Glenn Ford (64) was released from Louisiana State Penitentiary on Tuesday 11th March. Wrongly convicted of the murder of a Shreveport jeweller in 1983, at the time of his release Ford had been in custody for 30 years – most of that time awaiting execution on Death Row.
Glenn Ford was a Hollywood star. In 1958 he topped the list of ‘Box Office champions’. Ford came to the attention of police when it was discovered he was keeping leghorn chickens in the grounds of his Beverly Hills mansion. The police ordered the removal of the chickens.
Louisiana State Penitentiary is a prison farm built next to the Mississippi River on the site of former slave plantations. (Also known as Angola – where the original slaves originated, the prison property is bigger than Manhattan.) Inmates pick cotton, grow food crops and keep livestock – except maximum security prisoners including those on Death Row, such as Glenn Ford, who are kept in their 8’ x 10’ cells 23 hours a day.The temperature in these cells exceeded 125 degrees on 85 days between May and September 2011.
In Superman (1978) Glenn Ford played Clark Kent’s adoptive father, Jonathan. ‘Superman’ is also the name of a Texan air conditioning company which recommends servicing your AC system every six months.
Outside the prison gates, Glenn Ford said how much he missed seeing his son grow up. Now his baby boy has babies of his own, he observed. Ford had not been outside his cell block for seven years prior to his release.
Glenn Ford played an escaped convict in The Secret of Convict Lake (1951).
Glenn Ford was incarcerated in Angola when guards shot and killed 29-year-old escapee Tyrone Brown.
Glenn Ford campaigned for Ronald Reagan to become President of the United States.
Ronald Reagan was in the White House when Glenn Ford was first sent to the prison house.
In 1950 Glenn Ford was born in California, where actor Glenn Ford’s actor-friend Ronald Reagan would later become Governor, before going on to become President.
Glenn Ford was born in Quebec in 1916. As a child he moved with his parents to Santa Monica, California.Glenn Ford looked young for his age. Photographs issued at the time of his arrest suggest an overgrown boy with a 1970s-style moustache.
Glenn Ford was boyishly good looking. In westerns and war films alike, his small features affirmed that masculinity need not be brawny or brutish.
Jowly and overweight – he hadn’t been out of his cell block for seven years, Glenn Ford now resembles a middle-aged lady. With a lightweight beanie stretched over his head (Huck Finn’s Widow Douglas might wear it with her curlers in), when interviewed by WVLA-TV at the gates of Angola, Ford’s face seemed somehow emasculated.
After a series of minor strokes Glenn Ford died at his Beverly Hills mansion on 30th August 2006, aged 90.
After almost three decades as a dead man walking, Glenn Ford has come back to life in the outside world.Glenn Ford, ceci n’est pas Glenn Ford (look at the dark skin on his pinkie and you’ll see it immediately).