RICHARD GERE (Edward) is one of America's foremost
actors, known for his roles in such films as "The Mothman Prophecies,"
"An Officer and a Gentleman," "Days of Heaven,"
"American Gigolo," "Yank," "Pretty Woman," and the
highly successful courtroom drama "Primal Fear." He recently starred
in two popular romantic comedies: Robert Altman's "Dr. T and the
Women," in which he appeared with Helen Hunt, Liv Tyler, Farrah Fawcett and
Kate Hudson, and Garry Marshall's "Runaway Bride," where he created
box-office chemistry with Julia Roberts as a cynical reporter writing about a
Gere began acting at the University of Massachusetts, where he was a
philosophy major. 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 "A Killer's Head."
His career was established with performances in the Broadway rock opera
"Soon" and the New York production of "Habeus Corpus," and
he won widespread recognition playing Danny Zuko in the Broadway and London
productions of the hit musical "Grease."
Gere has many credits as an accomplished classical actor, including the
Lincoln Center presentation of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and
London's Young Vic Theatre production of "The Taming of the Shrew."
His motion picture debut came in 1978 with the OscarÂ®-winning "Days of
Heaven," for which he received the Italian equivalent of the Academy
AwardÂ®. Among his subsequent films were Richard Brooks' "Looking for Mr.
Goodbar" (filmed after but released before "Days of Heaven"),
Robert Mulligan's "Bloodbrothers," John Schlesinger's
"Yanks," and Paul Schrader's "American Gigolo." Gere then
returned to the Broadway stage in "Bent," winning the Theatre World
Academy Award and rave reviews for his role as a homosexual prisoner at the
Dachau concentration camp who loses his life rather than deny his identity.
His next film was the 1982 blockbuster "An Officer and a
Gentleman." This was followed by "Breathless," "Beyond the
Limit," "The Cotton Club," "Power," "No
Mercy," and "Miles From Home." In 1990, he starred with Andy
Garcia in Mike Figgis's hit "Internal Affairs" as well as with Julia
Roberts in that year's top-grossing film, Garry Marshall's "Pretty
Woman." The following year, he made a guest appearance in Japanese director
Akira Kurosawa's "Rhapsody in August."
Gere has also executive-produced three of the films in which he has starred:
"Final Analysis," "Mr. Jones," and "Sommershy." He
was the first actor to agree to appear in And the Band Played On," the HBO
adaptation of Randy Shilts's book about the first five years of AIDS in
America. Gere played the fictional role of a choreographer.
Gere's 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
its endangered culture.
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