Harrison was born in Chicago in 1942. His mother Dorothy (1917-2004) was a housewife and former radio actress of Russian-Jewish stock and his father Christopher (1906-1999) was an advertising executive and former actor, of Irish Catholic stock. He has a brother named Terence.
He was a lackluster student at Maine Township High School in Park Ridge IL. After dropping out of Ripon College in Wisconsin (without a degree), where he did some acting and later summer stock (including as Mac the Knife in The Threepenny Opera
), he signed a Hollywood contract with Columbia and later Universal. He started out with minor roles in movies and TV and, discouraged, he turned to a career in professional carpentry (a craft he still continues to do as a hobby). He came back big four years later, however, as Bob Falfa in American Graffiti (1973). Four years after that he hit colossal with the role of Han Solo in Star Wars (1977). He continues to be a huge box office draw, rarely featuring in a non-protitable film.
First wife: Mary Marquardt (18 June 1964-1979) (divorced) 2 children (Benjamin (Chef/restaurateur), b. 1967, Willard (Teacher), b. 1969). Harrison and Melissa maintain a friendly relationship, with Harrison continuing to support Mary, particularly now (2008) as Mary has MS.
Second wife: Melissa Mathison
(14 March 1983- 6 January 2004) (divorced) 2 children (Malcolm Craswell (Model), b. 1987 and Georgia, b. 1990). Their divorce turned out to be one of the most expensive in the history of Hollywood. As of 2007, Harrison is engaged to actress Calista Flockhart
. Calista has an adopted son, Liam, whom Harrison is very close to.