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Media Archives

This Media Archives page displays a number of significant Print / Radio and Television - Video appearances of Peter Ford, author of the biography Glenn Ford: A Life.  They are listed by date of occurrence:



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Date: April 11, 2011, Monday
Susan King’s article in the Los Angeles Times

Glenn Ford's son talks about his career:
Classic Hollywood -


Date: April, 2011
Feature article in Classic Images – April 2011

Classic Images article, page 1 (Click on the image below to see a larger view) or click here to read this entire article.

Peter Ford a story


May 1, 2011, Sunday
Library Journal

Ford, Peter. Glenn Ford: A Life. Univ. of Wisconsin. (Wisconsin Film Studies). Jun. 2011. c.344p. photogs. filmog. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780299281540. pap. $24.95. 

There have been several biographies of film stars written by their children; some are infamous, a few are influential, many are bitter, and others willingly embrace the mythology of the famous parent. Peter Ford’s biography of his father, the actor Glenn Ford, is a frank portrait of a conflicted man and a respected star of Golden Age Hollywood. Glenn lived long enough to witness both the steady decline of his fame and the deaths of many of his friends and colleagues and was, on a fundamental level, unable to open his life to his son. Peter succeeds in objectively revisiting his father’s life and work while peeling back without fear the painful layers in their mutual history. What emerges is a fascinating biography of an often overlooked actor who in his long career starred in many classic films, including Gilda, Blackboard Jungle, and 3:10 to Yuma. VERDICT This biography should rank with Maria Riva’s Marlene Dietrich as one of the best examples of a family biography and should appeal to film scholars and film fans alike.—Teri Shiel, Westfield State Univ. Lib., MA


Date: May 6, 2011, Friday
Internet book review


Date: July 3, Sunday
Moira Macdonald’s article in the Seattle Times


Date: August, 2011
The Cowboy from Quebec : Veteran cowboy actor Glenn Ford, as seen through the eyes of his son, Peter.
True West magazine

Date: November 17-24, 2011
His Father's Keeper:  Peter Ford's Glenn Ford: A Life: Son's New Book About His Celebrity Dad, With Dish on Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth and Judy Garland
L A Weekly magazine

LA weekly
A boy's life: Scenes from Peter Ford's childhood, with father
Glenn Ford
and mother Eleanor Powell

He had a one-night stand with Marilyn Monroe, a six-month fling with Judy Garland and a 40-year, on-and-off affair with Rita Hayworth.

After a 16-year marriage to film star Eleanor Powell, he married three more times, even as he chased a series of younger and younger women, gold diggers who plundered his hard-earned fortune and then left him.

He developed a drinking problem so severe that it nearly killed him. For a decade before he died, in 2006 at age 90, he was unable to walk.

And he tape-recorded the most famous taper in history: The secret telephone recording system he installed in his Beverly Hills mansion recorded intimate conversations with his many Hollywood lovers (143 at last count) and some big-time politicians, including President Richard Nixon.

Those are just a few of the juicy revelations in a biography bearing the remarkably understated title Glenn Ford: A Life, written by Ford's son, Peter, and released last May. And Peter Ford has the documents to back them up: Every letter his parents exchanged, every one of his father's day-by-day diaries and boxes of reel-to-reel tapes from his secret phone recording system.

"I found one labeled 'Peter's conversations,'" Ford tells the Weekly. Although he was offended by his father's invasion of privacy, he admits: "It was kind of fun to listen to myself as a teenager."

Books written by children of Hollywood legends have become a literary genre all their own over the last 40 years. There are three basic subgenres: Daddy was a drunken tyrant who beat the hell out of me (Bing Crosby); Mommy was a drunken monster who tried to control every aspect of my life (Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich); and Daddy was a wonderful man in every way, and anyone who says he was gay doesn't know what they're talking about (Cary Grant).

Now Ford, the only child of Glenn Ford, has invented a new subgenre: Daddy drank way too much and cheated constantly on my beloved mother -- but was still a great actor and did the best he could, given his incredible journey from a no-luxuries upbringing in Santa Monica to a no-limits life as a 1950s Hollywood star.

"I had to walk a fine line between telling the truth and not discrediting my father," Ford says of his seven-year struggle to turn out the manuscript.

