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Ford, Francis, 1881-1953



  • Existence: 1881 - 1953

Biographical history

Francis Ford (1881-1953) was an American motion picture actor, director and writer. He was the elder brother and mentor of film director John Ford.

Born Francis Feeney on August 14, 1881, Francis grew up in Portland, Maine. After leaving home at an early age, Ford worked in vaudeville before working as an actor in motion pictures. Ford landed in San Antonio, TX to begin filming with Thomas H. Ince at Ince's Bison Studio, acting and by 1912 directing alongside Ince in westerns. Ford moved to Universal Pictures in early 1913. His 1913 film "Lucille Love, Girl of Mystery" was Universal's first serial, and the first of a string of popular serials starring Ford's collaborator Grace Cunard. This success catapulted him to the head of the Universal Film Manufacturing Company's shorts and serials department. In 1917, Ford founded a short-lived independent company, Fordart Films and briefly opened his own studio. After 1929 his career only continued as an actor, often playing bit parts and uncredited roles. Ford died on September 5, 1953.

McBride, Joseph. Searching for John Ford, c2011: p. 83 (Fordart Films Inc.)

Ford, Dan. Pappy, c1979: p. 6 (leaving home early; early work in vaudeville) p. 7 (early work in cinema) p. 12 (early cinema; success in serials at Universal) p. 15 (establishing short-lived Francis Ford Serial Company)

Gallagher, Tag. John Ford, c1986: p. 6 (leaving home early; early work in vaudeville) p. 8 (early career in cinema, including work with Ince)

Lucille Love, the girl of mystery. Series no. 6 [MP] 1914: credits (Francis Ford, produced by)

Katz, E. Film ency., c1979 (Francis Ford; b. Aug. 15, 1882 in Portland, Me.; d. 1953; actor, director and producer of silent films; real name, Francis O'Feeney, also known as Francis O'Fearna)

IMDb, October 20, 2017 (Francis Ford (1881-1953); born August 14, 1881 in Portland, Maine; died September 5, 1953 in Los Angeles, California; elder brother of the director John Ford and himself a screen director (and John's erstwhile mentor) until the advent of sound; he had also acted in his own films and those of other directors, but turned to acting exclusively circa 1929; birth name: Frank Thomas Feeney)

Find A Grave, via WWW, October 20, 2017 (Francis Joseph "Frank" Ford; original name: Francis Feeney; born August 14, 1881 in Portland, Cumberland County, Maine; died September 5, 1953 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California; director, actor and producer in early Hollywood; brother of John Ford; virtually none of Francis Ford's inexpensively produced films survive today; he worked very little after 1925; he did, however, have some very minor roles in his brother's movies--as Billy, the drunken stage keeper in 1939's "Stagecoach," and as Dad in 1946's "My Darling Clementine;" one of Ford's last roles was as the old man that was lynched in "The Ox-Bow Incident")

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Francis Ford photographs

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS 9151
Scope and Contents

Contains 168 photographs originally owned by Francis Ford. The photographs chronicle Francis Ford's career as an actor, director, and writer in the Hollywood silent movie industry. The photos date from 1901 through the 1940s with the greater number dating in the 1920s. during the active period of the Francis Ford Studios. Also contains a set of stills from various John Ford (Francis' younger brother) movies.

Dates: approximately 1900-1949