Francis Ford (actor): Actor, film director (1881 - 1953) | Biography
peoplepill id: francis-ford
1 views today
1 views this week
Francis Ford (actor)
Actor, film director

Francis Ford (actor)

Francis Ford (actor)
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Actor, film director
Was Actor Film director Screenwriter
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 14 August 1881, Portland
Death 5 September 1953, Los Angeles (aged 72 years)
Star sign Leo
Children: Philip Ford
The details (from wikipedia)


Francis Ford (born Francis Feeney, August 14, 1881 – September 5, 1953) was an American film actor, writer and director. He was the mentor and elder brother of film director John Ford. He also appeared in many of the latter's movies, including Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) and The Quiet Man (1952).


Francis Ford was born 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 saloon, at 42 Center Street, that used a false front to pose as grocery store. John opened four others in following years.

After service in the United States Army in the Spanish–American War, Francis left home. He drifted into the film business in New York City, working for David Horsley, Al Christie and the Star Film Company's San Antonio operation under Gaston Méliès. He adopted the name Ford from the automobile. From San Antonio, Francis began his Hollywood career working for Thomas H. Ince at Ince's Bison studio, directing and appearing in westerns.

Francis Ford's younger brother, John M. Feeney, was a successful fullback and defensive tackle on a Portland High state championship football team, nicknamed "Bull". In 1914, "Bull" followed Francis to Hollywood, changed his name to John Ford and eventually surpassing his elder brother's considerable reputation.

Francis Ford's son, Philip Ford, was also a film actor/director.

Production still of the cast and crew of the Universal silent serial The Broken Coin (1915). Grace Cunard and Francis Ford are in the center on the throne, the young actress Gertrude Short is seated on the floor in front of Miss Cunard, and John Ford is third from the left. A Pathé motion picture camera is on the right in front the cameraman, most probably Harry McGuire Stanley.


Ford may have acted in over 400 films, with many of his early credits poorly documented and probably lost.

Ambitious and prolific, in Ford's early work he cast himself as George Armstrong Custer, Sherlock Holmes (with his younger brother as Dr. Watson) and Abraham Lincoln, a role in which he specialized. By 1912, Ford was directing alongside Thomas Ince. It rapidly became clear that Ince was routinely taking credit for Ford's work, so Ford moved to Universal in early 1913. His 1913 Lucille Love, Girl of Mystery was Universal's first serial, and the first of a string of very popular serials starring Ford's collaborator and lover Grace Cunard. The 1915 serial The Broken Coin was expanded from 15 to 22 episodes by popular demand, probably the height of Ford's career.

In 1917, Ford founded a short-lived independent company, Fordart Films, which released the 1918 Berlin via America with Phil Kelly, and briefly opened his own studio at Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street. At the same time, Ford mentored his younger brother, collaborating frequently as writers, directors and actors in each other's projects, but as early as 1917, it was clear that John's star was on the rise. Frank's directorial style remained suitable for serials, but failed to evolve. Ford's final known directoral credit is for the 1928 The Call of the Heart, a 50-minute vehicle for "Dynamite the Devil Dog".

The Ford brothers were, at the best of times, critical of each other and sometimes sharply antagonistic. Ford wrote an unpublished memoir in 1934 called Up and Down the Ladder which is "filled with bitter and sometimes heartrending complaints about how old-timers who had helped create the industry had been shunted aside by younger men."

From the late 1920s, and for the next two decades, Ford sustained a career as a grizzled character actor and bit player. He is often uncredited, as in his appearance in James Whale's 1931 Frankenstein. Among his most memorable roles was that of the demented old man in The Ox-Bow Incident (1943).

