Glenn Ford Celebrity Watchlist

Biography

To most people born after 1960, this ruggedly handsome actor was best known as the Man of Steel's adoptive dad in the 1978 Superman movie. But by that year, Ford—who had spent most of his career playing military men or gunslingers—already had 40 years of films under his belt. Born in Canada but raised in California, he started out in theater but began landing movie roles in the 1930s and 1940s, including five films opposite bombshell Rita Hayworth. Although he did not endure as well as other stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age, he made his biggest impression in the 1950s in a string of strong but sensitive roles: a dedicated teacher attempting to reach his thuggish students in Blackboard Jungle, a widowed father looking for love in The Courtship of Eddie's Father, and a goofy captain facing culture clashes in Japan in The Teahouse of the August Moon. A workaholic who appeared in at least one project (often four or five) a year from 1940 to 1980 (except for a three-year hiatus when he was a marine in World War II), his career ended in the 1990s after he suffered a series of strokes. Off screen, he was married four times, notably to tap-dance legend Eleanor Powell in a 16-year union. Ford died at the age of 90 in 2006.

Fast Facts

  • Nephew of Sir John A. MacDonald, a former prime minister of Canada, and descendant of Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States.
  • As a youngster, learned to ride horses and play polo while employed as a stable boy for Will Rogers.
  • Worked as Tallulah Bankhead's stage manager in New York.
  • Served as a Marine during World War II; served two tours of duty in Vietnam.
  • Published an autobiography, Glenn Ford, R.F.D. Beverly Hills, in 1970.
  • Played Clark Kent's adoptive father in 1978's Superman, one of his last major feature-film roles.
  • Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers by the Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma in 1978.
  • Awarded the French Legion of Honor Medal in 1992.

Awards

  • 1962, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 1958, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Actor: Nominee
  • 1958, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee

Relationships

  • Kathryn Hays — Ex-wife
  • Cynthia Hayward — Ex-wife
  • Eleanor Powell — Ex-wife
  • Newton Ford — Father
  • Jeanne Baus — Ex-wife
  • Hannah Ford — Mother
  • Peter Ford — Son

Details

  • Birth Name: Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford
  • Birth Place: Quebec, Canada
  • Birthday: May 1, 1916, Taurus
  • Died: August 30, 2006
  • Profession: Actor
  • User Rating:4.5 out of 5 (40 ratings)
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