Richard Gere

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Richard Gere
Richardgere.jpg
Gere in Venice, Italy in October 2007.
Born Richard Tiffany Gere
(1949-08-31) August 31, 1949 (age 65)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Nationality American
Education North Syracuse Central High School
Alma mater University of Massachusetts Amherst
Occupation Actor
Years active 1973–present
Religion Buddhist
Spouse(s) Cindy Crawford (m. 1991; div. 1995)
Carey Lowell
 (m. 2002; separated 2013)
Children 1

Richard Tiffany Gere[1] (/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, Runaway Bride, Arbitrage, 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.

Early life and education[edit]

Gere was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His mother, Doris Ann (née Tiffany, born 1924),[1] was a homemaker. 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] His paternal great-grandfather had changed the spelling of the surname from "Geer".[1] His parents were both Mayflower descendants; Gere's ancestors include Pilgrims Francis Eaton, John Billington, George Soule, Richard Warren, Degory Priest, Francis Cooke, and William Brewster.[1]

In 1967, Gere 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[edit]

Gere first worked professionally at the Seattle Repertory Theatre and 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, playing a small but memorable part in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) and starring in the director Terrence Malick's well-reviewed 1978 film, Days of Heaven.[2] In 1979 Gere was one of the first big-name Hollywood actors to play gay, starring as a homosexual Holocaust victim in the Broadway production of Bent. Gere won a Theatre World Award for his performance. In 1980 he became a major star with the film American Gigolo, followed in 1982 by the romantic drama An Officer and a Gentleman with Debra Winger, which grossed almost $130 million.[4]

Experiencing several box office failures since 1982,[5][6] Gere's career strengthened with the releases of Internal Affairs and Pretty Woman in 1990. His 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] He also took a leading role in the 1997 action movie The Jackal, playing Declan Mulqueen.

Richard Gere was named People magazine's "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, Bee Season (2005), was a commercial failure.[8]

By 2007, Gere was co-starring with Jesse Eisenberg and Terrence Howard in The Hunting Party (a thriller in which he played a journalist in Bosnia) as well as with Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, and Cate Blanchett in Todd Haynes' semi-biographical film about Bob Dylan, I'm Not There.

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

Late in his career, Gere was honored twice for his lifetime achievement.[citation needed] Regarding his performance in Arbitrage, Lou Lumenick of the New York Post said "Richard Gere gives the best performance of his career".[12][13] He received an award from the 34th Cairo International Film Festival in December 2010.[14]

Personal life and activism[edit]

Gere presented with a Khata by the 14th Dalai Lama, October 17, 2007

Gere was married to supermodel Cindy Crawford from 1991 to 1995. In November 2002, he married model and actress Carey Lowell.[15] They have a son, Homer James Jigme Gere, who was born in February 2000 and is named after Gere's and Lowell's fathers, as well as the Tibetan name Jigme.[2][16] In September 2013, the two separated after 11 years due to lifestyle differences, and plan to get divorced.[17]

Gere was raised attending a Methodist church.[18][19] His interest in Buddhism began when he was in his twenties.[20] He first studied Zen Buddhism[20] under Kyozan Joshu Sasaki.[20] After having studied Zen for five or six years,[20] in 1978 he traveled with the Brazilian painter, Sylvia Martins[21] to Nepal, where he met many Tibetan monks and lamas.[21] He then met the 14th Dalai Lama in India[20] and became a practicing Tibetan Buddhist of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism[20] and an active supporter of the political figure of free Tibet movement Dalai Lama.[2] Gere visits Dharamsala, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile, regularly.[22]

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.[23][24] Gere was banned as an Academy Award presenter in 1993 after he denounced the Chinese government in his capacity as presenter.[25][26] 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.[27] On June 27, 2011, Richard Gere meditated in Borobudur temple,[28] in Indonesia.

Gere visits USAID HIV/AIDS "Operation Lighthouse" Project in Mumbai.

Gere actively supports Survival International, an organization dedicated to protecting the rights and lands of tribal peoples throughout the world.[21] He contributed some of his writing for the book, We Are One: A Celebration of Tribal Peoples, released in October 2009.[29] 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.[30] 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.[31] 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 in that country. In 1999, he created the Gere Foundation India Trust to support a variety of humanitarian programs in India.[32]

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.[33] 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."[34]

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.[35] 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".[36]

Honors and awards[edit]

In 1995 he was the President of the Jury at the 19th Moscow International Film Festival.[37]

On May 17, 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".[38] On February 16, 2012, George Eastman House International Museum for Photography and Film honored Gere with the George Eastman Award for distinguished contribution to the art of film.[39]

Political views[edit]

Invasion of Iraq[edit]

In 2010 Gere 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".[40]

"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," Gere said in a press conference, held on the sidelines of the 34th Cairo International Film Festival.[41]

Filmography[edit]

