Francis Ford (1881-1953)

Francis Ford (August 14, 1881 – September 5, 1953) was a prolific film actor, writer, and director. He was the older brother of film director John Ford. He also appeared in many of John Ford’s movies, including Young Mr. Lincoln and The Quiet Man . He starred in the 1912 two-reeler The Deserter by Thomas H. Ince and acted in over 400 films. He made his directorial debut alongside fellow Hollywood director Thomas H. Ince the same year with the Western dramatic short The Post Telegrapher, starring Ann Little and popular child actress Mildred Harris. Among his most memorable roles is that of the demented old man in The Ox-Bow Incident (1943). Francis Ford was born Francis Feeney in Portland, Maine. He was the son of John A. Feeney, who was born in the village of Spiddal, County Galway, Ireland, on June 15, 1854. By 1878 John had moved to Portland, Maine and opened a grocery store, at 42 Center Street, that posed as a front for a saloon. John opened four others in following years. His saloons became gathering places where John would greet new immigrants, help them settle, find jobs, and register them as citizens and voters. Francis’s younger brother, John M. Feeney, was a successful fullback and defensive tackle on a Portland High state championship football team. He earned the nickname “Bull” because he would lower his leather helmet like a bull and charge through the line. Later Bull followed his older brother Francis to Hollywood, changed his name to John Ford and directed the classic Irish film, The Quiet Man among others (The Grapes of Wrath, Stagecoach, etc.). Francis’s son, Philip Ford, would also become a film director and actor.
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