globe Award as Best Actor, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the Best Cast.

Contents

  Early life

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Gere is a descendant of Mayflower Pilgrims Francis Eaton, John Billington, George Soule, Richard Warren, Degory Priest, William Brewster, and Francis Cooke.[1] His paternal great-grandfather had changed the spelling of the surname from "Geer".[1] Gere's mother, Doris Ann (née Tiffany, born 1924),[1] was a homemaker, and his father, Homer George Gere (born 1922),[1] was an insurance agent for the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and had originally intended to become a minister.[2] Gere is their eldest son and second child.[1] In 1967, he graduated from North Syracuse Central High School, where he excelled at gymnastics and music, playing the trumpet.[2] He attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst on a gymnastics scholarship, majoring in philosophy, but did not graduate, leaving after two years.[2][3]

  Career

Gere first worked professionally at the Provincetown Playhouse on Cape Cod in 1971 where he starred in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. His first major acting role was in the original London stage version of Grease in 1973.[2] He began appearing in Hollywood films in the mid 1970s, co-starring in the thriller Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) and playing the leading role in director Terrence Malick's well-reviewed 1978 film, Days of Heaven.[2] In 1980, Gere appeared in the Broadway production of Bent. He became a major star that year with the film American Gigolo, followed by the romantic drama An Officer and a Gentleman, which grossed almost $130 million in 1982.[4]

After 1982, Gere's career experienced several box office failures[5][6] until it strengthened with the release of both Internal Affairs and Pretty Woman in 1990. Gere's status as a leading man solidified and he went on to star in several successful films throughout the 1990s, including Sommersby (1993), Primal Fear (1996), and Runaway Bride (1999) which reunited him with his Pretty Woman co-star Julia Roberts.[5] Richard also took a leading role in the 1997 action movie The Jackal, playing Declan Mulqueen.

People magazine named Gere the "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1999. In 2002, he appeared in three major releases: the horror thriller The Mothman Prophecies, the drama Unfaithful, and the Academy Award-winning film version of Chicago,[2] for which he won a Golden Globe as "Best Actor – Comedy or Musical". Gere's 2004 ballroom dancing drama Shall We Dance? was also a solid performer that grossed $170 million worldwide[7] though his next film, 2005's Bee Season, was a commercial failure.[8]

Gere was Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals' "Man of the Year" for 2006. In 2007, he co-starred with Jesse Eisenberg and Terrence Howard in The Hunting Party, a comic thriller in which he played a journalist in Bosnia. The same year he also starred with Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, and Cate Blanchett in Todd Haynes' semi-biographical film about Bob Dylan, I'm Not There.

Gere co-starred with Diane Lane in the romantic drama Nights in Rodanthe, released in 2008. The film was widely panned by critics[9] (even making #74 on The Times Worst Films of 2008 list),[10] but grossed over $84 million worldwide.[11]

In December 2010, Gere was honored for his lifetime achievement from the 34th Cairo International Film Festival.[12]

In 2012, Gere was the 67th recipient of The George Eastman Award for distinguished contribution to the art of film for his distinguished acting career as well as his global humanitarian leadership.

  Personal life and activism

  Gere presented with a Khata by the 14th Dalai Lama

Gere was married to supermodel Cindy Crawford from 1991 to 1995. In 2002, he married model and actress Carey Lowell. They have a son, Homer James Jigme Gere, who was born in 2000 and is named after Gere's father.[2]

Gere was raised by Methodist parents;[13] his interest in Buddhism began when in his twenties.[14] Gere first studied Zen Buddhism[14] under Kyozan Joshu Sasaki.[14] After having studied Zen for five or six years,[14] Gere traveled to Nepal in 1978 with the Brazilian painter, Sylvia Martins[15] where he met many Tibetan monks and lamas.[15] He then met the 14th Dalai Lama in India[14] and became a practicing Buddhist of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism[14] and an active supporter of the Dalai Lama.[2] Gere visits Dharamsala, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile, regularly.[16]

Gere is also a persistent advocate for human rights in Tibet; he is a co-founder of the Tibet House, creator of The Gere Foundation, and he is Chairman of the Board of Directors for the International Campaign for Tibet. Because he strongly supports the Tibetan Independence Movement, he is permanently banned from entering the People's Republic of China.[17][18] Gere was banned as an Academy Award presenter in 1993 after he denounced the Chinese government in his capacity as presenter.[19][20] In September 2007, Gere called for the boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to put pressure on China to make Tibet independent. He starred in Free Tibet-themed Lancia commercial featuring the Lancia Delta.[21] On June 27, 2011 Richard Gere meditated in Borobudur temple.[22]

  Gere Visits USAID HIV / AIDS "Operation Lighthouse" Project In Mumbai, as part of USAID.

