Charismatic actor Richard Gere (1949-) was born on this day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In high school, he played instruments such as the trumpet, dabbled in gymnastics, and was on the lacrosse and ski teams.
A devout Buddhist, humanitarian, through the years he has also been a spokesman on behalf of Tibet and the Dalai Lama.
"I cry every chance I get," he once admitted.
A chameleon with indolent eyes, Gere gained fame as the handsome stranger in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) and followed that up with memorable lead roles in American Gigolo (1980), An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), and Pretty Woman (1990). With palatable screen presence, he won a Best Actor Golden Globe Award for his role in Chicago (2003).
In 1999, Gere toured Macedonian refugee camps to help. He trekked with thousands to Bloomington, Indiana to watch the Dalai Lama perform the Kalachakra initiation, a mandala ritual for world peace and healing.
"Follow your heart, get involved, and help out every way that you can. This is a realm of exciting possibilities," Gere said.
To help the world heal, he has also established the Gere Foundation, a small grant giving organization "to alleviate suffering and help to restore autonomy to the people of Tibet." He has become an advocate for international human rights and humanitarian causes. He speaks up and does good work.
About his spiritual commitments, Gere said, "As custodians of the planet it is our responsibility to deal with kindness, love, and compassion."
To live is to heal.