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Glenn Ford was born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada in 1916. When he was eight, his family moved to Santa Monica, California. After acting in a road company, he was signed to a contract by Columbia Pictures in 1939 (that same year they signed William Holden, and they made similar movies over the next few years, sometimes appearing together). Ford made 14 movies between 1939 and 1943, but nothing all that memorable, and he had enlisted in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) Reserve in 1942, and he stopped making movies for the duration of the war. In 1943, while still in the Marines, he married actress Eleanor Powell, who was far more famous than he, and they had a son, Peter (who was Ford's only child, and who, many years later, would collect many posters on his dad's movies!). After the war, he had a major breakout role in Gilda in 1946, opposite Rita Hayworth. While everyone mostly just remembers Hayworth's super sexy sheath dress and sultry singing, the movie finally got Ford noticed, but it would be several years before he got more substantial roles (he would appear in two similar movies with Hayworth, The Loves of Carmen and Affair in Trinidad, but neither had the success of Gilda). Ford was one of those actors who aged extremely well (like Robert Mitchum and John Wayne) and who actually had more appeal when he reached his mid 30s than he had ten years earlier! In 1953 he starred in Fritz Lang's ultra gritty film noir, The Big Heat (the movie where Gloria Grahame has scalding hot coffee thrown in her face by Lee Marvin). Lang, Ford, and Grahame would reunite two years later in Human Desire, but it did not have the success of The Big Heat. In 1955, Ford starred in the schoolteacher classic, Blackboard Jungle. In the 1950s and 1960s, Ford alternated between romantic comedies like The Courtship of Eddie's Father and action movies (often westerns). In 1971 he starred in a TV series Cade's County. His roles became fewer in the later 1970s. He played "Pa Kent" in Superman in 1978. His last film appearances were in 1991, and he passed away in 2006. Glenn Ford was a solid performer who appeared in movies in seven different decades, but was often overshadowed by his co-stars. His career started out very similar to that of William Holden, but unlike Holden, Ford did not have some breakout hits in the 1960s that gave his career a resurgence, and he was never really a "superstar", but he left behind a great body of work that includes some very enjoyable films and performances! He passed away in 2006 at the age of 90.
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