Monday, September 04, 2006
remembering glenn ford

In the Summer of 1947 my mother, my sister Gene and my brother Gordon and I spent the entire summer on Le Doux street, in Beverly Hills. It was a memorable summer for me in so very many ways....My first trip to Hollywood! That in itself was Momentous. I turned 16 that summer and we celebrated my Birthday at The Cocoanut Grove Nightclub in The Ambassador Hotel....A Momentous and Memorable Birthday, to be sure.

One of the things I did that summer was I learned to play Tennis. It was the beginning and the end of my Tennis career! I was put on my very first "doctors diet", that late Spring of '47 and one of the things she...(yes, it was a woman doctor way back then....!) ...said was important was that I move around more, like I should learn to play Tennis. So, my mother looked into where I might do this and came up with The Beverly Hills Hotel.There was a Tennis Pro there...a man named Harvey Snodgrass, who had been an Olympic Champion, and somehow or other she found out that this would be a good place and a good man for me to 'learn' to play.

Mr. Snodgrass turned out to be a very very nice man. The Beverly Hills Hotel was a very intriguing place to me, though I think I only saw the Tennis Courts there that summer...But this Hotel was a famous place in my mind...reading all the movie magazines of the day---mainly the top two, Photoplay and Modern Screen--this Hotel was where all 'the stars' went and stayed, too...very very exciting place to an almost 16 year old who's life was 'saved' by the movies...by going to the movies.

After each tennis lesson I would go stand outside of the Tennis courts which at that time were on the Beverly Drive side of the Hotel...(after that major renovation in the late '90's they were moved to a somewhat different area)...and I would wait out there to be picked up by my mother or my sister or my brother. I had not learned to drive yet. That was to come in my 16th year where I was part of the first 'Girls Driver Training' class offered by our High School. Unbelievable, isn't it that back then they didn't teach girls to drive in school, till the fall of 1947...?

Anyway...I would stand out there in my stupid tennis clothes...all hot and sweatty and watch the cars go by that came down that street from the Hills of Beverly, all of them going down to Sunset Blvd. on their way to somewhere. One day, as I stood there waiting, this gorgeous powder blue Lincoln Continental Convertible came down the street and I looked because this was such a beautiful car...and lo and behold, driving this car was a man in a powder blue sweater....and it was the simply gorgeous sexy movie star, Glenn Ford! I was in heaven!


Part of the great thing about being in Los Angeles for that whole summer was the opportunity to 'see the stars'....Now, I didn't see very many, but I did get to see a few. And the very attractive Mr. Ford was one if them and I had a terrible crush on him, you see. I thought about this yesterday because Glenn Ford died on Wednesday afternoon here in Beverly Hills where he lived. He was 90 years old, having celebrated this milestone birthday in May of this year, though I understand he was not well enough to attend this huge tribute to him held at The Egyptian Theatre here in Hollywood and arranged by The American Cinematique. The theatre was packed from what I heard. Packed to the rafters, as they say....


My darling friend Earl Holliman had been at this special Birthday Celebaration for Glenn Ford because he had worked with him in a film back in the day, and they were good friends....and Earl had told me about it when he visited me one day in late May. (I keep urging Earl to write his autobiography....what a career he has had---spanning the Studio System back in the early '50's to today... Earl, like Glenn Ford, is a very underated actor....in point of fact, he is a wonderful wonderful actor...)

Glenn Ford never won an Oscar and in fact probably was so underated because he made it look so easy... it's true, he always played versions of himself...not 'characters' like say Lawrence Olivier played...but, they were always full-out people...there were some very wonderful pictures in his 85 films..."The Blackboard Jungle", which just happened to be on, on Wednesday night, the night of the afternoon he died---probably his most important picture---on Turner Classic Movies as part of their Sidney Poitier Day...it's amazing but in this 'original' art work, Sidney Potier doesn't even have billing....But, it was one of his early films that helped to make him the great star he became....

