Richard Gere, an American actor who is 72 years old, has been a leading man in Hollywood ever since he started acting in movies in the 1970s. Despite appearing in a number of noteworthy movies over the years, two of his most well-known performances were as Edward Lewis in “Pretty Woman,” where he played a wealthy New York playboy who falls in love with a Hollywood prostitute played by Julia Roberts, and as Billy Flynn, a lawyer, in the smash hit musical “Chicago.”
In 2003, Gere won the Best Actor Golden Globe for the film “Chicago,” despite being nominated for both roles and missing out on the prize for “Pretty Woman.”
There is no denying that Gere made a significant impact on Hollywood, even if he isn’t as well-known in Hollywood today as he once was.
The actor has also always been a vocal campaigner in addition to receiving plaudits for his lengthy line of highly praised films. He has openly discussed the abuse of human rights in Tibet and dissented from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He was also given the Medal of Gratitude by the president of Albania in 2012 in recognition of his efforts to expose the ethnic cleansing that took place in Kosovo in 1999.
Despite spending the most of his long career playing main males in dramas, Gere has avoided controversy in his personal life. He has demonstrated that he is an honest individual who will speak up for causes that he supports.
Alejandra Silva, a Spanish publicist 33 years younger than Gere, has been his wife since 2018. Silva, though, has stated that she is not disturbed by their more than three decades of age difference. To learn more about their connection, continue reading.
Gere started his career in the late 1960s, not long after quitting college where he was majoring in philosophy and competing in gymnastics. He became active in theater not long after graduating from college. He first appeared in plays in the late 1960s and early 1970s in both Seattle and Cape Cod, but it wasn’t until Gere was cast as Danny Zuko in the original London stage production of the hit musical “Grease” in 1973 that he made a name for himself.
The actor relocated to Hollywood immediately after making a name for himself in theater, and after making an appearance in the 1980 movie “American Gigolo,” his career only grew. Gere appeared in some of the finest love stories of the 1980s and 1990s, such as “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “Internal Affairs,” and of course, the timeless “Pretty Woman.”
“Pretty Woman,” a pivotal film in 1990s pop culture, launched Julia Roberts to prominence. Gere was nominated for an Oscar, but the actress who played Vivian Ward won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Oscar. However, Gere said to Today in 2015 that he nearly decided against doing the movie and that Roberts ultimately persuaded him to do so:
“To be really honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to do this movie yet. We’re getting to know one other, she’s across the desk, and we’re flirty-flirty and nice-nice. And when (director Garry Marshall) phones, he asks, “How’s it going?” She takes a piece of paper as I say, “Yeah, yeah.” She flips it over and pushes it toward me. Please answer yes, it pleaded. It was really lovely. I just replied “yes” while miming conversing on the phone.
We have little doubt that Gere is overjoyed that Roberts was able to persuade him to appear in “Pretty Woman.” Gere had Hollywood at his fingers and two Golden Globe nominations by that time. He had appearances in the 1990s movies “Primal Fear” and “The Jackal,” and he even worked with Roberts again in “Runaway Bride.” He appeared in the musical “Chicago” in 2002, and it was then that he finally took home the Best Actor Golden Globe.
Even though Gere kept acting, his popularity was far from what it had been in the 1980s and early 1990s, when he was at the height of his career. If you ask the actor, there’s a very good explanation for it, and it has to do with the fact that he started being vocal about a number of China-related topics in 1993. Years later, in 2017, Gere talked openly about how his advocacy led to him being blacklisted by mainstream Hollywood, which encouraged him to concentrate more on indie projects.
Some people might not be aware that the actor practices Tibetan Buddhism in addition to his glitzy profession. He has already discussed his meditation practice, and he even considers the Dalai Lama to be a friend.
Gere’s passion in Tibet led him to speak out more in favor of the nation and to openly criticize China’s involvement in Tibet. When he was going to deliver the Art Direction prize at the 1993 Academy Awards, this prompted him to make an unexpected speech. The actor criticized China’s “awful, horrendous human rights condition, not just toward their own people but also to Tibet” in his address.
Despite the cheers from the audience during his address, Gil Cates, the show’s producer, was unimpressed and swore to permanently bar Gere from the Oscars.
But only a few years later, Gere played an American lawyer who was falsely convicted of murder in China in the film “Red Corner” (1997). In a 2017 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he stated that “everyone was thrilled with the picture” once he began to promote it. However, he subsequently received a call from the MGM executives informing him that they did not want him to continue doing promotion for the film. He clarified:
“MGM sought to reach a comprehensive agreement with the Chinese. China warned them, saying, “If you release this movie, we won’t buy it.” So they disposed of it.