His approach resulted in a deeply nuanced portrait of a real human being, with Ford's strengths and weaknesses laid bare. It doesn't highlight the scandals he uncovered. Instead, they are revealed casually, as afterthoughts in the narrative that flows from his father's California childhood and his prime adult years to his brutal old age.

Nor does the book supply the vicarious primal emotions of emotional patricide and long-awaited revenge that can generate mass-media book reviews and a place on the New York Times best-seller list. Although Peter Ford's book has sold more than 5,000 copies since its release by the University of Wisconsin Press, it has been all but ignored by the mainstream press.

That's why Ford was at the Beverly Hills Library on a recent Sunday, answering questions after a screening of one of his father's classic films, Blackboard Jungle.

It was roles like that film's idealistic, straight-laced teacher, as well as idealistic, straight-laced police detective Dave Bannion, who takes on a corrupt city government in 1953'sThe Big Heat, that helped establish Ford's public persona: a good-guy gentleman with a steel backbone, an ordinary man forced into heroic action by extraordinary circumstances.

Without a script, however, Ford was a self-absorbed man who loved his liquor, could be short-tempered and tight with a buck, and was driven by an unsuccessful quest for lasting love.

"The image Glenn projected on the screen was not like him at all in private life," says Vicki Dugan, an actress who dated Ford in the 1960s and showed up at Sunday's event on her own initiative. "He was exactly the opposite."

As Peter Ford tells it, he was a lonely child who longed for a normal relationship with a normal dad. He finally came to grips with the reality that it was never to be, when his father broke a promise and failed to show up at his high school graduation.

"Being the child of a Hollywood star is a killing field, filled with suicides and drug addicts," says the bearlike Ford. An imposing 6 foot 2 and 250 pounds, he has his father's chiseled good looks and great hair. "I finally realized I couldn't keep hoping against hope for what would never happen."

After that epiphany, father and son became more like brothers. As Peter ventured into music and films, he often accompanied his father on set, where he had minor roles; he also worked with his father on dialogue and served as a carousing companion when his father was between women.

But in the mid-70s, as the elder Ford acquired yet another new, young wife, the pair became estranged for more than a decade. Peter left showbiz to become a contractor, building homes for the rich and famous in L.A. But in the mid-'80s, devastated by the loss of the sexy wife he'd been so proud of, Glenn Ford invited his son and wife Lynda -- who will celebrate their 41st wedding anniversary next month -- back into his life.

The couple moved back into Ford's mansion roughly 10 years later to care for him. (They live there still today.) The once-virile man was confined to a bed and wheelchair, overtaken by mental and physical problems that kept him from leaving the house. Glenn grew progressively worse for a decade, until he finally died in 2006.

The more than 75 fans at the Beverly Hills Library auditorium were spellbound by Peter's summary of his father's life. During the Q&A, he was urged to write a biography of his mother. (Powell actually was the bigger star -- Fred Astaire called her the best dancer in history, male or female -- when she married Ford in 1943.) Audience members also repeatedly prefaced their questions by mentioning their favorite Glenn Ford film.

Most often it was Gilda. An erotic noir thriller released in 1946, Gilda was such a box office hit that it elevated both Ford and his co-star, Rita Hayworth, from promising talents to full-fledged stars.

Although they had worked together before, it was Gilda that brought Hayworth into Ford's romantic life. The volatile passion on-screen was real: It was the start of a 40-year affair that eventually led Ford and Hayworth to side-by-side houses in Beverly Hills during the 1960s. Ford even had a gate cut into his back fence so that Hayworth wouldn't be seen visiting.

And Peter Ford adds a new wrinkle to their long-rumored affair: Ford got Hayworth pregnant while they were filming The Loves of Carmen in 1948, he says, but she went to Europe for an abortion.

The affair during the making of Gilda was the first time his father cheated on his mother, his son avers. In fact, the diaries reveal that, just a few months earlier, Ford had rejected the unsubtle advances of Bette Davis, who picked him out of the crowd of contract players to star alongside her in A Stolen Life.

The first mention of any affair in Peter Ford's book is on page 62, the first mention of Ford's alcoholism is on page 120 and the first mention of his secret phone taping system is on page 129.

At Sunday's event, Ford acknowledged he could have sold a lot more books by highlighting those scandals.

"I have no regrets," he says. "I wanted to tell the truth in a way that was cathartic for me. He was a very complex guy with a big dark side. But he was also a great actor."


