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Wednesday, 8 November, 2000, 11:28 GMT
Harrison Ford and wife split
Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford and his wife have been living apart for a month
Hollywood actor Harrison Ford has split up from his wife of 17 years, Melissa Mathison.

A statement issued on Tuesday by the couple said What Lies Beneath star Ford and screenwriter Mathison had been living apart for the last month.

It added that they were working towards resolving their problems and would be grateful for the privacy to do so.

"We would appreciate it if the media and the public would respect this as a very painful time for both of us, and consider this a private matter henceforth," said the statement.

The couple's publicist Patricia McQueeney said they issued the statement because of a "number of false and inaccurate media reports that have recently appeared in the tabloid press".

Ford has recently been linked to US actress Lara Flynn Boyle - star of ABC's hit legal drama The Practice - by the tabloid magazine, the National Enquirer.

But McQueeney stressed: "It had nothing to do with that. They separated before."

Surprise

Ford, 58, met Mathison, 49, on the set of the film Apocalypse Now in 1979.

They were married in 1983 and have two young children.

Ford also has two adult sons, Ben and Willard, from his first marriage to Mary Marquardt, whom he divorced in 1979.


Ford won heart-throb status as the star of Indiana Jones

The split with Mathison will come as something of a surprise to many Ford fans.

The Indiana Jones hero has long been considered one of Hollywood's most respected stars, with a stable personal life.

Ford shot to fame in the early 80s playing Hans Solo in the Star Wars movies.

He then went on to even greater star status as the rugged hero of the Indiana Jones action adventures.

He has worked almost consistently throughout the 80s and 90s, in dramas such as Frantic and Clear and Present Danger.

He is now enjoying renewed success as the star of the hit Hollywood movie What Lies Beneath.

The psychological thriller, also starring Michelle Pfeiffer, soared to the top of the US box office chart when first released.

In the UK, the film is riding high at number one, three weeks after it came out.

Ford's marriage problems follow the breakdown earlier this year of the marriage of Hollywood actors Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan.

They too were considered a golden couple with a solid relationship.

See also:

24 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Ford and Pfeiffer top film charts
09 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Blade Runner riddle solved
13 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Quaid files for divorce
15 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Ford matches Spacey's strike donation
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