Saturday, September 02, 2006

Glenn Ford, a Hollywood Hero, RIP

Hat tip: Argghhh! The Home Of Two Of Jonah's Military Guys.. Glenn Ford, born in Canada, naturalized citizen and leading man, was also a patriot, serving his country during three wars. This, from NNDB. May he rest in peace.

He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1939, and served in two wars. In 1941, months before Pearl Harbor was attacked, Ford joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary, where he was on duty some evenings and occasional weekends. Already a movie star, he asked for "regular duty", to be treated as one of the guys, not a celebrity. He later put his acting career on hold to fight in World War II, serving in the U.S. Marines from 1943-45 and seeing action in the Pacific. When he was discharged he signed up with the U.S. Naval Reserves, where he served for decades, rising to the rank of captain. He visited U.S. troops in Korea and Vietnam on well-publicized morale-building trips during those wars. And in a 1993 interview Ford confided that he had also been sent on five secret missions into Vietnam during that war. Asked for details, all he would say was, "They asked me to go, and I went".

Ford also signed on with the French Foreign Legion, while filming The Green Glove in Europe in 1952. He went out for a night of heavy drinking and the next morning discovered he had joined. After four days of arguments and apologies, he got out of it when the film's producer explained to a Legion officer that if they kept Ford, the movie would have to cease production, and about 150 Frenchmen would be out of work.

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