A rom-com icon! Richard Gere’s career skyrocketed in the ’80s with his breakout role in American Gigolo and he has since become a critically acclaimed actor over five decades.
The actor was born in 1949 in Philadelphia, but was raised mainly in Syracuse, New York. After dropping out of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Gere went on to land his first major acting role in the original London stage version of Grease in 1973.
After transitioning to film in the mid-70s, the Unfaithful actor had his breakout role in 1980’s American Gigolo. Two years later, he starred in An Officer and A Gentleman, which went on to win two Academy Awards.
“Like a lot of things, it was timing,” Gere told Interview magazine in 2012 when asked why he thought An Officer and A Gentleman had so much success. “[My 1979 film] Yanks was a very good picture in the realm of An Officer and a Gentleman. But the timing was wrong; the studio didn’t believe in it – it was dumped by the studio. Paramount happened to believe in An Officer and A Gentleman and pushed it. Word of mouth was good. People enjoy seeing a people movie.”
In 1990, Gere really established himself as a leading man thanks to the rom-com Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts. The two later reunited in the 1999 romantic comedy Runaway Bride.
“[I still talk to Julia Roberts] all the time. I spoke to her three or four times a day,” Gere explained to Entertainment Tonight in April 2017. “I would call her right now.”
Throughout the years, Gere has had many high-profile relationships, including his marriage to Cindy Crawford from 1991 to 1995. Years later, the model called her marriage to the actor a “great chapter” in her life, explaining that their big age gap caused issues in their relationship.
“I think a lot of what happened with Richard and I was that I was still 22 and at 22 – as a young woman – I was kind of still figuring out who I was and what I wanted to be and he was already 37,” she said in a 2013 interview. “So in some ways, he knew that I was still growing and changing. I just didn’t want to hear it from him because at 22 you think you know everything. You think you’re already formed. And then you realize, 10 years later, that they were totally right.”
After his romance with Crawford, Gere was married to actress Carey Lowell from 2002 to 2016. The pair welcomed son Homer in February 2000.
Aside from Crawford and Lowell, Gere was also linked to Barbra Streisand, Priscilla Presley and Susan Sarandon. The Pretty Woman actor married Alejandra Silva in 2018 after two years of dating. The couple – who have a 34-year age gap between them – welcomed their son, Alexander, in February 2019 followed by their second son in April 2020. Gere is also stepdad to Silva’s son Albert whom she shares with ex-husband Govind Friedland.
“I have found the quiet and happy life that I have always sought,” Gere told Hola! magazine in 2018 about his romance with Silva.
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Keep scrolling for a look back at Gere’s life and career over the years:
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