Alert
Close

AARP Family Vacation Photo Contest. See official rules

Highlights

Open
Caucasian couple looking at a laptop computer together

Horoscope

Gemini - AARP Horoscope

Look at what your future holds if your birthday is between May 21 & June 21

CONTESTS & SWEEPS

AARP Family Vacation - Photo Contest

AARP REALPAD

The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More

Bob Dylan Talks!

Most Popular

Viewed

Harrison Ford: Hollywood Hero

From on-screen heroics to real-life rescues, the legendary actor's work is never done

Harrison Ford walking in the desert

"I love acting probably more than I did before," says Harrison Ford (above). — Photo by Timothy White

On the set, Ford regaled the cast — including Sam Rockwell, Paul Dano, and Olivia Wilde — with his war stories. Despite assorted orthopedic issues from a career's worth of running, jumping, and falling down, he rode as hard as anyone. "Harrison was in better shape than any of us," says Wilde. "He's ripped."

In his personal life, say Ford's friends, he's never seemed happier. Last year he married actress Calista Flockhart, 46, his sweetheart of 10 years. Together they are raising her 10-year-old son, Liam. "Yeah, I'm his dad," says Ford with obvious affection. Though he would rather live in Wyoming, domesticity and parenthood have grounded him in Los Angeles, where Flockhart appears in the television series Brothers & Sisters and Liam is enrolled in school.

Ford's stable home life allows him to satisfy his need for adventure more than ever. In 1995 he fulfilled a lifelong dream of earning his pilot's license. "I wanted to see whether I could learn something new," he says, "especially something really challenging on a technical level that requires hands-on skills." He completed rigorous training for both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, and has logged some 4,500 hours in the air. Today his fleet includes a chopper, a 1929 open-cockpit plane, and a transatlantic jet. Ford flies himself to movie locations, transports his family on vacations, and has made many transatlantic flights. "Flying absolutely reinvented my life," he says. As a pilot he can reclaim a measure of privacy, escaping the paparazzi who hound celebrities in public airports. Piloting also allows him to sidestep special treatment — the aspect of fame he most dislikes. "When I'm flying, I've got to do it according to the rules, just like everybody else," he says. "I'm not cut any slack for any other reason. I'm just another pilot. I love it."

And aviation has opened up a world far from the insularity of Hollywood. Ford has been active with Young Eagles (an organization that exposes children to the magic of flight), giving hundreds of kids rides in his planes. He also embarks on rescue and humanitarian missions. In 2000, as a member of Wyoming's Teton County Search and Rescue Volunteers, he saved a dehydrated hiker stranded in the mountains; the young woman was stunned when Indiana Jones swooped down in his Bell 407 helicopter. The following year Ford rescued a 13-year-old Boy Scout who had wandered off a trail and spent a rainy night lost in the wilderness near Yellowstone National Park. Though the boy didn't get Ford's autograph, he told his friends he got something better: a hug. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Ford flew doctors and supplies to the remote town of Hinche, buzzing the airstrip to clear it of goats and chickens before circling back to land. Rather than tour devastated areas trailed by news crews, Ford kept a low profile. "It was a small contribution," he says.

Next: On being a father (and a grandfather). >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Advertisement

 

Movies for Grownups Radio

Download weekly podcasts of celebrity interviews, entertainment news and more. Listen


Movies for Grownups Awards

AARP honors the films and filmmakers who make the movies we want to see. Read

300_line
100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

By Bill Newcott
E-book
January 2015


A treasure trove of delightfully offbeat recommendations for discerning moviegoers, from the beginnings of film right up the present.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Live Nation

Members save 25% or more when buying tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster.

amazon membership benefits aarp Woman sitting on sofa using digital tablet

Members save 50% on a monthly selection of Kindle e-books from Amazon.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $8 for Regal ePremiere tickets purchased online. Conditions apply.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points

Advertisement