Partial filmography

  • The Immortal Alamo - short - Navarre (1911)
  • The Deserter (actor, 1912)
  • Custer's Last Fight (actor and director, 1912)
  • The Post Telegrapher (director, 1912)
  • The Invaders (actor and director, 1912)
  • When Lincoln Paid (actor and director, 1913)
  • Lucille Love, Girl of Mystery (writer, director and star, 15-episode serial, 1914)
  • The Adventures of Shorty (director, 1914), and some of the subsequent "Shorty" two-reelers through 1917
  • A Study in Scarlet (actor and director, 1914)
  • The Broken Coin (actor and director, 22-episode serial, 1915)
  • The Adventures of Peg o' the Ring (actor and director, 15-episode serial, 1916)
  • The Bandit's Wager (director, 1916)
  • John Ermine of Yellowstone (director, 1917)
  • The Dazzling Miss Davison (actor, 1917)
  • Motherhood (actor, 1917)
  • The Greater Woman (actor, 1917)
  • The Mirror (actor, 1917)
  • The Tornado (writer, 1917)
  • The Craving (writer, director and star, 1918)
  • The Silent Mystery (actor and director, 15-episode serial, 1918)
  • Berlin via America (director, 1918)
  • The Mystery of 13 (actor and director, 15-episode serial, 1919)
  • Thunderbolt Jack (director, 10-episode serial, 1920)
  • The Great Reward (director, producer, star, 15-episode serial, 1921)
  • Action (actor, 1921)
  • The Village Blacksmith (actor, 1922)
  • Three Jumps Ahead (actor, 1923)
  • The Fighting Skipper (actor and director, 15-episode serial, 1923)
  • Hearts of Oak (actor, 1924)
  • Soft Shoes (actor, 1925)
  • The Taming of the West (1925)
  • Perils of the Wild (director, 15-episode serial, 1925)
  • The Fighting Heart (actor, 1925)
  • The Red Rider - Brown Bear (1925)
  • The Winking Idol (director, 10-chapter serial, 1926)
  • Officer 444 (writer and director, 10-episode serial, 1926)
  • Upstream (actor, 1927)
  • The Heart of Maryland (actor, 1927)
  • The Wreck of the Hesperus (actor, 1927)
  • The Trail of '98 (actor, 1928)
  • The Call of the Heart (director, 1928)
  • The Black Watch - Maj. MacGregor (uncredited) (1929)
  • The Jade Box (actor, 10-chapter serial, 1930)
  • Seas Beneath - Eric (Captain of Trawler) (uncredited) (1931)
  • A Free Soul (actor, 1931)
  • Frankenstein (actor, 1931) (uncredited)
  • Heroes of the West (actor, 12-chapter serial, 1932)
  • The Jungle Mystery (actor, 12-chapter serial, 1932)
  • Scarface - Prison Guard (alternative ending) (uncredited) (1932)
  • Destry Rides Again (actor, 1932)
  • The Lost Special (actor, 12-chapter serial, 1932)
  • Charlie Chan's Greatest Case (actor, 1933)
  • Clancy of the Mounted (actor, 12-chapter serial, 1933)
  • Gordon of Ghost City (actor, 12-chapter serial, 1933)
  • The Man from Monterey - Don Pablo Gonzales (1933)
  • Roman Scandals (actor, 1933)
  • Pilgrimage (actor, 1933)
  • Judge Priest (actor, 1934)
  • Murder in Trinidad (actor, 1934)
  • Cheaters (actor, 1934)
  • Charlie Chan's Courage (actor, 1934)
  • Pirate Treasure - Dick's Friend at the Airfield (1934)
  • Paris in Spring (actor, 1935)
  • The Arizonian (actor, 1935)
  • The Informer - 'Judge' Flynn (1935)
  • Steamboat Round the Bend (actor, 1935)
  • Gentle Julia (1936)
  • The Prisoner of Shark Island (actor, 1936)
  • Charlie Chan at the Circus (actor, 1936)
  • The Plainsman (actor, 1936)
  • Paddy O'Day (actor, 1936)
  • Slave Ship (actor, 1937)
  • The Prisoner of Zenda (actor, 1937)
  • Last Train from Madrid (actor, 1937)
  • A Star Is Born - William Gregory (uncredited) (1937)
  • The Texans (actor, 1938)
  • In Old Chicago (actor, 1938)
  • Kentucky Moonshine (actor, 1938)
  • The Great Waltz (actor, 1938)
  • Stagecoach - Billy Pickett (uncredited) (1939)
  • Geronimo - Scout (uncredited) (1939)
  • Drums Along the Mohawk - Joe Boleo (1939)
  • Young Mr. Lincoln - Sam Boone (uncredited) (1939)
  • Diamond Frontier (actor, 1940)
  • The Grapes of Wrath (unconfirmed, uncredited) (1940)
  • Three Faces West - Farmer Bill (uncredited) (1940)
  • South of Pago Pago (actor, 1940)
  • They Died with Their Boots On - Veteran (uncredited) (1941)
  • Tobacco Road (actor, 1941)
  • The Last of the Duanes (actor, 1941)
  • Outlaws of Pine Ridge (actor, 1942)
  • Loves of Edgar Allan Poe (actor, 1942)
  • The Ox-Bow Incident (actor, 1943)
  • Jitterbugs (actor, 1943)
  • The Big Noise (actor, 1944)
  • Bowery Champs (actor, 1944)
  • Wilson - Hughes Campaign Orator (uncredited) (1944)
  • The Princess and the Pirate - Drunken Pirate (uncredited) (1944)
  • Wildfire (actor, 1945)
  • Hangover Square (actor, 1945)
  • My Darling Clementine - Dad (Old Soldier) (uncredited) (1946)
  • Accomplice (actor, 1946)
  • Driftwood (actor, 1947)
  • Unconquered - Frontiersman on Fort Pitt Roof (uncredited) (1947)
  • Fort Apache - Fen (Stage Guard) (uncredited) (1948)
  • 3 Godfathers - Drunken Old-Timer at Bar (uncredited) (1948)
  • Eyes of Texas (actor, 1948)
  • The Plunderers (actor, 1948)
  • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon - Connelly (Fort Stark Suttlers Barman) (uncredited) (1949)
  • Wagon Master - Mr. Peachtree (1950)
  • The Quiet Man - Dan Tobin (1952)
  • The Sun Shines Bright (actor, 1953)


  • The Lone Ranger - episode "Gold Fever" - Sam Dingle (1950)
  • The Living Bible - TV series - Samaritan Leper (1952)

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
Search trend
comments so far.
From our partners
Sections Francis Ford (actor)

arrow-left arrow-right instagram whatsapp myspace quora soundcloud spotify tumblr vk website youtube pandora tunein iheart itunes