Richard Gere actively supports Survival International, an organization dedicated to protecting the rights and lands of tribal peoples throughout the world.[15] He contributed some of his writing for the book, We Are One: A Celebration of Tribal Peoples, released in October 2009.[23] Richard Gere discusses the persecution and loss of land of the Jummas, as an example of a tragic story that repeats itself in different continents of the world. He calls attention to the crime against their peaceful culture and how it reflects on our own relationship with nature and capacity to survive.[24] The royalties from the sale of this book go to the indigenous rights organization, Survival International.

Gere campaigns for ecological causes and AIDS awareness. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Healing the Divide, an organization that supports global initiatives to promote peace, justice and understanding.[25] He helped to establish the AIDS Care Home, a residential facility in India for women and children with AIDS, and also supports campaigns for AIDS awareness and education that country. In 1999, he created the Gere Foundation India Trust to support a variety of humanitarian programs in India.[26]

On April 15, 2007, Gere appeared at an AIDS awareness rally in Jaipur, India. During a live news conference to promote condom use among truck drivers, he embraced Bollywood superstar Shilpa Shetty, dipped her, and kissed her several times on the cheek.[27] As a result of that gesture, a local court ordered the arrest of Gere and Shetty, finding them in violation "public obscenity" laws. Gere, who quickly fled the country, has said the controversy was "manufactured by a small hard-line political party." About a month later, a two-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, KG Balakrishnan, described the case as "frivolous" and believed that such complaints (against celebrities) were filed for "cheap publicity" and have brought a bad name to the country. They ruled that "Richard Gere is free to enter the country. This is the end of the matter."[28]

In June 2008, Gere appeared in a Fiat commercial for the European market, driving a new Lancia Delta from Hollywood to Tibet. The commercial concluded with a tagline of "New Lancia Delta: the power to be different". The commercial was reported in Chinese newspapers, and Fiat apologized to the PRC.[29] Branding expert John Tantillo argued that Fiat had foreseen the controversy the ad would cause and hoped to benefit from press coverage it would receive, labeling it "adpublitizing".[30]

  Honours and awards

On 17 May 2012, Albanian President, Bamir Topi awarded the "Medal of Gratitude" to Richard Gere with the citation: "With gratitude and honor outstanding personality of the world art, great humanist and activist for the protection of human rights, which unmasked and the American public made ​​known, and further, inhuman crimes, ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, in 1999, the Serbian military machine against the Albanian civilian population living in its land".[31] On 16 February 2012, George Eastman House International Museum for Photography and Film honoured Richard Gere with the George Eastman Award for distinguished contribution to the art of film.[32]

  Political views

  Invasion of Iraq

Gere has stated that the decision to go to war in Iraq was one that the American people were not in support of and that the administration at the time “bullied” Americans into the decision. He blamed the situation on a very “poor president”.[33]

“I'm very sorry about what the U.S. has done in Iraq. This war has been a tragedy for everyone. I hope that the people of Iraq can rebuild their country," Richard Gere said in a press conference, held on the sidelines of the 34th Cairo International Film Festival.[34]

  Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1975 Report to the Commissioner Billy
1976 Baby Blue Marine Raider
1977 Looking for Mr. Goodbar Tony Lo Porto
1978 Bloodbrothers Thomas Stony De Coco
1978 Days of Heaven Bill David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actor
1979 Yanks Matt Dyson
1980 American Gigolo Julian Kaye
1982 An Officer and a Gentleman Zack Mayo Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
1983 The Honorary Consul Dr. Eduardo Plarr
1983 Breathless Jesse Lujack
1984 The Cotton Club Dixie Dwyer
1985 King David David
1986 No Mercy Eddie Jillette
1986 Power Pete St. John
1988 Miles from Home Frank Roberts, Jr.
1990 Internal Affairs Dennis Peck
1990 Pretty Woman Edward Lewis Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1991 Rhapsody in August Clark
1992 Final Analysis Dr. Isaac Barr
1993 Mr. Jones Mr. Jones
1993 Sommersby John Robert 'Jack' Sommersby
1993 And the Band Played On The Choreographer Nominated — CableACE Award for Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor – Miniseries or a Movie
1994 Intersection Vincent Eastman
1995 First Knight Lancelot
1996 Primal Fear Martin Vail
1997 The Jackal Declan Joseph Mulqueen National Board of Review Freedom of Expression Award
1997 Red Corner Jack Moore
1999 Runaway Bride Ike Graham
2000 Dr. T & the Women Dr. T Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2000 Autumn in New York Will Keane
2002 Chicago Billy Flynn Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
2002 Unfaithful Edward Sumner
2002 The Mothman Prophecies John Klein
2004 Shall We Dance? John Clark
2005 Bee Season Saul Naumann
2007 The Hoax Clifford Irving Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2007 The Hunting Party Simon
2007 I'm Not There Bob Dylan as Billy The Kid Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award
2007 The Flock Agent Erroll Babbage
2008 Nights in Rodanthe Dr. Paul Flanner
2009 Amelia George Putnam
2009 Hachi: A Dog's Tale Parker Wilson
2010 Brooklyn's Finest Eddie Dugan
2011 The Double Paul Shepherdson
2012 Arbitrage Robert Miller filming

