Hollywood’s Controversial Prince Charming: Richard Gere

From playing a romantic hero to a power-hungry lawyer, Richard Gere is a talented actor who has managed to escape the sex symbol image he was typecast as. He has played several different on-screen personas and did justice to all of them. But there is a lot more to him than just his acting talents. In his decades-long career, Gere isn’t shy about his controversial beliefs and tends to create a stir while standing up for what he believes in.

Alejandra Silva, Richard Gere / Richard Gere / Richard Gere / Richard Gere, Cindy Crawford.
Source: Getty Images

At 72 years old, the actor is still going strong, but he has definitely seen more than his fair share of scandals. From his big break and his marriages to his religion and his child, this is the incredible life of legendary Hollywood heartthrob Richard Gere.

Choosing His Own Destiny

On August 31, 1949, Richard Tiffany Gere was welcomed into the world as the second child and oldest son of housewife Doris Ann and insurance agent Homer George Gene. He had a simple but happy childhood and got along great with his many siblings.

A photo of Richard Gere at the Annual Academy Awards.
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Gere was lucky to have such open-minded parents. They never pressured him to pursue a particular career path. That’s how he discovered his love for the performing arts at such a young age. Although he always had an inclination toward the entertainment industry, he wasn’t always interested in acting.

A Multi-Talented Future Star

It’s hard to imagine Richard Gere as anything but an actor, but he is so much more than that. Ever since he was little, he has loved music; he was passionate about it and developed his skills. It didn’t take long until he was able to play multiple instruments.

A studio portrait of a young Richard Gere.
Photo by American Stock/Getty Images

He was exceptionally talented, and he went on to play some of his own music in memorable movie scenes. But that’s not all. In addition to being extremely artistic, he was incredibly athletic.

He Was a Gymnast

Some people are just born with many talents, and Richard Gere is definitely one of them. He was an amazing gymnast. He was so good that he even earned a gymnastics scholarship to the University of Massachusetts. Gymnastics is one of the most difficult sports, which only makes this more impressive.

Richard Gere poses with the Real Madrid team during training.
Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

However, he wouldn’t stay at the university for long. You know what they say: gifted people aren’t always cut out for traditional education, and Gere wasn’t feeling it. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t going to pursue other interests.

Finding His Passion

After he decided to drop out of university, Gere got a job at the Seattle Repertory Theater and Provincetown Playhouse. It was a good way to break into the industry. He got his first break when the director cast him in a role for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

A dated picture of Gere rehearsing at the theater.
Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

But he landed his big(ger) break a few years later when he combined his musical talents and acting chops on one of the most famous productions of all time. You’ll never guess what character he played!

Taking It to the Stage

I know it’s hard to imagine anyone but John Travolta in his black leather jacket playing Danny Zuko from the iconic movie musical Grease. But Gere portrayed the character years before Travolta made it famous.

Jacquie-Ann Carr and Richard Gere star in a theater play.
Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Gere was the original Danny Zuko on a London stage and performed the part beautifully. He certainly got noticed because it opened up doors for many other movie roles. But the turning point came a little bit later, when Hollywood came calling! However, he was in for a bumpy ride.

An Epic Feud

After landing his very first movie role, Gere would learn a very important lesson: some people just don’t get along. In 1974, The Lords of Flatbush came out, and it was initially supposed to star Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone.

Sylvester Stallone in a still from The Lords of Flatbush.
Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images

However, it didn’t take long for the two men to realize that they were more like enemies than happy costars. Feuds on movie and television sets are not uncommon, but people go in and do their job anyway. The actors could have swallowed their differences and made the movie until one game-changing incident.

A Lunch Time Disaster

Reportedly, things between Gere and Stallone came to a head because of a very important matter: lunch. Stallone was in the backseat of a Corolla eating a hot dog, and Gere decided to join him with his chicken and mustard. Sounds innocent enough, right?

