Monday, September 26, 2016

Seven Things to Know About Glenn Ford

1. Glenn Ford was born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford in Sainte-Christine-d'Auvergne, Quebec, Canada. He became a naturalized U. S. citizen in 1939. His father was a railroad executive; Ford played a railroad engineer in Fritz Lang's classic film noir Human Desire (1954).

2. Ford was a registered Democrat for much of his life and supported John F. Kennedy for president in 1960. However, he later became a Republican and campaigned for Ronald Reagan in the 1980 and 1984 presidential elections.

3. Glenn Ford enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in 1941. The following year, he volunteered for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He never saw any combat duty during World War II and received a medical discharge in 1944 for ulcers. He returned to the Armed Service one last time when he was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserves in 1958. He served until his retirement as a Captain in 1977.

4. Ford once said that he became a star when he slapped Rita Hayworth in Gilda (1946). The two, who shared a visible on-screen chemistry, starred in four other films together: The Lady in Question, The Money Trap, Affair in Trinidad, and The Loves of Carmen. In Peter Ford's biography of his father, he quotes Glenn as saying: "You couldn't help but fall in love with Rita. She was such a lovely person, but so miserable. I lent a sympathetic ear, and she trusted me because she knew I cared for her and wouldn't let anyone hurt her."

5. In Quigley Publishing Company's annual poll of movie theater owners, Glenn Ford was ranked among the Top Ten Moneymakers in Hollywood in 1956, 1958, and 1959. He was ranked at #1 in 1958. He appeared in four films that year: The Sheepman, Cowboy, Imitation General, and Torpedo Run.

6. Ford was married four times. His longest marriage (1943-59) was to Broadway and film musical star Eleanor Powell. They had one child, Peter, who dabbled in acting (appearing as a regular with his Dad in the 1971-72 TV series Cade's County) and later wrote the 2011 biography Glenn Ford: A Life.

7. Glenn Ford was never nominated for an Oscar. I doubt if he cared. He once famously said: "I've never played anyone but myself on screen."


  1. I'm a huge Glenn Ford fan. Here's my top ten Ford performances. 1, The Rounders 2, Experiment in Terror 3, Torpedo Run 4, The Sheepman 5, The Big Heat 6, Cowboy 7, Pocketful of Miracles 8, Gilda 9, 3:10 to Yuma 10, The Courtship of Eddies Father. And yes, I've seen Blackboard Jungle, I just could never get over the high school students who all looked like they were 30 years old.

  2. I didn't realize he was the top Hollywood moneymaker in 1958. But I am not surprised.

    As for my fave Glenn Ford role, it would be in 3:10 to Yuma. I think he's an utterly mesmerizing villain.

  3. Interesting facts about Ford I didn't know. He was also a great horseman. And his marriage was pretty rocky with Eleanor Powell. I guess he liked to drink too.

  4. This was very informative to read, Rick. It was especially interesting to learn about Ford's moneymaking success in the late 1950s.