The son of a Canadian railroad executive, Glenn Ford first toddled on-stage at age four in a community production of Tom Thumb’s Wedding. In 1924, Ford’s family moved to California, where he was active in high-school theatricals. 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. Although he made his film debut in 20th Century Fox’s Heaven With a Barbed Wire Fence (1939), Ford was signed by Columbia, which remained his home base for the next 14 years. After an apprenticeship in such B-movies as Blondie Plays Cupid (1940), Ford was promoted to Columbia’s A-list.
Outwardly a most ordinary and unprepossessing personality, Ford possessed that intangible “something” that connected with audiences. The first phase of his stardom was interrupted by World War II service in the Marines (he retained his officer’s commission long… read more