Despite the uproar, the movie was nevertheless released, although it fared poorly. These are just a few instances where Gere stood up for what he thought was right, even though it cost him his career.
The Gere Foundation and the International Campaign for Tibet, two charities he founded, have resulted in his permanent travel ban from China. He also urged for a boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In the same THR interview, Gere discussed the subject in detail. He stated:
There are movies that I can’t participate in without the Chinese saying, “Not with him. Someone recently told me they could not finance a movie with me because it would enrage the Chinese.
The final conclusion appears to be that Gere doesn’t sell well in China because of his open criticism of the nation and its authorities. China is a significant market for Hollywood.
In another instance, Gere spoke to THR about getting fired from an unaffiliated film that wasn’t even supported by the major studios. He clarified:
Two weeks before our scheduled shoot, a Chinese director who I was supposed to work with contacted to say, “Sorry, I can’t do it. On a secure connection, we had a private phone conversation. The filmmaker and his family would never have been permitted to leave the country again, and he would never have worked, if I had collaborated with him.
However, Gere doesn’t appear phased by becoming a persona not grata at both Chinese and Hollywood award ceremonies, and he has stated that he still likes to make independent films. In the same interview, he stated:
“The studios are intrigued by the potential for enormous revenues. But I’m still producing the same movies that I did when I first started. Short, intriguing stories with strong characters and compelling narratives. My life has not been altered in any way.
Gere, though, has also had a full personal life outside of his job. Gere has been married three times, and a feature of all three marriages is the significant age gap between Gere and his wives.
Cindy Crawford, a supermodel, served as Gere’s first wife from 1991 to 1995. He was 42 at the time, while Crawford was only 25, and their 17-year age difference was one of the factors in their separation. In an interview with People years later, Crawford discussed some of the reasons their relationship didn’t work:
We were many other things, but I don’t think we were ever friends — like peers, because I was young and he was Richard Gere, and I think that was part of the issue in our relationship.
Crawford continued by saying that instead of spending enough time getting to know each other as a pair, they convinced themselves they could fly in from different parts of the world to visit each other. Ultimately, their relationship suffered as a result of their distance connection.
In 2002, when he was 53 and Carey Lowell was 41, Gere wed his second wife, a model and actress. They conceived a boy they called Homer. However, after 11 years of marriage, they eventually split in 2016 following some pretty contentious legal disputes that were rumored to be mostly financial in nature.
After they divorced, Gere met Alejandra Silva, his third wife, with whom he is still married today. Silva and Gere originally connected at a film festival in 2014 and began dating, despite the fact that Silva was going through a divorce with her first husband at the time. Prior to getting engaged and getting married in 2018, they publicly came out as a couple in 2015. Gere was 68 years old at the time, and Silva was only 35, making a 33-year age difference between them. Nevertheless, the pair appears to be immensely content with one another.
Alexander, Gere and Silva’s son and their first child together, was born in February 2019. The couple reportedly had a second kid in April 2020, just over a year later. However, the identity of the infant’s father is still unknown because the pair has kept their children’s identities highly hidden.
Silva has been quite clear that their 33-year age difference has no bearing on their relationship and has said as much ever since their relationship became known. She discussed how they were related to Hola!, as noted by Closer Weekly. She uttered:
“The instant we saw each other, our karma was drawn to one another… I’m not dismissing our age gap or what it’s like to date a Hollywood celebrity, but when there’s such a potent karmic energy, the issues vanish.
Silva further explained to Hello! Magazine:
It has to be this way in this life. He assured me of at least 20 happy years! I have to admit that he is far more energetic and active than I am. It’s challenging for me to follow him. He isn’t a person!
She also briefly discussed the reasons she believes their partnership is successful. I believe I provide him stability, she remarked. The fact that I wasn’t a model or actress helped the most. She went on to explain:
I was never interested in that. Our passion to Buddhism, the Tibetan people, and our desire to assist those in need are what have brought us together the most. He was able to witness my unwavering devotion to helping others as a person, a woman, and a humanitarian. The dream is the most adorable, romantic one I’ve ever experienced. I’ve made the decision to stay because of this.
It is reasonable to assume that the pair still supports each other in whatever they do and is still madly in love! Hollywood seldom sees love tales like this, but Gere and Silva make it seem simple.