Date: December 19, Monday, 2011
Henry C. Parke Henry’s Western Round-up

Henry's Western Round-up

The blog that brings you the latest news about western movies, TV, radio and print! Updated every weekend -- more often if anything good happens!


If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for a movie lover, may I suggest Peter Ford’s fascinating biography of his father, one of Hollywood’s greatest leading men, Glenn Ford. He appeared, almost always as the lead, in nearly eighty movies, two dozen of them Westerns, and if he never was nominated for an Oscar, or received a Lifetime Achievement Award, that is a failing of the Academy and the AFI, not the actor. Among his indelible performances were his roles in GILDA, THE BIG HEAT, COWBOY, 3:10 TO YUMA, BLACKBOARD JUNGLE, THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE’S FATHER, and THE ROUNDERS.

Biographies by offspring can be tricky. All too often they are up too close to write objectively, or imagine themselves of equal interest with their subject, or use the biographical form to settle scores. Also, they often can’t write worth a damn. But Peter Ford writes very well indeed, and manages to make his close-up perspective a plus rather than a detriment. And boy, does he have material to work with. In addition to his own observations, and interviews with many of his father’s friends, costars and coworkers, Glenn kept detailed diaries for his entire life, and frequently tape-recorded his thoughts. Incredibly, unbeknownst to son Peter at the time, dad hired a man to tap the house phones, so there are hundreds of hours of the conversations of Peter, his mother, and Glenn recorded! Moreover, Glenn was a good friend of then-President Richard Nixon – it’s kind of fun to know Nixon was being secretly taped by someone else for a change.

It’s not surprising that Glenn Ford married another movie star, the tap-dancing miracle known as Eleanor Powell. But what was unusual were their relative career positions. When wed, he was just establishing himself as a leading man. Eleanor, though only four years his senior, had been a top star for years, first in vaudeville, then in MGM musicals, and she gave that up to focus entirely on being a wife and mother. Peter found that in a way, she focused on motherhood too much, and his father, used to being the center of a woman’s attention, felt in competition with his own child.

While A LIFE is not a MOMMY DEAREST, it’s also not a whitewash. Although Peter had a better relationship with his father as an adult than as a child, that only began to happen after reaching a painful conclusion. “I made a conscious decision that I would no longer wish for a traditional father, one who would interact with me as I had always dreamed.” His relationship with his mother was much more satisfactory. “All I can say is that my mom was an even better mother than a dancer – and as a dancer she was unparalleled.”

Not that Glenn didn’t take an interest in his son’s betterment, but it often took strange forms. When he wanted Peter to learn about the birds and the bees, instead of having ‘the talk,’ he paid stuntman ‘Buzz’ Henry and his friends to initiate the fourteen-year-old. But the warm-up, showing the kid stag movies that included bestiality, so unnerved the kid that they never got him to the brothel. The job wouldn’t be completed until a few years later, with the help of Glenn Ford co-star Andrew Prine.

While it was not unusual for romances to happen between stars during the making of a movie, it would take this entire Round-up to list all the affairs that Ford engaged in with his leading ladies. But in the end, loyalty would win out and he would always go back – to Rita Hayworth. Their on-and-off involvement eventually became so obvious that she went ahead and bought the house next door, and put a gate between their back yards.

Glenn Ford’s career was unusual in many ways. He was under exclusive contract to a single studio, COLUMBIA PICTURES for decades, much longer than most stars of his stature. In some ways it was to his detriment, in that for years he took all the roles that Harry Cohn assigned, frequently appearing in films well below his talents. And sometimes he made mistakes when he did turn down parts. Two of the leads he nixed were great successes for his close friend William Holden; BORN YESTERDAY and PICNIC. Other disappointments were beyond his control – he was set to be the lead in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY until the original producer dropped dead.

He could be tremendously loyal. He hired Howard Clifton, who directed him in his early amateur theatrics, to be his dialogue director for decades. And his personal friends were often many years his senior; among his close pals on the set were Louis Calhern and Edgar Buchanan. One his favorite directors was George Marshall, and when starring in the series CADE’S COUNTY, Ford saw to it that his 80-year-old friend directed his first television show. “You know that man directed his first picture – ACROSS THE RIO GRANDE – in 1916. D.W. Griffith had just made THE BIRTH OF A NATION…. I wonder how many people working here today realize they’re looking at one of the people who invented the movies and this place called Hollywood.”