A photo of a young Richard Gere.
Photo by Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Getty Images

Apparently, Stallone lost his cool when some mustard got on his clothes. This was clearly a big deal for Stallone because, after that, Gere was out of a job. That sounds a bit harsh. I’m sure the mustard spilled by accident. Anyway, the bad blood didn’t end there, but we’ll get into that more later.

Hollywood Hottie

Luckily, there were other directors who were interested in working with Gere. Finally, he graced the world on the big screen in 1977 with the release of Mr. Goodbar. Despite having a minor role, there was no denying his amazing talent or his charming appeal. He was a star on the rise.

A portrait of Richard Gere.
Photo by Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty Images

Thanks to his dashing good looks, the film also established Richard Gere as a sex symbol. And as you probably already know, that wasn’t the last time he would play that type of character.

He Was Typecast

It’s not difficult to see why Gere was getting typecast for a while. I mean, have you seen the man?! Up until the mid-‘80s, the hunky actor appeared in multiple 18+ rated films, like American Gigolo, Breathless, No Mercy, and Beyond the Limit.

Richard Gere in a still from American Gigolo.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Paramount Pictures

But Gere was more than just a pretty face, and a lot in those films made that evident. He had undoubtable acting chops and the ability to play diverse characters. And some of his more popular movies had another interesting things in common.

The OG Danny Zuko

Remember how John Travolta played Danny Zuko, a character Richard Gere had already played on stage? As it turns out, that was the last time Travolta landed a role that Gere may have wanted. Throughout his big-screen career, Gere went on to accept four roles that Travolta turned down.

Richard Gere and Renée Kathleen Zellweger in Chicago.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Miramax Films

All the films ended up becoming pretty big hits: Days of Heaven (1978), American Gigolo (1980), An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), and Chicago (2002). Obviously, Travolta didn’t need these roles to have a successful career in his own right, but Lady Luck helped Richard Gere out.

His First Movie Came Out Second

The very first movie Richard Gere acted in Travolta turned down: Days of Heaven. It was released after Looking for Mr. Goodbar because it took two years to finish the editing process. The long wait was totally worth it since the movie was a massive success. The director even won an award at Cannes.

Richard Gere is lying in the hay with Brooke Adams in a scene from the film.
Photo by Paramount/Getty Images

His next film truly cemented Richard Gere as a leading man and A-list star, not to mention a Hollywood heartthrob. However, he was extremely close to missing out on the opportunity.

The Last Resort

Richard Gere’s first starring role was when he played the main lead in American Gigolo (1980), but he almost didn’t get to play the character. Hollywood A-listers like Harrison Ford, Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, and Arnold Schwarzenegger were all considered for the part.

A photo of Richard Gere on the set of American Gigolo.
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Writer-director Paul Schrader ultimately offered the role to John Travolta and then to Christopher Reeve. Not only was Gere not the first choice, but he was also a last resort consolation prize. In the end, however, it seemed like the role was tailor-made for the talented actor.

Diving Into His Roles

Choosing Richard Gere worked out great for the director, too, of course. Gere agreed to do the movie for just $35,000 while Travolta wanted $2 million, and Reeve wanted $1 million. Gere, on the other hand, was just excited about the opportunity.

A photo of Richard Gere.
Photo by Daniel SIMON/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Even though he admitted that the nudity made him feel “vulnerable,” the thing that attracted him to the role was because it “is a character I don’t know very well. I don’t own a suit… I don’t speak any languages… I wanted to immerse myself… I just dove in.”

He Did It for the Money

Richard Gere’s next movie would become his biggest hit and establish the star as a romantic hero. In 1982, An Officer and Gentleman came out, and apparently, Gere only did it for the money, not realizing the film’s potential to become a smashing success.

Richard Gere in a still from the film.
Photo by Keystone/Getty Images

But like all his other roles, he still took it seriously and threw himself into the character, mastering his karate training so he could convincingly portray a navy officer. If you have watched the movie, you know he gave an amazing performance. He did so well that he earned admirers in the unlikeliest of places.

