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OTRC: Richard Gere, star of 'Arbitrage': 7 facts about the actor

Richard Gere appears in a scene from the 2012 movie 'Arbitrage.' ('Myles Aronowitz / Roadside Attractions)

Richard Gere, who plays a billionaire and troubled hedge fund magnate in the new film "Arbitrage," is one of Hollywood's most praised actors, but there is one thing he does not have - an Oscar.

In the film, his character, Robert Miller, turns to an unlikely for help after suffering huge losses from a risky copper investment and also after he gets into a car accident that kills his mistress. "Arbitrage," which also stars Susan Sarandon, had a limited release on September 14 and has a 84 percent rating on Rottentomatoes.com, which features a slew of positive reviews from top critics. Could this movie finally earn Richard Gere an Academy Award nod?

Check out 7 facts about Richard Gere.

1. He's still waiting for that Oscar nomination ...

Gere, 63, earned Golden Globe nominations for performances in the iconic films "Pretty Woman" and "An Officer and a Gentlemen."

The actor was nominated for an Emmy for his role in the 1993 mini-series "And The Band Played On" and won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Billy Flynt in the movie adaption of the musical "Chicago." The film won six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for co-star Catherine Zeta-Jones. Actors John C. Reilly, Renee Zellweger and Queen Latifah were also nominated. Gere was not.

"The only time when it kind of bothered me was in 'Chicago,'" Gere said on the ABC show "The View" on September 14," when asked about never receiving an Oscar nomination. "Everyone else got a nomination. I'm waiting for my name and it goes right by. And I have to admit that yeah, that got to me."

2. He used to be a gymnast.

Gere was a gymnast in high school in Syracuse, New York and attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst (check out his 1970s student photo) on a gymnastics scholarship. He studied philosophy and film at the college, whose famous alums also include Bill Cosby and Natalie Cole.

During an interview on the ABC show "The View" on September, Gere talked about watching the 2012 Summer Olympics with his 12-year-old son, Homer.

"He's going, 'Wow, Dad, look at that!' And I'm thinking, 'I did some of that.' I didn't do it that good, but I did it. There's a picture up in the hallway of me in high school with a side horse [pommel horse] and I'd just finished a routine ? And I brought him up there to look at that picture - he never noticed it."

Gere said when he was a high school gymnast, he refused to cut his long hair, despite his coach's insistence.

"I remember the coach kept wanting me to cut my hair and I said, 'I don't wanna. I'm in a band, I'm like this' and he said, 'I want you to cut-' and I said, 'I really can't - I can't do it.' So the game, the meet we had that next week, he hid all of our uniforms and he gave me one from 1940. It was this big, baggy ... it wasn't cool at all. It wasn't cute," the actor said, adding: "[Then] I cut my hair."

3. He has performed on Broadway.

Gere dropped out of college after two years and moved to New York City when he was 19.

The actor made his Broadway debut in the early 1970s in the musical "Soon." He later was an understudy in "Grease," playing roles such as lead Danny Zuko, members of the T-Birds, Vince Fontaine, Teen Angel and nerdy Eugene Florczyk. He won a Theatre World Award in 1980 for his performances in the play "Bent." Gere was about 24 years old when he made his on-screen debut, in the TV movie "Chelsea D.H.O."

4. He was married to Cindy Crawford.

Gere's son Homer is his and current wife and actress Carey Lowell's only child. He and Lowell wed in 2002. Gere was previously married to supermodel Cindy Crawford between 1991 and 1995. They have no children together

5. He is a Buddhist, a staunch supporter of the "Free Tibet" movement and outspoken speaker against China's communist rule.

While Gere was raised by Methodist parents, he studied Zen Buddhism for several years, starting in his 20s, and has over the years met with Tibetan monks in Nepal as well as the Dalai Lama. The actor is a supporter of the Tibetan independence movement, aka "Free Tibet," and is therefore banned from entering China.

In 1993, he presented an art direction Oscar award at the Academy Awards but mostly used his time at the podium to call on Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping to withdraw Chinese troops from Tibet. Organizers have denied rumors that say he was banned from the Oscars. He attended the Academy Awards again in 2003, which "Chicago" received nominations.

In January 2012, Gere told the English-language news channel NDTV 24x7, during a trip to India to attend the Buddhist festival Kalachakra, that "China is the largest hypocrisy in the world right now."

6. He has been a human rights activist for more than 25 years - and sold his guitars to support humanitarian causes.

Gere has supported groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Aids Research Alliance.

In October 2010, Gere sold his entire collection of 106 guitars for almost $1 million at an auction to support global humanitarian causes.

7. He doesn't believe in evil.

"I don't believe in evil at all," Gere said on the ABC show "The View" on September 14.

"You don't believe Hitler was evil, none of that?" co-host Joy Behar asked.

"I think people can be mentally ill," Gere replied. "I think there's an overlay of illness and ignorance that can appear to be what we call evil but we can remove those things. I don't think we come from a clean place where we can say we're volitional. We're all driven by forces. Definitely, darkness - we see darkness around us all the time."

"I do think you can remove all of these issues," he added. "You can remove the ignorance, the craziness, the stupid things that we all do, in various extremes, which is like this movie ['Arbitrage'] - there's nothing that happens in this movie that we don't do to at least a small degree, whether it's on taxes or to our wife or our kid or the boss or the thing .. we all do something."

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