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
1979 Yanks Matt Dyson
1980 American Gigolo Julian Kaye
1982 An Officer and a Gentleman Zack Mayo
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
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
1994 Intersection Vincent Eastman
1995 First Knight Lancelot
1996 Primal Fear Martin Vail
1997 The Jackal Declan Joseph Mulqueen
1997 Red Corner Jack Moore
1999 Runaway Bride Ike Graham
2000 Dr. T & the Women Dr. T
2000 Autumn in New York Will Keane
2002 The Mothman Prophecies John Klein
2002 Unfaithful Edward Sumner
2002 Chicago Billy Flynn
2004 Shall We Dance? John Clark
2005 Bee Season Saul Naumann
2007 The Hoax Clifford Irving
2007 The Hunting Party Simon
2007 I'm Not There Bob Dylan as Billy The Kid
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
2013 Movie 43 Boss Segment "iBabe"
2014 Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Clair Cameron Patterson (voice)[42] Episode "The Clean Room"
2014 Henry & Me Henry
2014 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 Guy Post-production
2014 Franny Post-production
2015 Time Out Of Mind Filming

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
1978 Days of Heaven David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actor Won
1982 An Officer and a Gentleman Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Nominated
1990 Pretty Woman Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Nominated
1993 And the Band Played On Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
1997 Red Corner National Board of Review Freedom of Expression Award Won
2000 Dr. T & the Women Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Nominated
2000 Autumn in New York Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Combo (shared with Winona Ryder) Nominated
2002 Chicago Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast Won
2002 Chicago Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Won
2002 Chicago Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won
2002 Chicago Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast Nominated
2002 Chicago Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
2007 The Hoax Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Nominated
2007 I'm Not There Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award Won
2012 Arbitrage Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Roberts, Gary Boyd. "#74 Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources: The New England Ancestry of Actor Richard [Tiffany] Gere". New England Historic Genealogical Society. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  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. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "Richard Gere". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Richard Gere". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Shall We Dance". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Bee Season". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Nights in Rodanthe (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Turkeys! The 100 Worst Movies of 2008". The Times. December 8, 2008. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Nights in Rodanthe". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  12. ^ Christopher Rosen (January 22, 2012). "Richard Gere in 'Arbitrage': Sundance Film Festival's First Oscar Contender?". moviefone. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  13. ^ Lou Lumenick (January 21, 2012). "Sundance 2012 Oscar Watch: Gere soars in 'Arbitrage'". New York Post. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Gere, Binoche honored at CIFF opening". Daily News Egypt. November 30, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2010. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Passages: Gere, Lowell Get Married". People. November 15, 2002. Retrieved September 25, 2013.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  16. ^ Jewel, Dan (February 21, 2000). "Role Change". People. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  17. ^ Fay Strang (September 25, 2013). "Richard Gere and wife Carey Lowell set for divorce as they split after 11 years of marriage due to lifestyle differences". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  18. ^ Jones, Chris (December 27, 2002). "Richard Gere: On guard". BBC News. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  19. ^ http://www.thecinemasource.com/blog/interviews/richard-gere-interview-for-bee-season/#commentspage
  20. ^ a b c d e f "Richard Gere: My Journey as a Buddhist". Shambhala Sun. Retrieved May 27, 2012. 
  21. ^ a b c "Richard Gere Biography". The Biography Channel. Retrieved May 12, 2007. 
  22. ^ "Richard Gere in Bodh Gaya to attend Dalai Lama's discourse". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved May 27, 2012. 
  23. ^ Yahlin Chang, 'Red Corner,' Newsweek November 10, 1997:'‘Gere has already been banned from entering China for his pro-Tibet activities.'
  24. ^ Laurence Caracalla, Harrison Ford, Silverback Books, 2007 p.93
  25. ^ An in-depth look at your favourite celebrity personalities – hellomagazine.com, HELLO!
  26. ^ Richard Gere: Man of masks
  27. ^ Lancia Delta “Richard Gere” TV Commercial
  28. ^ Richard Gere Ingin Kembali ke Candi Borobudur
  29. ^ Survival International – We Are One
  30. ^ Eede, Joanna (2009). We are One: A Celebration of Tribal Peoples. Quadrille Publishing. ISBN 1-84400-729-4. 
  31. ^ Healing The Divide
  32. ^ The Gere Foundation. Retrieved May 12, 2007.
  33. ^ Richard Gere kissing Shilpa Shetty on YouTube[dead link]
  34. ^ "Richard Gere cleared of obscenity". BBC News. March 14, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Fiat apologizes to China for Richard Gere Commercial" Auto Blog. June 20, 2008.
  36. ^ "Richard Gere Fiat Ad Is Just The Latest Saga In the Risky New World Of Global Branding" Marketing Doctor Blog. June 25, 2008.
  37. ^ "19th Moscow International Film Festival (1995)". MIFF. Retrieved March 16, 2013. 
  38. ^ President Topi dekoron zotin Riçard Gir me “Medaljen e Mirënjohjes”, President of Albania, 2012-05-17 (in Albanian)
  39. ^ AP
  40. ^ "Juliette Binoche and Richard Gere greet the press". Al-Masry Al-Youm. December 1, 2010. 
  41. ^ "Seeing the stars in Cairo". Egyptian Gazette. December 27, 2010. 
  42. ^ This Week's TV: A Disturbingly Sexy French Comic Book Comes To TV!

External links[edit]