Golden Icon Award Richard Gere


With his exceptional talent for playing strong characters, Richard Gere has been an influential figure on the big screen since the 1980s. The Zurich Film Festival honours him for his life’s work.

Richard Gere began his career in theatre in the late ‘60s. In 1973 he played the role of Danny Zuko in a London production of the musical, Grease. Big screen success came when he played the lead in Paul Schrader’s erotic drama, AMERICAN GIGOLO (1980). It was his performance alongside Debra Winger in AN OFFICER AND GENTLEMAN (1982) that sealed his stardom.

Great Popularity

Gere celebrated his greatest successes in the earlier ‘90s, starring in the romantic comedy PRETTY WOMAN alongside Julia Roberts. The film was a huge success story. The films that followed also captivated the public, including the drama SOMMERSBY (1993) and comedy RUNAWAY BRIDE (1999) in which he was reunited with his Pretty Woman co-star, Julia Roberts. In 2003, Gere embodied smart lawyer Billy Flynn to give a truly spectacular premiere performance as a dancer and singer alongside Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones in the multi Oscar winning film adaptation of the musical CHICAGO – and pocketed a Golden Globe along the way.

Character Roles

In addition to his acclaimed star making performances, Gere has also embraced an array of character roles, including Jesse Lujack in Jim McBride’s remake of Godard’s BREATHLESS (1983), as a jazz trumpeter in Francis Ford Coppola’s THE COTTON CLUB (1984) and, more recently, as the deceitful author, Clifford Irving, in Lasse Hallström’s THE HOAX (2006). In 2007, Gere was a member of the ensemble of postmodern Dylan biography I’M NOT THERE. In his latest work ARBITRAGE, Gere plays an ambitious financial investor, sinking into a moral slump when his financial empire begins to crumble.  

Richard Gere will accept the Golden Icon Award in person on September 23 at the cinema corso. Susan Sarandon will deliver the laudation. The Zurich Film Festival celebrates the actor with a retrospective screening of his most important films.