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Glenn Ford

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Hollywood Cinema By Richard Maltby

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Gwyllyn Samuel Newton "Glenn" Ford (May 1, 1916 – August 30, 2006) was an acclaimed Canadian-American actor from Hollywood's Golden Era with a career that spanned seven decades. He was born to Welsh parents in Sainte-Christine-d'Auvergne, Portneuf, Québec and was a great-nephew of Canada's first Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald.Ford moved to Santa Monica, California with his family at the age of eight, and became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1939.

Ford is best known for his film roles playing either cowboys or ordinary men in unusual circumstances. His acting career began on stage, and his first major movie part was in the 1939 film Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence.

World War II service

In 1942, Ford's film career was interrupted when he volunteered for duty in World War II with the U.S. Marine Corps. His interest in the military continued as, during both the Korean War and the Vietnam War, Ford took the time to make goodwill visits to the American troops.

Gilda - staring Glen Ford and Rita Hayworth

Video Movie Film Clip Mpeg Wmv

Career development

Following military service, Ford's breakthrough role was in 1946, starring alongside Rita Hayworth in Gilda. He went on to be a leading man opposite her in a total of five films.

Ford's movie-acting career flourished in the 1950s and '60s, and continued into the early 1990s, with increasing television roles. His major roles in thrillers and dramas and action films include A Stolen Life, The Big Heat, Framed, Blackboard Jungle, Interrupted Melody, Experiment in Terror, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Ransom!, Superman and Westerns such as The Fastest Gun Alive, 3:10 to Yuma and Cimarron.

Ford's versatility also allowed him to star in a number of popular comedies, including Teahouse of the August Moon, Don't Go Near the Water, The Gazebo, Cry For Happy, and The Courtship of Eddie's Father. Ford also starred for one season in the television series Cade's County (1971-1972).

In addition to the previously mentioned Rita Hayworth, his co-stars included Hollywood greats such as Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, William Holden, Jack Lemmon, Shirley Maclaine, Marlon Brando, Sidney Poitier, Robert Mitchum, Charlton Heston, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Charles Boyer and Frederic March. Other notable co-stars included Gloria Grahame, Lee Marvin, Janet Leigh, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Shirley Jones, Rod Steiger, Donald O'Connor, Geraldine Page, Ann Sheridan, Gene Tierney, Anne Bancroft, Ida Lupino, Joseph Cotton, Jeanne Crain, Melvyn Douglas and Lee J. Cobb.

Glenn Ford
Born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford
May 1, 1916(1916-05-01)
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada[1]
Died August 30, 2006 (aged 90)
Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, California, U.S.
Years active 1930s-1991
Spouse(s) Eleanor Powell (1943-1959)
Kathryn Hays (1966-1969)
Cynthia Hayward (1974-1977)
Jeanne Baus (1993-1994)


After being nominated in 1957 and 1958, in 1962 Glenn Ford won a Golden Globe Award as Best Actor for his performance in Frank Capra's Pocketful of Miracles. He was listed in Quigley's Annual List of Top Ten Box office Champions in 1956, 1958 and 1959, topping the list at number one in 1958. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Glenn Ford has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6933 Hollywood Blvd. In 1978, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 1992 he was awarded the Légion d'honneur medal for his action in the Second World War.


"Cade's County" (1971-72 TV Series) Ford starred as a Southwest sheriff in this mix of western drama and police mystery. The opening title sequence opened with Ford (as Sheriff Cade) driving his jeep through the desert mountains.

"The Family Holvak" (1975-1976) Ford starred as a depression era preacher in this family drama, performing as the same character he played in the TV film "The Greatest Gift". Julie Harris co-starred as his wife.

Later career

In 1978, Ford played a supporting role in Superman, playing Clark Kent's adopted father, Jonathan Kent, a role that introduced Ford to a new generation of film audiences. Ford's final scene in the film begins with a direct reference to Blackboard Jungle as the earlier film's theme song "Rock Around the Clock" is heard on a car radio.

