Richard Tiffany Gere ( born August 31, 1949) is an American actor. He began acting in the 1970s, playing a supporting role in Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and a starring role in Days of Heaven. He came to prominence in 1980 for his role in the film American Gigolo, which established him as a leading man and a sex symbol. He went on to star in several hit films including An Officer and a Gentleman, Pretty Woman, Primal Fear, and Chicago, for which he won a Golden Globe Award as Best Actor, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the Best Cast. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Gere is a descendant of Mayflower Pilgrims Francis Eaton, John Billington, George Soule, Richard Warren, Degory Priest, William Brewster, and Francis Cooke. His paternal great-grandfather had changed the spelling of the surname from 'Geer'. His mother, Doris Ann (ne Tiffany, born 1924), was a homemaker.
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