Through his talent, charisma, and fantastic acting, Richard Gere landed several roles in iconic movies and became a major Hollywood sex symbol in the 1990s.
In my opinion, he’s still one of the hottest men in Hollywood, and I still remember him from his first movie, “Looking for Mr. Goodbar”, which also starred a very young (31) Diane Keaton.
I can’t tell you how many times I have watched “Pretty Woman”, which must be his most famous film …. and I’ll never forget his part in “An Officer & A Gentlemen” when he went into Debra Winger’s work, picked her up & carried her out. So hot, so romantic!
What I also love about Richard Gere is that I have never heard anything bad about him: no drunk driving, no drug busts, no kids out of wedlock, no drama, no shit!
Today, we don’t see much of 71-year-old Gere – but he earned his fame and fortune and is plenty rich enough to eschew Hollywood …
Richard is one of those nice-looking men who just seem to get more attractive with each passing year. Most of all, I like his movies, which are all very good.
I don’t know about you, but personally, I’ve never seen a movie of his that I didn’t like.
Born in 1949, Richard Gere rose to fame at a very young age. He grew up with Methodists parents in Syracuse, New York, and in high school, Gere excelled at gymnastics and music, where he played the trumpet.
“After high school, I felt pretty confused,” Richard Gere told Rolling Stone.
“But I knew I wanted to be involved in music or theater”.
He earned a gymnastics scholarship at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and studied philosophy and film, though he dropped out after two years to pursue a career in acting.
“I went through a young-man-paranoid stage,” Gere continued.
“I was dead middle class, and I felt I had to do something special. I didn’t want what I thought was that amorphous middle-class nowhere status. Even though my parents questioned what I was doing, they were loving, sweet, and supportive.”
Gere got his first acting gigs at theaters in Seattle and in New York. His first major role came in the original London stage version of Grease, which premiered in 1973.
In the mid-1970s, the talented and attractive youngster caught the eye of Hollywood, and soon he became an instant sensation, starring in the crime drama “American Gigolo” (1980).
In the movie, Richard Gere portrays Julian Kaye, a male escort in Los Angeles. Through this role, he established himself as a leading man and sex symbol.
The film was quite controversial because it was the first time a mainstream Hollywood film featured so many naked scenes from its male protagonist.
When Richard Gere agreed to do the movie, he had no clue it would contain full-frontal bareness.
”It was just in the natural process of making the movie. I certainly felt vulnerable, but I think it’s different for men than women,” he later said.
The film opened up many doors for Gere, but it was a near thing that he never got the chance to shine in Hollywood. For example, the producers of American Gigolo wanted John Travolta originally; the Grease star even rehearsed some scenes before he got cold feet and dropped out of the project.
Gere accepted the offer instead, just two weeks before filming began. According to reports, he was paid $35,000 plus back-end percentage points from the movies’ box-office profits.
Then, after starring in the romantic drama “An Officer and a Gentleman” (1982), Gere cemented his position as the ’80s heartthrob and Hollywood hunk.
”Every once and a while, I could be jet lagged somewhere all over the world and this movie is playing on MTV in the middle of the night and I’ll watch a scene or two. But I haven’t watched the whole movie since we made it,” Gere said in 2012.
The movie was a huge financial success; many critics dubbed it the best film of 1982. It was also the third-highest-grossing film that year and made an astonishing $130 million from its tight $6 million budget.
After the success in the ’80s, Gere kicked off the new decade with the blockbuster “Pretty Woman” (1990). It’s still one of the most beloved movies ever and the film saw the highest number of ticket sales in the US ever for a romantic comedy.
In the film, 41-year-old Gere portrays wealthy businessman Edward Lewis, who falls in love with a Sunset Boulevard prostitute, played by Julia Roberts.
“The cast was just right. Julia [Roberts] was magic. It just happened. It was one of those alchemical things that cannot be repeated or manufactured,” Richard Gere told The Hollywood Reporter.
Believe it or not, Julia Roberts was still a rising star at this time and she only got paid $300,000 for her role as Vivian Ward in the movie. Gere, meanwhile, one of the hottest names in the industry at the time, probably made millions for his part.
But no matter how much they got paid back then, I don’t think either Juila or Richard regrets taking part in one of the most praised romantic comedies of all time.
But did you know that Gere had to be convinced by Julia Roberts to do the movie? The producers had a hard time finding the right person for the male lead role and Gere had turned down their offer several times.
Julia then traveled to New York, to meet with director Gary Marshall and Gere.
”I just said ‘You have to do this movie, if you don’t do this movie and it falls apart and I lose this job it would just be terrible’. And I kinda pleaded with him in a very real way. And all three of us went out to dinner and um, I had a great time and he changed all our lives forever by agreeing to do this movie,” Julia told Entertainment Weekly Radio in 2017.
“Pretty Woman” made over $463 million worldwide and remains one of Disney’s highest-grossing releases ever.
“It was a charming movie. Julia hadn’t done much at all at that point. There weren’t high expectations for this thing,” Gere said.
Throughout the ’90s, Richard Gere continued to appear in countless successful films. The well-respected actor was considered one of the most handsome and hottest men on the planet – in 1999 he was voted People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive.
In 2002, he finally won a long-awaited Golden Globe for his portrayal of “Billy Flynn” in the smash-hit musical “Chicago”.