He Officially Made It

Richard Gere definitely wasn’t expecting anyone to know his name when he headed down to Borneo’s jungles to spend a few days with the Dayak tribe. To his surprise, as soon as the tribespeople saw him, they excitingly yelled, “Officer, gentleman!”

Richard Gere arrives at an event.
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

At that moment, Richard Gere had a stunning revelation: he was no longer an up-and-coming actor; he was an international star. As it turns out, not everyone associated with the movie was a Richard Gere fan. But that simply comes with the territory; when you’re in the public eye, there are always going to be haters out there.

Not Everyone Was a Fan

They were madly in love in An Officer and a Gentleman and gave a very convincing performance, but Debra Winger and Richard Gere didn’t have that same chemistry off-screen. In fact, the actress called Gere a “brick wall,” and he later admitted that there was “tension” between them. Rumor has it that he wasn’t thrilled when the Academy overlooked him but nominated her.

Gere kisses Debra Winger on stage.
Photo by Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images

Fortunately, they overcame their differences with time. And recently, Gere even praised his former costar. Unfortunately, he couldn’t win them all – I’m talking about his ultimate rival, Sylvester Stallone.

A Royal Charm

They may not have liked each other, but Gere and Stallone both ran in the same Hollywood circles, so they couldn’t stay out of each other’s way; they would inevitably run into each other. At least that’s what happened when they both attended a dinner hosted by Elton John in honor of Lady Diana.

A portrait of Princess Diana.
Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the two stars to start butting heads. As it turned out, both Hollywood heartthrobs had a crush on the recently separated Princess of Wales. One of them wasn’t going to be lucky, but which one?

Jealous Much?

There was a very good reason Richard Gere landed his stud status. He was charming and incredibly good-looking. He and Lady D were hitting it off well with each other, and that made Stallone tremendously angry. Things between Gere and Stallone were about to come to a head.

A photo of Richard Gere and Stallone at an event.
Source: Pinterest

Before things got heated, Stallone left the party grumbling that he never would have showed up if he knew “Prince f*cking Charming was gonna be there.” Yikes! Stallone was clearly jealous, but it’s not Gere’s fault that he’s charming!

His Changed Faith

Gere’s parents were Methodist, so naturally, that’s how they raised their children. But as we mentioned, studying philosophy in college really pushed him out of his comfort zone, and he started to learn Buddhist beliefs and traditions.

A picture of the Dalai Lama and Richard Gere following a press conference.
Photo by Rick Maiman/Getty Images

It didn’t take long for him to discover Zen Buddhism, and he even practiced the religion for a couple of years before deciding to visit the Dalai Lama (the highest spiritual leader of Tibet). This trip changed everything for Richard Gere.

He Found Peace

In 1978, Gere took the trip to Nepal with his girlfriend, Sylvia Martins. They met with several Tibetan monks, and he felt inspired to see the Dalai Lama himself in order to gain more knowledge about Tibetan Buddhism.

Richard Gere visits Nepal.
Photo by Francis Apesteguy/Getty Images

After meeting him in India, Gere became a staunch follower of the Dalai Lama as well as an active proponent of Tibetan Buddhism. It drew him to human rights causes and inspired him to make a difference through his own actions.

He Chose a New Path

After the incredible success of An Officer and a Gentleman, Gere had the option of cashing in on his famous name and choosing the high-profile projects he wanted to be in. Filmmakers offered him massive lead roles, including Die Hard and Wall Street, but Gere decided to take a step away from Hollywood for a little while.

A photo of Gere during a Buddhist ceremony.
Photo by Rita Barros/Getty Images

He wanted to focus on his Buddhist faith. He even started working in fact-finding missions in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras, documenting the impact of armed conflicts in the region. People wondered if this would mark the end of his Hollywood career, but then he found his next hit.

