Wallace Ford

D.O.B: Feb 12, 1898 |  Bolton, Lancashire, England, UK

52Credit Score

A stocky, friendly-faced character actor, Ford was born Samuel Jones in England and his childhood rivaled the brutality that Charles Dickens ever dreamed up. He lived for a while in an orphanage after being separated from his parents.

Biography

A stocky, friendly-faced character actor, Ford was born Samuel Jones in England and his childhood rivaled the brutality that Charles Dickens ever dreamed up. He lived for a while in an orphanage after being separated from his parents. While still young, he was sent to a Toronto branch of the orphanage. There, he began a cycle that involved living in 17 foster homes - the longest being with a farm family that treated him like a slave. At age 11 he ran away and joined a vaudeville troupe called the Winnepeg Kiddies, with whom he stayed until 1914. He then joined a friend named Wallace Ford and the two hoboed their way into the United States. After the friend was crushed to death by a railroad car, he took the name Wallace Ford in his memory and found work in theatrical troupes and repertory companies. On Broadway he acted in Abraham Lincoln, Abies Irish Rose, and Bad Girl. He left Broadway in 1932 to appear with Joan Crawford in Possessed (1931); he also landed the lead in MGMs notorious Freaks (1932), although his fellow actors proved more memorable. He also co-starred as Walter Hustons amoral brother in one of the studios few full blow gangster melodramas, The Beast of the City (1932), starring Jean Harlow in arguably her most hard-bitten role. In all he appeared in over 200 films including five directed by John Ford (The Last Hurrah (1958), The Whole Towns Talking (1935), They Were Expendable (1945), The Lost Patrol (1934) and The Informer (1935)). He also appeared with Henry Fonda in the TV series, The Deputy that ran from 1959-60.