Another great Glenn Ford favorite was the Film Noirish "Gilda", 1946, one of the three films he made with Rita Hayworth...I think this is the film that most people remember him for...(this was my---I've-got-a-crush on-him-film....) and remember Rita Hayworth's fabulous rendition of "Put The Blame On Mame, Boys"....this was a sizzling sexy HOT film for it's time...I mean the chemistry---the sexual energy---between those two actors was palapable...! Oy My! And Glenn Ford combined for me just about everything I would want in a man. He was terribly good looking; sexy; sensitive; vulnerable; and tough! Mmmmmm! A winning combination of elements in one man, if ever there was one.

William Holden & Glenn Ford were great friends...at least that is what we were told in all the magazines of the day...and quite honestly I chose to believe this because William Holden was another actor that knocked my socks off...a gorgeous talented sexy man, too...And these two guys made at least two pictures together and possibly more. ("Texes", 1941 and "The Man Fromn Colorado", 1948). But Holden's career took him to greater heights with some of the films that established his 'star' in a way that Ford's films never did. Even though he made pictures with all the great leading ladies of the day, including Bette Davis, in "A Stolen Life". The luck of the draw, I tell you...Hollywood is a strange fickle place...that anyone survives at all, and then endures, is a true miracle....

It made me very very sad to read that Glenn Ford had died.
Another "STAR" of that glorious period in films that is long gone but is revered and respected even today, especially by that fantastic Turner Classic Movies Channel and the wonderful Robert Osbourne who's integrity, knowledge, love and obsession with The Great Films of The Past, reminds us all that these films are our Artistic Treasures and we must embrace them and love them and introduce them to the generations that follow...trust me on this....They should be loved and cared for and seen, again and again and again, especially by students of the film....(And Thank God, Ted Turner loved the movies as much as he did...thus, this fabulous channel....)


I hope that Turner Classics Movies does a "tribute day" to Glenn Ford...he deserves this, and more...And here it is, almost 60 years after the fact and I can still remember the thrill of that 20 seconds or so of seeing Glenn Ford, MOVIE STAR, 'in person', driving past me in that gorgeous movie star car as I stood on the curb outside The Beverly Hills Hotel in July of 1947....

Rest well dear Mr. Ford. You enriched my life in ways you never knew. But I knew. And I know. And I will never forget. And not just the romantic films or the romantic-thriller films either. But here's an out an out 'thriller' film of Glenn Ford's that everyone should see. "Experiment In Terror", 1963. The benchmark for scaring an audience with the use of music and breathing...waaaaay before it's time. Rent that, and be thrilled by the score by Henry Mancini and by all the actors...not the least of which is the wonderful Glenn Ford! He made 85 films and appeared in numerous television shows...he just never stopped working cause he loved his work and did it better than 'well'. Others, I am sure, will remember different films and be thrilled by them...Like "Pocket Full Of Miracles", "The Courtship Of Eddie's Father"...."Teahouse Of The August Moon", to name just a few....But I singled out the ones that were meaningful to me....and there was one other film. It was a romantic-drama. It wasn't a great movie by any means...but, there was something about it. And to be honest, I'm not sure what it was....Maybe it was just that I LOVED looking at Glenn Ford....this film was MGM's "The Doctor And The Girl", 1949....like I said, it wasn't a particulaly memorable film, except to me...I know this, though...whatever it was, Glenn Ford always gave his all and it never looked like 'work'. Plus, the man was real real easy on the eyes....and that, combined with his talen, went a long long way to his having a very long career in his chosen profession...Just look at this picture below....A Beautiful Man, I tell you.... Yes, He sure was one great looking guy....and a fine fine actor, to boot!




More To Come......







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40 Comments:
had this to say:

Oh. My. Goodness! What an interesting life! I've always wanted to go to Hollywood. The closest I came was Hollywood, Florida LOL

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 2:48:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Joared
had this to say:

Yes, I agree. I, too, enjoyed many of the films in which Glenn Ford appeared. I especially liked "Teahouse of the August Moon."

