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.
Gere was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His mother, Doris Ann (née Tiffany, born 1924), was a homemaker. His father, Homer George Gere (born 1922), was an insurance agent for the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, and had originally intended to become a minister. Gere is their eldest son and second child.His paternal great-grandfather had changed the spelling of the surname from "Geer". His parents were both Mayflower descendants; Gere's ancestors include Pilgrims Francis Eaton, John Billington, George Soule, Richard Warren, Degory Priest, Francis Cooke, and William Brewster.
In 1967, Gere graduated from North Syracuse Central High School, where he excelled at gymnastics and music, playing the trumpet. He attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst on a gymnastics scholarship, majoring in philosophy, but did not graduate, leaving after two years.