In 1980, Ford offered to buy the National Hockey League's Atlanta Flames for $8 million in order to keep the team in Atlanta, but he was outbid by Canadian Nelson Skalbania, who moved the team to Calgary, Alberta where they became the Calgary Flames.

A photograph of Ford as Jonathan Kent is clearly visible in the 2006 sequel, Superman Returns. The use of Ford's image in a 2006 film means that he appeared in feature films - directly or indirectly - in eight consecutive decades from the 1930s to the 2000s. He is the only leading man actor to have achieved this. (Mickey Rooney also achieved the feat of being seen in films in eight decades but was not considered a leading man.)

Ford was scheduled to make his first public appearance in 15 years at a 90th birthday tribute gala in his honor hosted by the American Cinematheque at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on May 1, 2006, but at the last minute he was unable to attend. Anticipating that his health might prevent his attendance, Ford had worked the previous week with event organizer Martin Lewis to record a special filmed message for the audience -which was screened after a series of in-person tributes from friends including Martin Landau, Shirley Jones, Jamie Farr and Debbie Reynolds.

Ford had suffered a series of minor strokes which had left him in frail health in the years before his death. During his retirement he concentrated on his interest in collecting salt and pepper shakers.

Personal life

Ford was married four times: to actress Eleanor Powell (1943-1959, one son); Kathryn Hays (1966-1969); Cynthia Hayward (1977-1984); and to Jeanne Baus (1993-1994). All four marriages ended in divorce. Ford appeared on screen with Powell only once, in a short subject produced in the 1950s entitled The Faith of Our Children.

Ford's sole child, Peter Ford (born 1945 to mother Eleanor Powell), also became an actor as well as a singer and radio host. He is currently writing a biography of his father.

Glenn Ford was a major supporter of the United States Republican Party, and campaigned for his friend Ronald Reagan in the 1980 and 1984 presidential elections.