“I’m shocked. I don’t win anything,” he said in disbelief during his acceptance speech. “I honestly did not expect this.”
Once again, Richard Gere had starred in a film that broke several box office records. For example, “Chicago” became the highest-grossing musical with $306 million. That record stood for many years, before being broken by ”Mamma Mia!” in 2008.
But money has never been the driving force for Richard Gere, a fact that he has pointed out in several interviews. Despite making enormous amounts of cash on the big screen, Gere has always been selective about the roles that he chooses.
“My choices have never been to be in the most [commercially] successful movie, or to make the most money. It’s always been about something that has interested me with people who I think I have a creative connection with. That’s always been very important to me,” Richard Gere told Inquirer in 2017.
As one of the most multi-talented actors of his generation, Gere’s net worth began to thrive after “American Gigolo”. According to reports, Gere earns between $5 million to $10 million for each movie he does. In 2013 alone, he earned $82 million. But in recent years, Gere has taken a step back; the former superstar hasn’t been involved in any major productions recently.
Richard Gere’s net worth in 2020
Today, the actor is currently worth an estimated 120 million dollars.
When looking back at all his mega-hits on the screen, it’s not a big surprise that this supernova has accumulated a lot of wealth from his career.
Over the years, Gere has indulged in some luxurious things, including a collection of very exclusive cars. According to reports, he owns five lavish cars worth about $3.2 million.
In 2005, Richard Gere paid $6.9 million for a property called Strongheart Manor, located in Sag Harbor, New York.
The actor invested large sums in renovating the impressive house – created in 1902 by Robert Edeson, a successful stage actor.
Today, the 6.2-acre home has 300 feet of bay frontage, a waterfront pool, a basketball court, 12 bedrooms, and bathrooms, a waterfront pond with a bridge, and an “island-inspired tea house.”
Richard owned the property for eight years and restored Strongheart Manor to its heyday. When he decided to sell the property in 2013, it was listed for $70 million.
But the price tag was a little too high, according to the market. Gere had a hard time finding a buyer and was forced to lower the price to $47.5 million. In the end, the property was sold to TV Host Matt Lauer. He “only” paid $36.5 million for the Hamptons mansion.
However, Richard still owns several properties in the New York area and his primary home is an impressive 50+ acre compound estate nearby Pound Ridge, New York. He also has an apartment in New York City. Together with his friend Russell Hernandez, Gere also co-owns the Bedford Post Inn, a historic property dating back to the 1860s, which now serves as a luxury retreat. It also houses a yoga studio.
Marriage to Cindy Crawford
It might not surprise anyone if I say that Richard Gere has dated several beautiful women in Hollywood. During his time as one of the hottest bachelors in showbiz, he had affairs with celebs like Barbra Streisand, Priscilla Presley, Kim Basinger, and Diane von Furstenberg.
But in 1988, Gere met supermodel Cindy Crawford at a BBQ hosted by fashion and portrait photographer, Herb Ritts.
“We talked, then we had a date, then we had another date,” Crawford said.
Soon, the pair rose as one of Hollywood’s hottest couples, and the paparazzi followed every step they took. Gere, who was 17 years older than Cindy, Gere, doubted whether he would marry his younger lover.
But in December 1991, the couple decided to take a jet and get married in Las Vegas. It was far from an extravagant wedding – only a few guests were invited to the chapel.
“It wasn’t the wedding I dreamed of. It was so last minute,” Cindy once said.
Maybe the nuptials were a sign of how things would end. Their marriage would only last four years; Gere and Crawford announced their divorce in 1995.
Richard Gere divorce settlement
After being wifeless for seven years, Richard Gere then tied the knot with model and actress Carey Lowell in November 2002.
Two years before they exchanged vows, the pair had one son. Homer James Jigme Gere was born in February 2000, and from the looks of things, Richard has passed on his infectious charm and handsome looks to his son.
Sadly, however, Homer’s parents would end up in a nasty divorce that went on for a long time and came at a high price – both emotionally and financially.
Richard and Carey divorced in 2013, but the messy court battle for Gere’s multiple-million fortune was settled in October 2016, after a four-year tussle. The deal was not made public and remains a secret (divorce settlements are confidential under New York State law).
But many believe that Gere had prepared for a big payout – which was why he sold his house, the luxurious Strongheart Manor, in 2016.
Richard Gere today
Spanish businesswoman, publicist, and activist Alejandra Silva, 37, and legendary movie star Richard Gere began dating in 2014.
The pair got married in April 2018.
“I feel like I’m in a true fairytale. Without a doubt, I feel like the luckiest woman in the world,” said Silva, soon after their romantic wedding ceremony was held on Gere’s ranch.
Their first son, Alexander, was born in February 2019, and in April this year, the couple welcomed their second son, according to media reports.
Today, Alejandra and Richard live a happy family life and focus on giving their young babies a safe and stable upbringing – far from the spotlight and the paparazzi.
“He is the most humble, sensitive, affectionate, attentive, funny, generous man that I’ve ever met. What can I say? I’m so in love! How would you feel if each morning you were asked: ‘What would make you happy today?’ Not a day goes by that he doesn’t mention how important I am to him. I feel very lucky,” Alejandra told Hello! in April 2020.
Richard Gere is one of those men who just gets more attractive every year.
You aren’t getting older, you’re getting better. Still as handsome as ever. A truly great actor. I love watching you!