Pretty Woman

Richard Gere’s next film was pure gold, but he nearly turned it down. You guessed it; I’m talking about Pretty Woman. He wasn’t sold on the movie at first, but all it took to convince him was a strikingly beautiful woman.

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in a promo shot for the film.
Photo by Touchstone Pictures/Silver Screen Partners IV/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images

He was on the phone about to reject the role when Julia Roberts, who’d already been cast as the female lead, slipped the actor a very important post-it note. A life-changing note, if you will. Without it, Pretty Woman would have been a much different movie.

Easy to Convince

As soon as Richard Gere read Julia’s note, he changed his mind on the stop and accepted the leading role. I’m sure you’re wondering what she wrote that persuaded him. The post-it simply read: “Please say yes.” He doesn’t seem like a tough person to convince.

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Touchstone Pictures

Acting in Pretty Woman was one of the best decisions he has ever made. Not only did he show off his acting chips, but he got to flex his musical talents. In the film, the actor plays his very own composition. This wasn’t his last musical spotlight, though. He would also play his own music in the Cotton Club and Runaway Bride.

His Leading Lady Was so Nervous

But while working on Pretty Woman, Gere had his hands full with one anxious leading lady. If you saw the popular movie, you probably remember the love scene when Gere and Roberts lie cuddling each other in bed. It was a sweet moment.

Julia Roberts in a still from the film.
Photo by Buena Vista/Getty Images

What you might not have known was that Julia Roberts was so nervous that a vein literally popped out of her forehead when they started filming the scene. It was a moment of panic, but Prince Gere came to her rescue.

He Calmed Her Down… Eventually

Richard Gere and director Garry Marshal both rushed to try and calm Roberts down by massaging the vein popping out of her forehead. Unfortunately, the fiasco didn’t end there. The starlet then proceeded to break out in hives.

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in a scene from the film.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Touchstone Pictures

She needed to use calamine lotion all over her body before they could finally roll the cameras. The nerves were real. Luckily, she became more comfortable as shooting progressed. After all, this wasn’t the last movie starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.

He Didn’t Want a Sequel

Despite its massive box office success, Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, and director Garry Marshall agreed to never make a sequel of the movie unless it involved all three of them. They had a deal and didn’t break it.

A photo of Richard Gere and Julia Roberts during an event.
Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

But nine years later, they ended up working on a completely different film together. It was another light-hearted romantic comedy entitled The Runaway Bride. A sequel for the classic Pretty Woman movie will probably never happen. As much as fans want it, it isn’t meant to be.

Quite the Ladies’ Man

As a good-looking actor in Hollywood bound to be popular with the ladies, Richard Gere is certainly a ladies’ man and has dated plenty of beautiful women. He had long-term, on-and-off relationships with both Penelope Milford and Sylvia Martins.

A studio portrait of Richard Gere.
Photo by Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

He also had short-term flings with several of his costars, including Tuesday Weld, Barbara Streisand, Tina Chow, and Padma Laxmi, just to name a few. As a true heartthrob, he wasn’t just popular with the single ladies. Kim Bassinger and Priscilla Presley’s exes both stated that Gere hooked up with their ladies while they were still together.

He Fell for Cindy Crawford

At a certain point, Richard Gere was over one-night flings. He had enough of the no-strings-attached romances and was ready to settle down. When he met stunning model Cindy Crawford, the pair hit it off great. They got along and really liked each other.

Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere during an event.
Photo by ARNAL/GARCIA/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Despite their 17-year age difference, Gere and Crawford started a relationship. After a few happy years of dating, Gere flew the model to Las Vegas, and they walked down the aisle together in 1991. However, his new wife was a little disappointed.

A Disappointing Wedding

As the glamourous starlet she is, Cindy Crawford always dreamed of having a big, fancy wedding. But as it turned out, a fairytale wasn’t really in the cards. Instead of picking out a gorgeous white gown to say “I do” in, she wore a navy blue suit. Since the ceremony was so sudden, the couple exchanged tin foil rings.

