Perennial film star Glenn Ford dies at 90

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.Failing health forced Ford to skip a 90th birthday tribute May 1 at Hollywood’s historic Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre. But he sent greetings via videotape and added: “I wish I were up and around, but I’m doing the best that I can. … There’s so much I have to be grateful for.” At the birthday tribute, Shirley Jones, who co-starred with him in the comedy “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” called Ford “one of the cornerstones of our industry, and there aren’t many left.” Ford appeared in scores of films during his 53-year Hollywood career. The Film Encyclopedia, a reference book, lists 85 films from 1939 to 1991. He was usually cast as the handsome tough guy, but his acting talents ranged from romance to comedy. His more famous credits include “Superman,” “Gilda,” “The Sheepman,” “The Gazebo,” “Pocketful of Miracles” and “Don’t Go Near the Water.” An avid horseman and former polo player, Ford appeared in a number of Westerns, including “3:10 to Yuma,” “Cowboy,” “The Rounders,” “Texas,” “The Fastest Gun Alive” and the remake of “Cimarron.” His talents included lighter parts, with roles in “The Teahouse of August Moon” and “It Started With a Kiss.” On television, he appeared in “Cade’s County,” “The Family Holvak,” “Once an Eagle” and “When Havoc Struck.” He starred in the feature film “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” which later became a TV series featuring Bill Bixby. BEVERLY HILLS – Actor Glenn Ford, who played strong, thoughtful protagonists in films such as “The Blackboard Jungle,” “Gilda” and “The Big Heat,” died Wednesday, police said. He was 90. Paramedics called to Ford’s home just before 4 p.m. found Ford dead, police Sgt. Terry Nutall said, reading a prepared statement. “They do not suspect foul play,” he said. Ford suffered a series of strokes in the 1990s. “It comes to mind instantly what a remarkable actor he was,” actor Sidney Poitier, who also starred in “The Blackboard Jungle,” said Wednesday evening. “He had those magical qualities that are intangible but are quite impactful on the screen. He was a movie star.” A tireless worker, Ford often made several films a year. He continued working well into his 70s. In 1992, though, he was hospitalized for more than two months for blood clots and other ailments, and at one point he was in critical condition. “Noel Coward once told me, `You will know you’re old when you cease to be amazed.’ Well, I can still be amazed,” Ford said in a 1981 interview with The Associated Press. He was born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford on May 1, 1916, in Quebec, the son of a railroad executive. The first name reflected his family’s Welsh roots. He started in theater in the 1930s and got a break when he was signed by Columbia Pictures mogul Harry Cohn. When Cohn asked Ford to change his name to John Gower, the actor refused, but switched his first name to Glenn, after his father’s birthplace of Glenford. He married actress-dancer Eleanor Powell in 1943. They had a son, Peter, and were divorced in 1959. A 1965 marriage to actress Kathryn Hays ended quickly. In 1977, he married model Cynthia Hayward, 32 years his junior. They were divorced in 1984.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img