Gere at the Montclair Film Festival, May 2015
|Born||Richard Tiffany Gere
August 31, 1949
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Education||North Syracuse Central High School|
|Alma mater||University of Massachusetts Amherst|
|Spouse(s)||Cindy Crawford (m. 1991; div. 1995)
Carey Lowell (m. 2002; separated 2013)
Richard Tiffany Gere (/ˈɡɪər/ GEER; born August 31, 1949) is an American actor and humanitarian activist. 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 for Best Actor and a Screen Actors Guild Award for part of the Best Cast.
Early life and education
Gere was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His mother, Doris Ann (née Tiffany, 1924—2016), was a housewife. His father, Homer George Gere (1922—1999), was an insurance agent for the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, and had originally intended to become a minister. Gere is their eldest son and second child. His paternal great-grandfather had changed the spelling of the surname from “Geer”. Both of his parents were Mayflower descendants; Gere’s ancestors include Pilgrims Francis Eaton, John Billington, George Soule, Richard Warren, Degory Priest, Francis Cooke and William Brewster.
In 1967, Gere graduated from North Syracuse Central High School, where he excelled at gymnastics and music, playing the trumpet. He attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst on a gymnastics scholarship, majoring in philosophy, but did not graduate, leaving after two years.
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. He began appearing in Hollywood films in the mid-1970s. Originally cast in a starring role in The Lords of Flatbush (1974), he was replaced after fighting with another star of the film, Sylvester Stallone. He played a small but memorable part in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) and starred in the director Terrence Malick‘s well-reviewed 1978 film, Days of Heaven.
Gere was one of the first notable Hollywood actors to play a gay character, starring as a gay Holocaust victim in the 1979 Broadway production of Bent. Gere won a Theatre World Award for his performance. The 1980 film American Gigolo raised Gere’s profile significantly, and the 1982 romantic drama An Officer and a Gentleman, with Debra Winger, grossed almost $130 million and cemented Gere’s ascent to stardom.
Gere experienced several box office failures after 1982, but his career rebounded with the releases of Internal Affairs and Pretty Woman in 1990. He starred 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). He also took a leading role in the 1997 action movie The Jackal, playing Declan Mulqueen (Gere used an Irish accent for his character, a former IRA terrorist).
Gere was named People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1999. In 2002, he appeared in three major films, including The Mothman Prophecies, Unfaithful and the Academy Award-winning film version of Chicago, 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. His next film, the 2005 adapted novel Bee Season, was a commercial failure.
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 (making #74 on The Times Worst Films of 2008 list), but grossed over $84 million worldwide.
Later in his career, Gere was honored twice for his lifetime achievement. Regarding his 2012 performance in Arbitrage, Lou Lumenick of the New York Post said “Richard Gere gives the best performance of his career”. He received an award from the 34th Cairo International Film Festival in December 2010.
Personal life and activism
Gere was married to supermodel Cindy Crawford from 1991 to 1995. In November 2002, he married model and actress Carey Lowell. 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. In September 2013, the two separated after 11 years of marriage. The couple are currently involved in highly contested divorce proceedings in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Gere was raised attending a Methodist church. His interest in Buddhism began when he was in his twenties. He first studied Zen Buddhism under Kyozan Joshu Sasaki. After having studied Zen for five or six years, in 1978 he traveled with the Brazilian painter Sylvia Martins to Nepal, where he met many Tibetan monks and lamas. He then met the 14th Dalai Lama in India and became a practicing Tibetan Buddhist of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism and an active supporter of the political figure of free Tibet movement Dalai Lama. Gere regularly visits Dharamsala, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
Gere is also an advocate for human rights in Tibet. He is a co-founder of the Tibet House, creator of The Gere Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the International Campaign for Tibet. Because he supports the Tibetan Independence Movement, he is permanently banned from entering the People’s Republic of China. In 1993, Gere was banned as an Academy Award presenter after he denounced the Chinese government in his capacity as presenter. 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 a Free Tibet-themed Lancia commercial featuring the Lancia Delta. On June 27, 2011, Gere meditated in Borobudur Temple, in Indonesia.
Gere actively supports Survival International, an organization dedicated to protecting the rights and lands of tribal peoples throughout the world. He contributed some of his writing for the book, We Are One: A Celebration of Tribal Peoples, released in October 2009. Gere discussed 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, calling attention to the crime against their peaceful culture and how it reflects on humankind’s own relationship with nature and capacity to survive. The royalties from the sale of the 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. 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.
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. As a result of that gesture, a local court ordered the arrest of Gere and Shetty, finding them in violation of public obscenity laws. Gere 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, K. G. 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 Gere would remain free to enter the country.
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 “the power to be different”. The commercial was reported in Chinese newspapers, and Fiat apologized to China.
Honors and awards
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”. 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.
Invasion of Iraq
In 2010, Gere stated that the decision to go to war in Iraq wasn’t supported by the American people and that the administration at the time “bullied” Americans into the decision. He blamed the situation on a very “poor president”.