A photo of Crawford and Gere on the red carpet.
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Unfortunately for Crawford, she didn’t get to pick flowers, colors, or even a wedding hall. It wasn’t the most romantic event, but ultimately, this wedding debacle would be the least of their worries.

Dealing With the Rumors

If you think dealing with rumors in the age of social media is bad, think about what Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford went through back in the ‘90s, when they couldn’t release a statement or set the facts straight through an Instagram post.

Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford walk the red carpet.
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

For this new hot couple, rumors spread like wildfire, but there was one in particular that got out of hand: that Gere and Crawford were both gay, and their marriage was a huge charade. The gossip got so overwhelming that the couple decided to respond to the ridiculous allegations.

Their Retaliation

To battle the ruthless rumor mill, the newlyweds took out a full-page ad in The London Times to defend themselves and publicly counter the slander. They declared their love and pledged their commitment to one another.

Crawford and Gere pose for a magazine cover.
Source: Pinterest

In addition, the pair mentioned all the causes they supported, which include AIDS research and LGBTQ rights, just to name a few. Despite coming together to combat the rumors and announcing their undying love to the world, trouble was already brewing in paradise. Sadly, they weren’t meant to last forever.

They Didn’t Live Happily Ever After

Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford had a happy marriage that lasted over four years. It wasn’t the rumor mill that ended their relationship; the break-up happened due to other circumstances. It had more to do with their hectic work schedules.

An outdoors photo of Richard Gere.
Photo by PATRICE PICOT/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Their age difference and career goals also pushed them apart. With many contributing factors, the pair eventually went their separate ways and got divorced in 1995. After a devastating blow, it would take a long time before Richard Gere would settle down again.

Getting Back to Work

Gere was steadily making movies that did great at the box office, and, of course, that helped his popularity with fans. In the ‘90s, films like Primal Fear, The Jackal, and Runaway Bride all came out, each showing a different side of the diverse and talented actor to the audience.

Richard Gere on the set of Runaway Bride.
Source: Getty Images

His movies were doing well, and his career was skyrocketing, but Gere made a drastic decision. On one occasion, he was pushed into the spotlight and garnered much attention, but it wasn’t for the dashing star’s acting ability.

He Always Spoke His Truth

Not one to hide his thoughts or keep his beliefs a secret, Gere found himself in hot water during the 1993 Academy Awards. While he was announcing the nominees at the event, the actor decided to condemn the Chinese government for their occupation of Tibet.

Richard Gere speaks on stage at the Annual Academy Awards.
Source: YouTube

Of course, he was just speaking his mind and defending his religion, but this became a huge scandal. This was before “cancel culture,” but that doesn’t mean his outspokenness didn’t come without punishment – and there were severe consequences.

He Got in Big Trouble

As you could have guessed, Gere’s blunt statements ruffled some Chinese feathers, and Hollywood had to do something to appease them. They took action and banned Gere from the Oscars of that year and took away his presenter duties.

A portrait of Richard Gere.
Photo by Rolf Rick/picture alliance/Getty Images

Although he got in big trouble, it didn’t seem like being excluded from the event deterred Gere much. He stands up for what he believes in no matter what the consequences. He refused to back down from his stance, and to this day, he still hasn’t.

He Had Clear Goals

Since the day he became a Tibetan Buddhist, Richard Gere had clear goals. He campaigns for human right in Tibet and supports “Survival International,” an establishment that protects the rights and the lands of tribal people all around the globe.

A picture of Gere with Buddhist monks.
Photo by KMazur/WireImage/Getty Images

But that’s not all. If Gere feels strongly about something, you can bet he’ll stand behind it. The actor also supports ecological issues and is very involved in AIDS awareness. In fact, he even opened up an AIDS care home in India. But while he was out changing the world, he found someone to rock his world.

He Met a Special Lady

You never know where you’ll find love; Cupid can strike at any moment. For Gere, he truly believed he wasn’t destined for a fairytale ending after his marriage to Crawford didn’t work out. But after seven years, he finally met someone who ignited something deep inside him.