But then, I've also always been more attracted to many character actors, men and women, leading men who never won much recognition with awards. To my way of thinking they are the true actors of the profession.

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 3:24:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Michele sent me over, Naomi. Hi! BTW, it's 4am over there, isn't it??? Sleep!

I haven't seen much of Glenn Ford. I've not seen Gilda so I don't know about how he appeared there. I have seen Blackboard Jungle and Pocketful of Miracles and he sure did a great job in those movies. For some reason Sam Neil's face reminds me of Glenn Ford.

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 4:04:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow... NO WONDER you love movies and theatre so much... It was "raised" in you. Such stories from a front row seat.

I've met many celebrities too as a casino dealer for so many years, but these days unfortunately, you're more dissapointed than pleased.

Your so educated Lady... thanks for sharing... so many deaths to report lately... and each one so important, but isn't it funny...

Those who grew up in stature and glamour report different ones, and some who grew up in simple means find others noteworthy. Thank goodness, between us all, everyone gets remembered :)

I learn so much reading blogs :)

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 5:03:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Thank you for visiting my bloggie. Rascal gived me your message. My mom says the comment problem is cuz blogger and blogger beta don't like to talk to each other. You hafta leave a comment as anonymouse until they fix it.

Catzee

P.S. My Mom really likes your blog.

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 5:26:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous the fat lady
had this to say:

Wag that I am, my fovorite Ford flick is "Don't Go Near the Water". Who could ever forget Glenn's trials and tribulations with able-bodied seaman Farragut Jones? That film is as relevant today as when it was made. Perhaps now that he has relocated to Pearly Gates Estates, he will be rediscovered by the "cineasts".Ditto grossly underrated director Charles Walters.

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 6:09:00 AM PDT 

Blogger mar
had this to say:

It was sad to hear about his departure...not only because he belongs to that very special generation of actors...he deserves all the tributes he didn't get while he was alive. He might get a special Oscar now that he is gone, but:couldn't the Academy remember these wonderful actors and actresses who hare leaving us because of old age and finally offer the Oscar tribute while they are still alive??? How wonderful you have that great memory of seeing him for 20 secs!!!

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 6:44:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

i loved reading your post! i only know glenn ford from his movies. it sure was nice to know that he was a great guy even when the cameras stopped rolling. ;)

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 7:18:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

That was very interesting about Glenn Ford's career and your seeing him back then. I can't say I was a huge Ford fan although I liked what I heard about him as a person and he certainly made some good films; but oh my, you know Earl Holliman! Now that is an actor I always enjoyed in anything I saw. He was great in Police Woman but anytime anywhere I have seen he was going to be in something I know I would enjoy his performance. He had a rodeo series for awhile, where he played one of two brothers. That was back in the days I watched TV series and tried to never miss that one. He is and I am sure still would be one sexy guy in any part he played.

You have indeed led an interesting life and from the sounds of it still are :)

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 7:28:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What an amazing run at life this guy had! I think every generation knows Glenn Ford...or at least of his work.
Wonderful tribute Naomi!

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 8:17:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

You are right Naomi, he was one good looking man!! I can imagine how thrilled you were to see him back all those years ago!! What a memory! This is one actor that I certainly remember. Great post as usual dear Naomi!!

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 8:45:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Just great post, Naomi! I also loved so much Glenn Ford, he was a handsome men and a good actor! In all my life I only made one single album of actor’s photos, and this album and memo was of Glenn Ford. Believe me, till today I have this album, an old notebook, with spiral, where I glue the photos of Glenn Ford. When cleaning closets, shelves and drawers I did not the courage to throw away this notebook. It's made a part and it was the witness of my youth and teenager's years. So, I love your memories about Glenn Ford and you are so lucky to had the opportunity to see him in person!
Love alse the photos! Thanks for sharing this moving post!