Much of Ford’s life in later years is tragic. After his divorce from Powell, and one normal marriage, and a series of affairs, his life was taken over by a series of women of a sort that is found in growing numbers in Hollywood: the controllers. These often attractive younger women (and sometimes men) specialize in insinuating themselves into the lives of wealthy fading stars, cutting them off from family and friends, and bleeding the bank accounts dry.

But overall, you leave the book with a smile, and a greater understanding of a man who was not only one of the finest actors to grace the silver screen, but one who could sit a horse better than any other – and that’s what every wrangler I’ve asked has told me. As Ford said, “If I could do whatever I wanted for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t do anything but westerns.”

‘GLENN FORD – A LIFE’ by Peter Ford, is published by the University of Wisconsin Press.



Date: May 4, 2011 Wednesday
Interview with Dick Dinman (six half-hour interviews)
Subject: A comprehensive look at Glenn Ford’s career



Date: May 13, Friday
Interview with Leonard Lopate on The Leonard Show  (12 minutes / NPR NYC)
Subject: Glenn Ford: A Life



Date: May 18, Wednesday
Interview with Tom Nichols on "Ask Your Neighbor" (32 minutes)

Website: none - KVRE - FM 92.9 in Hot Springs, Arkansas
Subject: Glenn Ford: A Life

note Click here to listen


Date: May 28, Saturday
Interview with Alex Ward on the Pink & Black Days Radio on Sirius-XM 50s on 5 (9:45 minutes)
Subject: A look back at Blackboard Jungle and “Rock Around the Clock”

note Click here to listen


Date: June 17, Friday
Interview with Joyce Barrie on Joyce Barrie & Friends (approximately 45 minutes)
Subject: Glenn Ford: A Life
note Click here to listen


Date: July 13, Wednesday
Event: Radio interview in-studio with Stuart Shostak (first two hours of a two-part program)
Subject: Glenn Ford: A Life and Peter Ford’s life as a movie star’s son Part 1
[see November 30, Wednesday for part 2]

noteClick here to listen


Date: July 19, Tuesday
Event: Radio interview with Greg Martin (one hour)
Website: [podcast]
Subject: Glenn Ford: A Life

noteClick her to listen


Date: August 4, Thursday
Interview with Dr. Terry Lovell (one hour)
Subject: Glenn Ford: A Life

note Click here to listen


Date: September 7, Wednesday
Interview with Dave White on "Dave White Presents" (approximately 30 minutes)
Subject: Glenn Ford: A Life

note Click here to listen


Date: October 3 -16, Monday - Sunday
"Baby Boomer Favorites with Jeanine Kasun" (one hour)
Website: [ The show  be posted as a FREE DOWNLOAD  It will be near the bottom of the main page and will be available starting Monday, October 3 until Sunday, October 16. To listen to the show, click the DOWNLOAD button and save the file to your computer, iPod, or other listening device.  Once downloaded, double-clicking on the file where you saved it should launch the show]                                                                     
Subject: A little Glenn Ford: A Life and a lot of R &B music history which is dear to Peter's heart

note Click here to listen

Date: November 30, Wednesday
Interview with Stuart Shostak (Part 2) (two hours)
Subject: Glenn Ford: A Life

note Click here to listen


Date: December 14, Wednesday
Interview with Ed Robertson (Part 1) Host / Producer (one hour)
TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
Also available as a podcast via iTunes  and FeedBurner  
Find us now on Facebook

Subject: Glenn Ford: A Life
note Click here to listen


Date: December 21, Wednesday
Interview with Bill Frank
KKZZ AM 1400 - Positive Talk Radio
Subject: Glenn Ford: A Life

note Click here to listen


Date: January 10, 2012, Tuesday
Interview with George Feltenstein on "Warner Archives" (38 minutes)
Subject: Glenn Ford: A Life

note Click here to listen


Date: January 11, 2012, Wednesday
Interview with Ed Robertson (Part 2) Host / Producer (16 minutes)
: A radio talk show about television
Also available as a podcast via iTunes  and FeedBurner  
Find us now on Facebook

Subject: Glenn Ford: A Life
note Click here to listen


Below is the Press Release issued for the book. Click on the image to download a .pdf version.

Book Press Release


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