Carey Lowell and Richard Gere during an event.
Photo by SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images

The lucky woman was none other than Carey Lowell, a fellow Buddhist and actor, mostly known as the Bond girl in License to Kill. Many people predicted that this relationship would never last, but they were wrong. In fact, there was one thing that brought the couple closer than ever.

Daddy Gere

After dating for a few years, Lowell and Gere took a huge step together: they became parents. In 2000, they became mommy and daddy to Homer James Jigme Gere. The couple named him after both of his grandfathers, and Gere added the Tibetan name “Jigme,” which means fearless.

Richard Gere, Carey Lowell, and Homer attend an event.
Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

At 50 years old, Gere confessed that he had always thought of having kids but never found the right person to have them with. But now that he found a woman who shared his beliefs and gave him butterflies, it seemed the Hollywood heartthrob would finally settle down.

Walking Down the Aisle… Again

Two years after welcoming their son to the world, Gere and Lowell decided it was time to solidify their relationship. In 2002, the happy couple tied the knot. It was Gere’s second time walking down the aisle and Lowell’s third time.

Lowell and Gere attend an event.
Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images

With a baby to take care of and raise together, they certainly seemed like they were in it for life. But if you really think about it, is anything permanent in Hollywood? Two-year marriages in the industry are considered a long time.

Dedicated to His Craft

At the turn of the century, Richard Gere had plenty of hits, which doesn’t come as a surprise considering the effort, he put into it. Two of his movies required the actor to dance. Gere spent three months learning tap dancing to perfect his role in Chicago.

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Latifah, Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger, and Mya receive an award.
Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage/Getty Images

In addition, he spent eight hours a day for two months practicing ballroom dancing for his hit film Shall We Dance. But when the actor wasn’t practicing for his roles or working on set, he spent most of his time with his family. Unfortunately, his movie roles were much more successful than his domestic attempts.

Trouble in Paradise

From the outside, Richard Gere and Carey Lowell seemed to be the perfect Hollywood couple. But behind closed doors, the husband and wife were struggling to make it work. In 2013, 11 years after their wedding, the couple decided it was time to go their separate ways.

Richard Gere and Carey Lowell pose for the press.
Photo by Hubert Boesl/picture alliance/Getty Images

One speculation was that their personalities just didn’t go together; they were very different. Gere wanted a serious Buddhist lifestyle, and Lowell was more of a party girl. This meant another failed marriage for Gere, leaving him heartbroken. But that wasn’t even the worst part.

A Messy Divorce

It’s one thing for a couple to decide they don’t want to be together anymore, but it becomes a much bigger issue if they can’t agree on how to settle their divorce. Usually, they can come to some kind of agreement and leave the courts out of it.

A picture of Richard Gere.
Photo by Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images

But when it came to Gere and Lowell, their split took an ugly turn, and the couple ended up in court. After three long and exhausting years of court proceedings, they finally finalized their divorce. They share custody of their son, but other than that, the exes have nothing to do with each other. This time, Gere didn’t have to wait long to find love again, but we’ll get to that later.

More Controversy

No matter who you are, there are always people who are going to misjudge your actions. Gere attended a rally in Jaipur to campaign for AIDS awareness. While he was there, he decided to show off his ballroom dancing skills to the audience with the assistance of his Bollywood co-campaigner, Shilpa Shetty.

Shilpa Shetty and Richard Gere pose for the press.
Photo by George Pimentel/Wireimage/Getty Images

He twirled and dipped Shetty and then gave her a kiss on the cheek, which angered several onlookers. As innocent as this was, it became such a big deal that a local court charged them for being in violation of obscenity laws. So, what does that mean for Richard Gere?

His Intentions Were Good

Thankfully, the court finally came to their senses and dismissed the case as “frivolous,” allowing Gere to enter and exit the country as he wished. He admitted that he wanted to capture the attention of the audience and draw them towards the importance of safe sex and using protection to prevent the spread of HIV.

