mary marquardt

Mary Marquardt: The Comprehensive Biography of Harrison Ford’s First Wife

Mary Marquardt may be best known as Harrison Ford’s first wife, but her life story is rich with personal achievements, resilience, and a dedication to her passions. This article provides an in-depth look at Mary Marquardt’s early life, her significant role in Ford’s career, her professional accomplishments, and her life post-divorce.

Early Life and Education

Mary Marquardt’s Childhood and Upbringing

Mary Marquardt was born in 1945 in the United States. Details about her early life remain largely private, but it is known that she experienced a typical American upbringing. She pursued her higher education at Ripon College in Wisconsin during the 1960s, an institution known for its liberal arts programs.

Meeting Harrison Ford

The College Romance

It was at Ripon College that Mary met Harrison Ford, who was then a shy student exploring drama classes to overcome his introversion. Their first encounter took place during a college production of Brecht’s “The Threepenny Opera.” This meeting marked the beginning of a deep romantic connection that would significantly shape both their lives.

Marriage and Family Life

Building a Life Together

Mary Marquardt and Harrison Ford married on June 18, 1964. In the early years of their marriage, Mary played a pivotal role in supporting Ford as he struggled to establish his acting career. Despite Ford’s initial setbacks, including missing out on a voice-over job, Mary encouraged him to persevere. This support led to Ford securing a $150-a-week contract with Columbia Pictures, which launched his Hollywood career.

The couple welcomed two sons: Benjamin Ford in 1966 and Willard Ford in 1969. As Ford’s career began to flourish, especially after his iconic role as Han Solo in “Star Wars” (1977), the demands of his profession put a strain on their marriage.

Professional Achievements

A Culinary and Artistic Journey

Mary Marquardt’s professional life was marked by her passion for cooking and art. After college, she embarked on a career as a cook, eventually becoming a renowned chef in the United States. She also explored her artistic talents, creating vibrant and abstract paintings that captivated many.

Despite her divorce from Ford in 1979, Mary continued to build a successful career. She collaborated with her son Benjamin, a chef-restaurateur, at a restaurant owned by Harrison Ford in Culver City, California.

Divorce and Life After

Navigating Life Post-Divorce

The couple’s divorce in 1979 was partly due to Ford’s extramarital affair with co-star Carrie Fisher, as detailed in Fisher’s memoir, “The Princess Diarist.” Following the divorce, Mary chose to step away from the spotlight, focusing on her personal life and maintaining a close relationship with her sons.

Health Challenges

Battling Multiple Sclerosis

In the early 2000s, Mary Marquardt was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects the central nervous system. Despite the challenges posed by this condition, Mary has faced her illness with resilience, supported by her sons, particularly Benjamin.

Net Worth and Legacy

Financial Standing and Contributions

As of 2024, Mary Marquardt’s net worth is estimated to be around $5 million. This wealth is attributed to her successful career as a chef and artist, as well as a substantial divorce settlement from Harrison Ford. Mary’s contributions to the culinary world and her artistic endeavours have left a lasting impact.

Harrison Ford’s Romantic Journey After Divorce

Life Beyond Mary Marquardt

After his divorce from Mary, Harrison Ford married screenwriter Melissa Mathison in 1983, with whom he had two children. Following their divorce in 2004, Ford married actress Calista Flockhart in 2010, and they have since enjoyed a stable relationship.


A Life of Resilience and Dedication

Mary Marquardt’s life is a testament to resilience, personal growth, and dedication to one’s passions. Despite the challenges of a high-profile marriage and divorce, Mary carved out a fulfilling career and maintained a strong family bond. Her journey highlights the importance of staying true to oneself and finding success on one’s own terms.

Mary Marquardt remains an inspiring figure, demonstrating that life beyond the spotlight can be rich with personal and professional fulfilment.


Who is Mary Marquardt? 

Mary Marquardt is the first wife of actor Harrison Ford. She is a former chef and artist, known for her support of Ford during the early stages of his career.

How many children does Mary Marquardt have with Harrison Ford? 

Mary and Harrison Ford have two sons: Benjamin Ford, born in 1966, and Willard Ford, born in 1969.

What is Mary Marquardt’s net worth? 

As of 2024, Mary Marquardt’s net worth is estimated to be around $5 million.

What happened to Mary Marquardt’s marriage with Harrison Ford? 

Mary and Harrison Ford divorced in 1979, partly due to Ford’s extramarital affair with co-star Carrie Fisher.

Is Mary Marquardt active on social media? 

No, Mary Marquardt maintains a low profile and is not active on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.

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