Aug. 31st, 1949
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Richard Gere's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Richard Tiffany Gere (born August 31, 1949) is an American actor and humanitarian.
Born in Philadelphia. The second of five children, his father, Homer, was an insurance salesman, and his mother was Doris. Gere started early as a musician, playing a number of instruments in high school and writing music for high school productions. He graduated from North Syracuse Central High School in 1967, and won a gymnastics scholarship to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he majored in philosophy. He left college after two years to pursue acting, landing a lead role in the London production of the rock musical Grease in 1973. The following year he would be in other plays, such as "Taming of the Shrew.
He had a few roles, and gained recognition in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977).
Gere spent 1978 meeting Tibetans when he traveled to Nepal, where he spoke to many monks and lamas. Returning to the US, on Broadway he portrayed a concentration-camp prisoner in Bent, for which he received the 1980 Theatre World Award. Back in Hollywood, he played the title role in American Gigolo (1980), establishing himself as a major star; this status was reaffirmed by An Officer and a Gentleman (1982).
In the early 1980s, Gere to Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador (amidst ongoing wars and political violence); he traveled with a doctor and visited refugee camps. It is said that he was romantically linked with lovely Brazilian painter 'Sylvia Martins'.
In 1990 Gere teamed up with 'Julia Roberts' to star in the blockbuster Pretty Woman (1990); his cool reserve was the perfect complement to Julia's bubbling enthusiasm. The film captured the nation's heart, and won the People's Choice award for Best Movie. Fans clamored for years for a sequel, or at least another pairing of Roberts and Gere. They got their way with Runaway Bride (1999), which was a runaway success (Gere got $12 million, Roberts made $17 million, the box office was $152 million, which shows what happens when you give the public what it wants!).
He also took a leading role in the 1997 action movie The Jackal, playing Declan Mulqueen.
Gere's 2004 ballroom dancing drama Shall We Dance? was also a solid performer that grossed $170 million worldwide though his next film, Bee Season (2005), was a commercial failure.
Gere and supermodel 'Cindy Crawford got married (December 12, 1991). They were divorced in (1995). Afterwards, Gere started dating actress 'Carey Lowell'. They married in (November 2002). They have a son, Homer James Jigme Gere (b. February 6, 2000). In September 2013, the two separated after 11 years due to lifestyle differences, and plan to get divorced.
Gere was picked by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world in 1991, and as their Sexiest Man Alive in 1999. He is an accomplished pianist and music writer.
Above all, Gere is a humanitarian. He's a founding member of "Tibet House," a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture. He has been an active supporter of "Survival International" for several years, a worldwide organization supporting tribal peoples, affirming their right to decide their own future and assisting them protect their lives, lands and human rights (these tribes are global, including the Indians of the Amazon, the Maasai of East Africa, the Wichi of Argentina, and others).
In 1994 Gere went to London to open Harrods' sale, donating his $50,000 appearance fee to Survival. He has been prominent in their charity advertising campaigns. He says, "If people lose their land, they have nothing. You lose your land, you lose your culture, you lose self".
- On the November 16, 2007 episode of _"Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" (1989)_ (qv) (aka "Live with Regis & Kelly"), he cleared up the fact he is not vegetarian but has not eaten red meat for 30 years.
- (1977) Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1977" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 29.
- Turned down the role of Gordon Gekko in _Wall Street (1987)_ (qv). Has since said that is the role he regrets passing on the most.
- He trained for five months for the tap dance scene in _Chicago (2002)_ (qv).
- Is President of The Gere Foundation, founded in 1991. The non-profit organization focusing on international humanitarian issues, with emphasis on Tibet.
- In the three films that made him a star, _Days of Heaven (1978)_ (qv), _American Gigolo (1980)_ (qv), and _An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)_ (qv), his role had been turned down by 'John Travolta' (qv).
- In 1993, People Magazine didn't name a "Sexiest Man Alive", but named Richard and his then-wife 'Cindy Crawford (I)' (qv) as Sexiest Couple'.