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 9:15:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I loved Glenn Ford, Naomi. Teahouse was one of my favorites, and Gilda too.

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 9:43:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Beautiful tribute to him. I've always liked him.

When I watched the Emmy's and saw how many good actors we lost this year. Just so hard to say goodbye to such talent.

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 10:17:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I knew I could count on you to do a great tribute to Glenn Ford!! I enjoyed reading all of it!.. how lucky are you to have seen him in person! woohoo!.. bet that made for some fun dreams!

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 10:49:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I just love the old movies, probably because my mom always insisted I watch "old" movies because they don't make them like that anymore. Every one of those movies you listed, I saw. My favorite was Courtship of Eddie's Father. Pretty soon, we will have no more of those wonderful actors left, if we don't already.

Your stories are wonderful. You should publish as well! I just love reading everything you write. One day, we must meet my friend. And tell my crush, Mr. Holliman, I'm still swooning. lol.

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 12:30:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

And to think you SAW him with your own two eyes that day years ago.
85 films. What a wonderful career.
I always appreciate actors who make acting look so easy. They seem so natural and nothing is overdone or fake when they do it. It's those kinds of actors that make you forget you are watching a movie. You get invested in the character and for just a short time, it seems like their character is real.

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 1:15:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hey Naomi - you have such a history - I think you should write a book too.

I always liked Glenn Ford in movies through the years. When I heard he had passed this week - it was with a pang for the passage of time.

Oh Naomi - I LOVED - Wicked - it was grand. So moving - so unique.

Take care dear one - S

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 2:59:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I always thought Glenn Ford was an amazing actor and good looking, too!
Yes, he was even older than my grandparents, but hey! Even someone as young as I can appreciate a good-looker like him!

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 4:57:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great story, Naomi. Imagine turning 16 in Hollywood when Hollywood was in it's hey day. Such memories you have and thanks for sharing them with us.
And what a nice tribute to Glenn Ford. He really was a classic actor. It's sad that so many of that calliber are passing away.

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 5:25:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Loved this post, Naomi, and loved Glenn Ford! Believe it or not, Kendall and I just came from the Beverly Hills Hotel where we were lunching at the Polo Lounge for my birthday. Didn't see any movie stars driving by in their cars but at least we were sitting next to George Hamilton in the Polo Lounge!

I love so many of Ford's films. You only need to say the title "Put the Blame on Mame, Boys" and I get a little woozy. The next time anyone calls someone like Paris Hilton a sex symbol they need to have a lobotomy and then go see "Gilda."

I have to admit that I love "Pocketful of Miracles" and "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" even though they weren't Glenn Ford's most "serious" films. But those films always make me cry!

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 5:33:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a full life you've led. My wife told me I would like you and your blog. I looked last night and I like your garden, but I didn't leave a comment becuase I had not quite finished setting up my own blog. I look forward to reading more of your stories and seeing more of your garden.

As for Glenn Ford, I went to his imbd filmogrophy to try to find the name of a World War II film I thought I saw him in and liked a long time ago, but I couldn't find it. I'm still looking.

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 5:56:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful tribute. Glenn Ford was in so many great movies. I love all of those old movies and I hope that TCM will do a day of Glenn Ford movies.

I loved the story about you seeing him on that day outside the Beverly Hills Hotel in that powder blue convertable.

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 7:35:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

That was a beautiful tribute of Glen Ford. I remember him in so many pictures that my dad and mom always brought us with them. I started to like him even in my teens already.

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 10:21:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

A very wonderful tribute. I was actually shocked to read it, because I didn't hear that Glenn Ford had died. I guess this is what happens when you have a 2 year old and the only tv you see is Blues Clues and The Wiggles...

I loved Glenn Ford in Blackboard Jungle!!! That was an incredible film. Way ahead of it's time too, I think, for the way it dealt with the subject matter.

