More coolly charismatic than drop-dead handsome, Richard Gere was one of the most successful sex symbols of the ’80s and early ’90s. Possessing something of an actual talent in addition to his good looks, Gere has proven himself to be a versatile actor since first starring as the pick-up artist who creeps out Diane Keaton in Looking For Mr. Goodbar. Capable of playing everything from romantic leads and action heroes to medieval knights and ruthless villains, Gere has moved beyond his role as cinematic eye candy to become one of the more enduring actors of his generation.
Born in Philadelphia on August 31, 1949, Gere had a strict Methodist upbringing in upstate New York. Following his 1967 high school graduation, he studied philosophy and film at the University of Massachusetts — only to leave school to pursue an acting career two years later. Gere became a professional actor and sometime musician, performing theatrically in Seattle and New York and attempting unsuccessfully to form a rock band. In 1973 the young actor landed in London, where he gained prominence playing Danny Zuko in Grease, a role he would later reprise on Broadway. While in London, Gere gained the privilege of becoming one of the few Americans ever to work with Britain’s Young Vic Theater, with which he appeared in +The Taming of the Shrew.
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