  • Final Verdict (1991) (TV) as Rev. Rogers
  • Raw Nerve (1991) as Captain Gavin
  • Border Shootout (1990) as Sheriff John Danaher
  • Casablanca Express (1989) as Major Gen. Williams
  • Law at Randado (1989) (TV)
  • My Town (1986) (TV) as Lucas Wheeler
  • Happy Birthday to Me (1981) as Dr. David Faraday
  • Fukkatsu no hi (a.k.a. Virus) (1980) as President Richardson
  • Superman II (opening title flashback - uncredited) as Jonathan Kent
  • Day of the Assassin (1979) as Christakis
  • The Gift (1979) (TV) as Billy Devlin
  • Beggarman, Thief (1979) (TV) as David Donnelly
  • The Sacketts (1979) (TV) as Tom Sunday
  • The Visitor (1979) as Det. Jake Durham
  • Superman (1978) as Jonathan Kent
  • Evening in Byzantium (1978) (TV) as Jesse Craig
  • The 3,000 Mile Chase (1977) (TV) as Paul Dvorak/Leonard Staveck
  • Midway (1976) as RAdm. Raymond A. Spruance
  • Punch and Jody (1974) (TV) as Peter 'Punch' Travers
  • The Greatest Gift (1974) (TV) as Rev. Holvak
  • The Disappearance of Flight 412 (1974) (TV) as Colonel Pete Moore
  • Santee (1973) as Santee
  • Jarrett (1973) (TV) as Sam Jarrett
  • Cade's County (1971-1972) (TV series) as Sheriff Sam Cade
  • The Brotherhood of the Bell (1970) (TV) as Prof. Andrew Patterson
  • Heaven with a Gun (1969) as Jim Killian/Pastor Jim
  • Smith!' (1969) as Smith
  • Day of the Evil Gun (1968) as Lorne Warfield
  • The Last Challenge (1967) as Marshal Dan Blaine
  • A Time for Killing (1967) as Maj. Tom Wolcott
  • Rage (1966) as Doc Reuben
  • Is Paris Burning? (1966) as Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley
  • The Money Trap (1965) as Joe Baron
  • The Rounders (1965) as Ben Jones
  • Dear Heart (1964) as Harry Mork
  • Fate Is the Hunter (1964) as Sam C. McBane
  • Advance to the Rear (1964) as Capt. Jared Heath
  • Love Is a Ball (1963) as John Lathrop Davis
  • The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963) as Tom Corbett
  • Experiment in Terror (1962) as John 'Rip' Ripley
  • Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962) as Julio Desnoyers
  • Pocketful of Miracles (1961) as Dave 'the Dude' Conway
  • Cry for Happy (1961) as CPO Andy Cyphers
  • Cimarron (1960) as Yancey 'Cimarron' Cravat
  • The Gazebo (1959) as Elliott Nash
  • It Started with a Kiss (1959) as Sgt. Joe Fitzpatrick
  • Torpedo Run (1958) as Lt. Cmdr. Barney Doyle
  • Imitation General (1958) as MSgt. Murphy Savage
  • The Sheepman (1958) as Jason Sweet
  • Cowboy (1958) as Tom Reese
  • Don't Go Near the Water (1957) as Lt. J.G. Max Siegel
  • 3:10 to Yuma (1957) as Ben Wade
  • The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956) as Capt. Fisby
  • The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) as George Temple/George Kelby, Jr.
  • Jubal (1956) as Jubal Troop
  • Ransom! (1956) as David G. 'Dave' Stannard
  • Trial (1955) as David Blake
  • Interrupted Melody (1955) as Dr. Thomas 'Tom'King
  • Blackboard Jungle (1955) as Richard Dadier
  • The Violent Men (1955) as John Parrish
  • The Americano (1955) as Sam Dent
  • Human Desire (1954) as Jeff Warren
  • City Story (1954) as Narrator
  • Appointment in Honduras (1953) as Steve Corbett
  • The Big Heat (1953) as Det. Sgt. Dave Bannion
  • Plunder of the Sun (1953) as Al Colby
  • The Man from the Alamo (1953) as John Stroud
  • Time Bomb (1953) as Maj. Peter Lyncort
  • Affair in Trinidad (1952) as Steve Emery
  • Young Man with Ideas (1952) as Maxwell Webster
  • The Green Glove (1952) as Michael 'Mike' Blake
  • The Secret of Convict Lake (1951) as Jim Canfield
  • Follow the Sun (1951) as Ben Hogan
  • The Redhead and the Cowboy (1951) as Gil Kyle
  • The Flying Missile (1950) as Cmdr. William A. Talbot
  • Convicted (1950) as Joe Hufford
  • The White Tower (1950) as Martin Ordway
  • The Doctor and the Girl (1949) as Dr. Michael Corday
  • Mr. Soft Touch (1949) as Joe Miracle
  • Lust for Gold (1949) as Jacob 'Dutch' Walz
  • The Undercover Man (1949) as Frank Warren
  • The Return of October (1948) as Prof. Bentley Bassett Jr.
  • The Loves of Carmen (1948) as Don José Lizarabengoa
  • The Man from Colorado (1948) as Col. Owen Devereaux
  • The Mating of Millie (1948) as Doug Andrews
  • Framed (1947) as Mike Lambert
  • Gallant Journey (1946) as John J. Montgomery
  • A Stolen Life (1946) as Bill Emerson
  • Gilda (1946) as Johnny Farrell/Narrator
  • Destroyer (1943) as Mickey Donohue
  • The Desperadoes (1943) as Cheyenne Rogers
  • Flight Lieutenant (1942) as Danny Doyle
  • The Adventures of Martin Eden (1942) as Martin Eden
  • Go West, Young Lady (1941) as Sheriff Tex Miller
  • Texas as Tod Ramsey
  • So Ends Our Night (1941) as Ludwig Kern
  • Blondie Plays Cupid (1940) as Charlie
  • The Lady in Question (1940) as Pierre Morestan
  • Babies for Sale (1940) as Steve Burton aka Oscar Hanson
  • Men Without Souls (1940) as Johnny Adams
  • Convicted Woman (1940) as Jim Brent (reporter)
  • My Son Is Guilty (1939) as Barney
  • Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (1939) as Joe
  • Night in Manhattan (1937) on-camera host

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