How Harrison Ford Got His Iconic Chin Scar

Harrison Ford got into his car one morning in the mid-1960s to head to his job, per Herald and Review. He was in his 20s, recently married to his college sweetheart, and living in Southern California in the hopes of breaking into acting. At the time, it wasn't a big Hollywood studio where Ford was working — it was the Bullock's department store in Santa Ana, California, where he was "an assistant buyer in the knickknacks and oil-painting department," Ford told Vanity Fair in a 1990 interview.

He was driving his Volvo through the winding roads of Laguna Canyon when he realized he'd forgotten to put his seat belt on. He reached over his shoulder, and while his attention was on strapping himself in, trying to be safe, he crashed. "I hit a high curb, and the car went up on two wheels and smashed into a telephone pole," he told Vanity Fair. Thanks to the accident, a scar — if not the star — was born.

Bleeding from his chin

Harrison Ford stumbled out of the car after he'd slammed his face against the steering wheel. His chin was bleeding badly, and his car was in the middle of the road, but no one stopped to help him. "They would just creep around me at 5 miles an hour and keep on going," he told Vanity Fair. "I was just standing in the road, bleeding quite profusely. And it pissed me off so much that no one would stop that I refused to gesture to ask them. So I just stood there until somebody finally stopped, took me to the hospital."

At the hospital, the resident who sewed up the gash on his chin didn't do a great job. Ford later quipped that he had used paper clips instead of sutures on the wound. "I'm sure the guy did the best he could at the time," he said, according to "The Films of Harrison Ford." "It was probably something that should have been done by a plastic surgeon rather than a resident.

The scar on the star gets its own backstory

Harrison Ford, who is infamous for his hatred of giving interviews, told film critic Dann Gire in 1982 that he'd gotten his chin scar during a fencing match in Germany that went too far. "Ford and his opponent had been rivals, he said, for the affection of a certain woman," Gire told The Daily Herald. "One thing led to another and slash! Instant chin scar, he said." It wasn't until several years later that Gire found out the truth.

Besides Ford's fantastical story about his scar, several filmmakers also gave the old wound a backstory, including in the "Indiana Jones"' franchise, where Indy supposedly received the scar while practicing with his whip, per The New Zealand Herald. In the 1988 Mike Nichols' film "Working Girl" with Melanie Griffith, Ford's character tells Griffith's character that he got the scar during a knife fight before admitting he actually passed out after piercing his ear and hit his chin on the toilet, according to the Kenosha News. It appears that Ford's scar, given its iconic status, is a star as well.