1957-12-02

Someone please give Han Solo a heads up: Among the other ”wisecrackers” (1920s slang for “Gay”) in early silent era Hollywood was one HARRISON FORD (b: 1884), who was reported going on a costume-buying spree for actress Norma Talmadge and being “as enthusiastic as a young debutante planning her first party dress.”

Oh snap!

Harrison Ford, the silent film star, first appeared in pictures in 1915 and went on to star with many of best-known actors and actresses of his day, including Clara Bow, Wally Reid and sisters Constance and Norma Talmadge.

Long before Han Solo and Indiana Jones made Harrison Ford a household name the earlier Harrison Ford was known as a reliable leading man. A 1927 story in the Los Angeles Times noted that many for many of his parts “a winning personality was all that was essential.”

Among those roles, Ford played a Latin lover in “Proud Flesh” (1925) which was directed by King Vidor. “Few actors have played with as many prominent picture stars as Harrison Ford,” noted a 1928 article on Ford’s “return to the legitimate stage.” “The first pictures in which he gained great public favor were comedies in which he acted opposite Constance Talmadge.”

The actor rarely gave interviews and only talked about his professional, not private, life, so little is known of his background. An article states that he left school at fourteen to join a stock company, working his way up from stagehand to bit player. “A rather serious, secretive chap”, one reporter called him. “The Hermit of Hollywood” soon became his nickname. “When discussing a question”, wrote journalist William McKegg, “Mr. Ford has the trick of looking far away, or down on the ground, or glancing behind him, as though he might find the explanation in any of these directions.” Harrison himself complained, “What I can’t make out, though, is what you people see in any of us [actors] interesting enough to keep writing about.”

If Harrison had any romance, it remained unreported. The few private glimpses into his life involved his love of gardening and his large collection of books, many of them first editions. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at the 6600 block of Hollywood Boulevard.