Glenn Ford FAST FACTS
Birth Name: Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford
Date of Birth: May 1, 1916
Date of Death: August 30, 2006
Place of Birth: Sainte-Christine, Quebec, Canada
Place of Death: Beverly Hills, California, USA
Height: 5' 11"
Spouses: Eleanor Powell (1943 - 1959) (divorced)
Kathryn Hays (1966 - 1967) (divorced)
Cynthia Hayward (???? - ????) (divorced)
Children: Peter Newton Ford (1945 - )
Trademark: Western cowboy roles
Trivia: Got his name from the town Glenford in Canada
US Naval Reserve Officer with the rank of Captain
Glenn appeared in 5 movies with Rita Hayworth.
Awarded the French Legion of Honor Medal by the Country of France for his service in World War II in 1992.
Inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame by the Western Heritage Museum in 1978.
Voted the number one box office attraction in 1958.
Personal Quotes: "When I'm on camera, I have to do things pretty much the way I do things in everyday life. It gives the audience someone real to identify with."
"People laugh when I say I'm not an actor, but I'm not, I play myself."
"The Western is a man's world and I love it."
"I've never played anyone but myself on screen."
"If they tried to rush me, I'd always say I've only got one other speed, and it's slower."
Glenn Ford was born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford on May 1, 1916 in the province of Quebec, Canada. The son of a Canadian railroad executive, Glenn Ford first appeared on stage at age four in a community production of Tom Thumb's Wedding. In 1924, when Glenn was eight, his family moved to Santa Monica, California, where he was active in high school theatricals and community theater. He landed his first professional theater job as a stage manager in 1934, and within a year he was acting in the West Coast company of Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour. A talent scout from 20th Century-Fox signed him to a one picture deal, and he made his film debut in 20th the quickie Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (1939). 20th Century-Fox foolishly did not sign him and Ford was signed by Columbia, where he remained for the next 14 years. After an apprenticeship in such "B" pictures as Blondie Plays Cupid (1940), Ford was promoted to Columbia's "A" list.
His career was interrupted by World War II. During his valiant service with the Marines, he helped build safe houses in France for those hiding from the Nazis. He was one of the first into the German Dachau extermination camp following its liberation. In addition to meritorious service in World War II, Mr. Ford served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the Third Marine Amphibious Force and is the only actor to have served with both the Green Berets and the French Foreign Legion. A few of his numerous medals and commendations are:
The Medal of Honor, presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars
The French Legion of Honor Medal for his service in World War II
The Medaille de la France Libre for the liberation of France
Two commendation medals from the US Navy
Vietnamese Legion of Merit
After the war he soared to stardom in A Stolen Life and Gilda (both 1946). He excelled at playing well-meaning, ordinary men confronted by unusual or threatening situations in such films as The Blackboard Jungle (1955) and Ransom (1955) and possessed that intangible "something" that connected with audiences. Ford's on-screen range was quite extensive. He was equally as effective as a tormented film noir hero (The Big Heat, Human Desire) as he was in light comedy (Teahouse of the August Moon, The Gazebo). Nearly half of the films he appeared in were westerns, many of which - The Desperadoes (1943), The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) 3:10 to Yuma (1957), Cowboy (1958) - were among the best and most successful examples of the genre.
In 1958, Mr. Ford was voted the number one male box office attraction. He remained popular long after the studio system that created him had collapsed. In 1971, he starred in a weekly television series Cade's County which ended after a single season. Mr. Ford went on to star in another series, The Family Holvak (1975), and to host a syndicated documentary weekly, When Havoc Struck (1978). He also headlined such miniseries as Once an Eagle (1976) and Evening in Byzantium (1979), and delivered a particularly strong performance as an Irish-American patriarch in the telefilm The Gift (1981). He continued appearing in choice theatrical-feature supporting roles into the early 1990s; one of the best of these was Clark Kent's foster father in Superman: The Movie (1978). In 1970, Glenn Ford published a book, Glenn Ford RFD Beverly Hills.
On a personal note, Glenn Ford was married to tapdancing actress Eleanor Powell from 1943 to 1959. They had a son Peter Newton Ford in 1945. Peter and his wife Lynda have three children, Aubrey, Ryan and Eleanor. Glenn was also married to Kathryn Hays and Cynthia Hayward. Mr. Ford passed away August 30, 2006.
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