John Ford (1894-1973) directed scores of memorable movies that feature countless scenes that linger in one’s memory. He is the only director to have won four Best Director Academy Awards, for The Informer (1935), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), How Green Was My Valley (1941), and The Quiet Man (1952).
There have been many biographies and film studies of John Ford and his motion pictures. There has never been a single volume devoted to the stock company of actors and actresses who worked for him, some continually, many intermittently, from his silent westerns of the ‘teens to his final films of the 1960s. This book spotlights 112 members of Ford’s fluid repertory company and includes a mini-chapter on each member of the troupe.
And it was a diverse group. One wrote three books on the Baha’i Faith religion; another boxed the heavyweight champion of the world to a draw; one eloped with Loretta Young when she was seventeen; one participated in the Yukon gold rush; a photograph of one player’s ear is the clublogo for a professional wrestling association; another taught Lucy how to jitterbug; one was a legendary undercover agent for the OSS in France during World War II; another was a member of the advisory board to the Bank of America concerning loans to the studios; two were rodeo world champions.
All of them, from obscure bit players to barely-remembered character actors to legendary film stars, made substantial contributions to Ford’s movie legacy.
About the Author
Bill Levy is the author of John Ford: A Bio-Bibliography and Beyond the Beach: The Wit and Wisdom of Nevil Shute. He has been writing his “Forgotten Gems” column on films of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s for New Jersey’s monthly senior publication, Fifty Plus, since 2001. He lives in Mendham, New Jersey. For further information, see his website: www.BillLevyShares.com.
"A fascinating survey of 112 regular players in the John Ford stock company of actors from the silent era on. There have been many biographies and film studies of John Ford (perhaps too many) but there has never been a book devoted to his diverse stock company of actors from bit players to established stars who so greatly enhanced his movies. A truly worthwhile reference read."
- Western Clippings
"Lest We Forget: The John Ford Stock Company by Bill Levy (available in paperback from BearManor Media) is invaluable because it puts helps put a name to the face of all those fine character actors who peopled the background of Ford’s films, and helps us get to know them a bit. To name a few: Willis Bouchey, Ruth Clifford, Mary Gordon, Noble Johnson, J. Farrell McDonald, Jack Pennick, John Qualen, and Hank Worden."
- Jordan R. Young, examiner.com
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