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Richard Gere

Humanitarian, actor, and Golden Globe winner, Richard Gere is one of the most well-known and respected actors of his generation, with roles in films such as: AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, DAYS OF HEAVEN, AMERICAN GIGOLO, PRETTY WOMAN, FIRST KNIGHT, and in the highly successful courtroom drama PRIMAL FEAR.

Earlier this year, Gere starred in Lasse Hallström's directed film THE HOAX. The film is based on the true story of Clifford Irving (Gere) who sells his bogus biography of Howard Hughes to a premiere publishing house in the early 1970s. The film costars Alfred Molina and Marcia Gay Harden. Also he completed work on, THE FLOCK, about a hyper-vigilant federal agent who, while training his young female replacement, has to track down a missing girl who he is convinced is connected to a paroled sex offender he is investigating. The film costars Claire Danes and is set to be released Summer 2007.

Christmas of 2002, Gere sang and danced his way onto the big screen in the Academy Award winning film adaptation of CHICAGO, playing the infamous lawyer Billy Flynn. In January of 2003, Gere won his first Golden Globe Award as Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his performance. The musical all-star cast includes Catherine Zeta Jones as Velma and Renee Zellweger as Roxie Hart.

In 2004 Gere teamed up with, Susan Sarandon and Jennifer Lopez to in the romantic comedy, SHALL WE DANCE and in 2005, Gere was seen in the well respected film, BEE SEASON, based on the book by the same name.

In 2001, Gere was seen in the critically acclaimed dramatic thrilled UNFAITHFUL, directed by Adrian Lyne. The film, which also stars Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez, centers on a couple living in the New York City suburbs whose marriage goes dangerously awry when the wife indulges in an adulterous fling. Earlier that year Gere was seen playing a reporter drawn to a small West Virginia town to investigate a series of strange events in the psychological thriller MOTHMAN PROPHECIES opposite Debra Messing.

Born in Philadelphia, Richard Gere showed his artist ability at a young age, by playing a number of instruments and writing music for high school productions. Gere won gymnastics scholarship to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he was philosophy major. While at school, Gere caught the acting bug and left college after 2 years to pursue acting, landing a lead role of Danny Zuko in the London production of the rock musical Grease in 1973. After spending full sessions with the Provincetown Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theatre, he performed in a number of New York plays, notably the title role in "Richard Farina: Long Time Coming and Long Time Gone, in addition to two plays by Sam Shepard, Back Bog Beast Bait and Killers Head."

His career was established with performances in the Broadway rock opera Soon and the New York production of the British farce Habeas Corpus. Gere's other theatre credits include the Lincoln Center presentation of A Midsummer Nights Dream and London Young Vic Theatre Production of The Taming of the Shrew. Gere returned to the Broadway stage in 1980 with Bent, winning the Theatre World Award for his portrayal as a homosexual concentration-camp prisoner.

Gere's motion picture debut came in 1978 with Oscar-honored DAYS OF HEAVEN, for which he received the Italian equivalent of the Academy Award. His subsequent films include LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR with Diane Keaton, BLOOD BROTHERS, John Schlesinger's YANKS, and AMERICAN GIGOLO. His next film was the 1982 blockbuster AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, followed by BREATHLESS, BEYOND THE LIMIT, THE COTTON CLUB, POWER, NO MERCY, and MILES FROM HOME.

In 1990, Gere was a box-office winner for his portrayal of a corrupt cop in INTERNAL AFFAIRS and his starring role opposite Julia Roberts in the year's top-grossing picture, PRETTY WOMAN. This movie captured the nation's heart, and won the People's Choice Award for Best Movie. The following year, he made a guest appearance in Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's RHAPSODY IN AUGUST. Additional film credits include the political thriller RED CORNER, directed by Jon Avnet and in Michael Caton-Jones' remake of THE JACKAL.

Gere was also the first actor to agree to appear in AND THE BAND PLAYED ON, the HBO adaptation of Randy Shilts book about the first five years of AIDS in America. Gere played the role of a fictional choreographer.

In 2000 Gere starred in the box-office hit RUNAWAY BRIDE. In this romantic comedy, Gere was reunited with his PRETTY WOMAN director Garry Marshall, and co-star Julia Roberts. Also in 2000, Gere stared as a Dallas gynecologist who is surrounded by adoring women in DR. T AND THE WOMEN directed by Robert Altman. The film also stars Helen Hunt, Liv Tyler, Farrah Fawcett, and Kate Hudson.

Off screen, Gere is an accomplished pianist and music writer. He is also actively involved in developing projects and has executive produced FINAL ANALYSIS, MR. JONES and SOMMERSBY.

A student and friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Gere has made numerous journeys throughout India, Nepal, Zanskar and Tibet, Mongolia and China for over twenty years. He is an accomplished photographer who has worked extensively within these regions.

His first book, Pilgrim, published in 1997 by Little, Brown and Company, is a collection of images that represent his twenty-five year journey into Buddhism. With a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the book is Gere's personal vision of this ancient and spiritual world.

An outspoken human rights advocate, Gere has done much to draw attention to the tragedy that has been unfolding in Tibet under Chinese occupation.

He is the founder of the Gere Foundation, which contributes to numerous health education and human rights projects and is especially dedicated to promoting awareness of Tibet and her endangered culture. The Foundation contributes directly to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan community-in-exile and to aid in the cultural survival of the Tibetan people. In 1987 Gere was the founding chairman of the Tibet House in New York. After leaving Tibet House in New York in 1991, he became an active member of the Board of Directors of the International Campaign for Tibet based in Washington D.C., and in 1996 became Chairman. Gere has testified on Tibet's behalf before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Congressional Human Rights Caucus, the European Parliament, and House International Operations and Human Rights Subcommittee.

Gere currently lives in New York with his wife Carey Lowell and their son Homer.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2007.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Richard Gere Facts

Birth NameRichard Tiffany Gere
OccupationActor, Producer
BirthdayAugust 31, 1949 (68)
SignVirgo
BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Height5' 10½" (1m79)  How tall is Richard Gere compared to you?
Awards2003 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical (for Chicago)

Selected Filmography

Arbitrage
Chicago Diamond Edition
Autumn In New York
Brooklyn's Finest
Pretty Woman
Unfaithful
The Benefactor
Runaway Bride
An Officer and a Gentleman
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