You recollection of seeing him that day so many years ago was really nice to read too. I have had similar experiences to this in Sydney, and it really is a moment of magic, isn't it, when you're so young and starstruck and to see someone like that in the flesh...!!! Kinda wears off though, after you get a bit older (well, did for me anyway...).

Thanks again for sharing. Great post!

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 10:32:00 PM PDT 

Blogger Dee
had this to say:

All I can say is, WOW. What a great tribute to a great actor. I loved him in the westerns. I thought he made a better cowboy then John Wayne. I liked him in YUMA and he did Texas with Holden, another fine actor. OH, and Earl Holliman is one of the greatest character actors ever.
He was so handsome and in so many great movies. Actors like these are why I love Turner Classic movies. *s*

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 11:38:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful tribute you have paid to him in your post. It is funny how people can touch your life and they never know.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I will have a new post up soon but at the moment my life is completely up in the air and I cannot find the energy to put together a post. I am visiting other peoples though. I do hope you are well adn enjoying your wonderful garden. With all the wet and warm weather we have had here my garden is turning into a bit of a jungle!

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 4:44:00 AM PDT 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

What a wonderful tribute. My dad loves westerns and Glen Ford is one of his favorites. I would hope that they will give him an honorary lifetime award at the Oscars, although "shame on them" for not already doing so.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 9:06:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a lovely tribute. Thanks for sharing your memories and insights.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 10:31:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I totally agree. Mr. Ford was everything an actor should be and a whole lot more.
I was in love with him too, as were all of my girlfriends.
You have certainly had an interesting life, and to be living right there where its all happening!
I still have a few old movie mag's around here someplace. My mom used to buy them and we read of the actors and actresses and their incredible lives.
When I was 57 I finally went to Hollywood with my daughters. It was like a dream come true for me, except for the flat tire we got as we entered the town.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 12:05:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Sweet Naomi. It's such a pleasureto catch up with you! I've always enjoyed Glenn Ford--esp Teahouse of the Auguwst Moon, and I loved your retrospective. Your posts are especially wonderful because they are first person---YOU were there in the day!

Snodgrass sounds like a made-up name---sort of like Plotnik or Goodbody. Anway, thanks for sharing the pics and the story!

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 12:24:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

What a great post about Glenn Ford - I felt the same way about him as you did! Not only a great actor but sexy also..I would just drool over him as a teenager! Cathy

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 12:53:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Snodgrass is NOT a made-up name! I used to date one in college!

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 3:31:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

A classic! The car and the man.

Naomi, I hope you have a good back up for your posts and/or are printing them out because it could become your book.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 9:13:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow that was incredible thank you Naomi.. I love reading your posts, they are so informative and delivered with such great sensitivity, it is great to hear a real view of Hollywood from someone who knows it and lives it. It makes an excellent learning experience :)
Tanya x

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 10:55:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh, the Cocoanut Grove. I wish the age of night spots like that was still here. I was too young to have visited those places.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 at 10:23:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I was saddened when I heard he had passed. I enjoyed many of his films. And for his time, quite a *hottie*! LOL

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 at 2:10:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

He was a rock solid guy. If Hollywood were a swing band, he'd be in the rhythm section, playing bass, holding the whole thing together. Beautiful, beautiful tribute to this scoutmaster/teacher/neighbor/shipmate/lounge lizard/powder blue sweater man par excellence!

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 at 2:39:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, you just tell the best stories! I don't know Glenn Ford -- I've heard of him, but I guess he was a little bit before my time, as I don't remember any of these films either. BUT... I still enjoyed reading what you had to say about him! And I was trying to think back to "who" would have been MY Glenn Ford... and the only ones I can really think off the top of my head would have to be either Robert Redford / Paul Newman I guess. But I never got to "see" either one of them!!! LOL! What a great memory for you!

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 at 6:58:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Awwww, I didn't know that he died. :(
He was 1 of those stars who was forever young, I would've guessed his age in the 70s, not 90! I'm glad he was honored.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 at 7:37:00 PM PDT 

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