“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.
|1975||Strike Force||Walter C. Spencer (Police Officer)|
|1975||Report to the Commissioner||Billy|
|1976||Baby Blue Marine||Raider|
|1976||Kojak||Geno Papas||Episode 4.1: “Birthday Party”|
|1977||Looking for Mr. Goodbar||Tony Lopanto|
|1978||Bloodbrothers||Thomas Stony De Coco|
|1978||Days of Heaven||Bill|
|1980||American Gigolo||Julian Kaye|
|1982||An Officer and a Gentleman||Zack Mayo|
|1983||The Honorary Consul||Dr. Eduardo Plarr|
|1984||The Cotton Club||Dixie Dwyer|
|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|
|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|
|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||Hachi: A Dog’s Tale||Parker Wilson|
|2010||Brooklyn’s Finest||Eddie Dugan|
|2011||The Double||Paul Shepherdson|
|2013||Movie 43||Boss||Segment “iBabe”|
|2014||Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey||Clair Cameron Patterson (voice)||Episode “The Clean Room“|
|2014||Henry & Me||Henry (voice)|
|2014||Time Out of Mind||George Hammond|
|2015||The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel||Guy Chambers|
|2016||Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer||Norman Oppenheimer||Filming|
|2017||The Dinner||Stan Lohman||Filming|
Awards and nominations
- 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.
- Stated in interview on Inside the Actors Studio, 2002
- “Richard Gere Biography”, Carey Latimore, The Biography Channel. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
- “An Officer and a Gentleman”. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
- “Richard Gere”. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
- “Richard Gere”. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
- “Shall We Dance”. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
- “Bee Season”. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
- “Nights in Rodanthe (2008)”. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
- “Turkeys! The 100 Worst Movies of 2008”. The Times. December 8, 2008. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
- “Nights in Rodanthe”. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
- Rosen, Christopher (January 22, 2012). “Richard Gere in ‘Arbitrage’: Sundance Film Festival’s First Oscar Contender?”. moviefone. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
- Lumenick, Lou (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.
- “Gere, Binoche honored at CIFF opening”. Daily News Egypt. November 30, 2010. Archived from the original on December 10, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
- Edwards, Michael (1988). Priscilla, Elvis, and Me. St. Martin’s Press. ISBN 0312022689.
- Britton, Ron (1998). Kim Basinger: Longer Than Forever. Blake Publishing. ISBN 1857823257.
- Silverman, Stephen (November 15, 2002). “Passages: Gere, Lowell Get Married”. People. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- Jewel, Dan (February 21, 2000). “Role Change”. People. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- Strang, Fay (September 25, 2013). “Richard Gere and wife Carey Lowell set for divorce as they split after 11 years of marriage due to lifestyle differences”. Daily Mail. London. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- Ross, Barbara (May 1, 2015). “Richard Gere, Carey Lowell still fighting over money in divorce case”. New York Daily News. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- Jones, Chris (December 27, 2002). “Richard Gere: On guard”. BBC News. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- “Richard Gere Interview for Bee Season”. The Cinema Source.
- “Richard Gere: My Journey as a Buddhist”. Shambhala Sun. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- “Richard Gere Biography”. The Biography Channel. Retrieved May 12, 2007.
- “Richard Gere in Bodh Gaya to attend Dalai Lama’s discourse”. Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- Yahlin Chang, ‘Red Corner,’ Newsweek (New York) November 10, 1997:Gere has already been banned from entering China for his pro-Tibet activities.’
- Laurence Caracalla, Harrison Ford, Silverback Books, 2007 p.93
- “Richard Gere profile”. Hello (magazine).
- “Richard Gere: Man of masks”. The Independent. London. December 1, 2007.
- “Lancia Delta “Richard Gere” TV Commercial”. paultan.org.
- Richard Gere Ingin Kembali ke Candi Borobudur
- “We Are One”. survivalinternational.org.
- Eede, Joanna (2009). We are One: A Celebration of Tribal Peoples. Quadrille Publishing. ISBN 1-84400-729-4.
- Healing The Divide
- The Gere Foundation. Retrieved May 12, 2007.
- “Richard Gere cleared of obscenity”. BBC News. March 14, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- “19th Moscow International Film Festival (1995)”. MIFF. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- President Topi dekoron zotin Riçard Gir me “Medaljen e Mirënjohjes”, President of Albania, May 17, 2012 (in Albanian)
- “Richard Gere to receive George Eastman Award”. Yahoo News. December 23, 2011.
- “Juliette Binoche and Richard Gere greet the press”. Al-Masry Al-Youm. December 1, 2010.
- “Seeing the stars in Cairo”. Egyptian Gazette. December 27, 2010.
- Davis, Lauren. “This Week’s TV: A Disturbingly Sexy French Comic Book Comes To TV!”. io9.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Richard Gere.|
- Richard Gere at the Internet Movie Database
- Richard Gere at the Internet Broadway Database
- Richard Gere at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Hollywood star Richard Gere defends Indian N-tests (AFP) at the Wayback Machine (archived October 9, 1999) (23 May 1998)
- The Gere Foundation
- The Druk White Lotus School (external link) of which Gere is an Honorary Patron
- Melvin McLeod (1 May May 1999) Richard Gere: My Journey as a Buddhist