  References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Roberts, Gary Boyd. "The New England Ancestry of Actor Richard (Tiffany) Gere". New England Historic Genealogical Society. http://www.notablekin.org/gbr/gere.htm. Retrieved January 12, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Stated in interview on Inside the Actors Studio, 2002
  3. ^ "Richard Gere Biography", Carey Latimore, The Biography Channel. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  4. ^ "An Officer and a Gentleman". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=officerandagentleman.htm. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "Richard Gere". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/people/chart/?view=Actor&id=richardgere.htm. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Richard Gere". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/celebrity/richard_gere/. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Shall We Dance". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=shallwedance.htm. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Bee Season". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=beeseason.htm. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Nights in Rodanthe (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/nights_in_rodanthe/. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Turkeys! The 100 Worst Movies of 2008". The Times. December 8, 2008. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article5245052.ece. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Nights in Rodanthe". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=nightsinrodanthe.htm. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Gere, Binoche honored at CIFF opening". Daily News Egypt. November 30, 2010. http://www.thedailynewsegypt.com/film/gere-binoche-honored-at-ciff-opening-dp1.html. Retrieved December 1, 2010. 
  13. ^ Jones, Chris (December 27, 2002). "Richard Gere: On guard". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/in_depth/uk/2000/newsmakers/2591237.stm. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Richard Gere: My Journey as a Buddhist". Shambhala Sun. http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1882. Retrieved May 27, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b c "Richard Gere Biography", Carey Latimore, The Biography Channel. Retrieved May 12, 2007.
  16. ^ "Richard Gere in Bodh Gaya to attend Dalai Lama's discourse". Daily News and Analysis. http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_richard-gere-in-bodh-gaya-to-attend-dalai-lama-s-discourse_1632465. Retrieved May 27, 2012. 
  17. ^ Yahlin Chang, 'Red Corner,' Newsweek November 10, 1997:'‘Gere has already been banned from entering China for his pro-Tibet activities.'
  18. ^ Laurence Caracalla, Harrison Ford, Silverback Books, 2007 p.93
  19. ^ An in-depth look at your favourite celebrity personalities – hellomagazine.com, HELLO!
  20. ^ Richard Gere: Man of masks
  21. ^ Lancia Delta “Richard Gere” TV Commercial
  22. ^ Richard Gere Ingin Kembali ke Candi Borobudur
  23. ^ Survival International – We Are One
  24. ^ Eede, Joanna (2009). We are One: A Celebration of Tribal Peoples. Quadrille Publishing. ISBN 1-84400-729-4. 
  25. ^ Healing The Divide
  26. ^ The Gere Foundation. Retrieved May 12, 2007.
  27. ^ YouTube – Richard Gere kissing Shilpa Shetty
  28. ^ "Richard Gere cleared of obscenity". BBC News. March 14, 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7295797.stm. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Fiat apologizes to China for Richard Gere Commercial" Auto Blog. June 20, 2008.
  30. ^ "Richard Gere Fiat Ad Is Just The Latest Saga In the Risky New World Of Global Branding" Marketing Doctor Blog. June 25, 2008.
  31. ^ Presidenti Topi dekoron zotin Riçard Gir me “Medaljen e Mirënjohjes”, President of Albania, 2012-05-17 (in Albanian)
  32. ^ AP
  33. ^ "Juliette Binoche and Richard Gere greet the press". Al-Masry Al-Youm. December 1, 2010. http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/news/juliette-binoche-and-richard-gere-greet-press. 
  34. ^ Egyptian Gazette. December 27, 2010. http://213.158.162.45/~egyptian/index.php?action=news&id=13433&title=Seeing%20the%20stars%20in%20Cairo. 

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