Richard Gere speaks to the media.
Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images

He obviously had good intentions and didn’t realize this would become an issue. The actor ended up issuing an apology to the Indian public, stating that he never meant to offend anybody with his actions.

His Fairy Tale Ending

After two failed marriages, Gere gave up on finding love. But you know what they say, it’s when you’re not looking that you find “the one.” Gere was introduced to the beautiful Alejandra Silva, a Spanish activist who happened to be 33 years younger than him.

Alejandra Silva and Richard Gere attend an event.
Photo by Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto/Getty Images

It was a no-brainer for the dashing actor. She was smart, alluring, and drop-dead gorgeous; the two also had great conversations and shared the same interests. However, Silvia definitely played hard to get at the beginning of their romance.

Getting the Girl

Right from the start, Silva kind of ignored the actor’s overtures. She didn’t seem interested at all and clearly didn’t belong to one of his fan clubs. But none of that discouraged Gere. He sent her stunning bouquets of flowers and even wrote her love songs.

A picture of Gere and Silva during an event.
Photo by Fotonoticias/WireImage/Getty Images

Eventually, these grand gestures worked. The charming actor worked his magic and melted that ice-cold heart of hers. Was Richard Gere finally getting his happy ending? Or was this relationship destined to fail like his previous ones?

Happily Ever After

After dating for a little while, the happy love birds exchanged vows in 2018 at an Italian resort on the Amalfi coast. They had another private, Indian-inspired ceremony the following month. They had tents from Jaipur and flags from Tibet gracing the beautiful ceremony.

A photo of Silva and Gere during their wedding.
Source: Hello Magazine

Very different from his wedding with Crawford, this time, the bride and groom arrived at the venue in a tuk-tuk. Richard Gere finally found love. But as he opened his heart to love, Gere’s political opinions made him unwelcome in other places.

He’s Unwelcome in China

Remember when Gere’s outburst against China got him banned from the Academy Awards? Well, as you probably assume, the Chinese weren’t thrilled with him either. He provoked them further by calling for a boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Richard Gere attends an event.
Photo by Michael Loccisano/WireImage/Getty Images

He continues to be an outspoken Dalai Lama and Tibetan supporter, which means he earned himself a lifetime ban for China. It doesn’t bother him much. He actually enjoys the freedom and being able to play a range of characters in Indie films.

Canceled

He also feeds bad for other people dealing with Chinese wrath. Although he won’t back down from his controversial opinions and beliefs, it did have an impact on Gere’s career.

Silva and Gere attend an event.
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images

At one point, he planned to work with a Chinese director. However, the man apologized and told Gere that he had to pull out of the project, or his entire family would have to leave the country. It looks like cancel culture isn’t really a new age thing. But the actor is a Hollywood legend, so it couldn’t have gone that bad.

Rumor Has It

The weirdest thing about Richard Gere is perhaps that outrageous rumor about him and a gerbil. Even his longtime rival Sylvester Stallone used the rumor as an example of why you should steer clear of the tabloids:

A portrait of Richard Gere.
Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images

“I stopped reading the press a long time ago. Lots of crazy things came up about me at first, especially in the tabloids. There is an infamous ‘Gere stuck a hamster up his bum’ urban myth.” Even Stallone said the rumors were ridiculous. But this wasn’t even the craziest part.

Stallone Didn’t Start It

As the legend goes: Richard Gere took a living, breathing gerbil and shoved it into his rear end. Then, when the animal died, Gere had to go through emergency surgery. Obviously, this is just a foolish story, but somehow, it spread.

Richard Gere speaks at the microphone.
Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

People even thought that Sylvester Stallone was behind the senseless rumor because of his rivalry with Gere. Stallone responded to these allegations and denied them: “He even thinks I’m the individual responsible for the gerbil rumor. Not true… but that’s the rumor.”

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