Dorothy Ford - Rotten Tomatoes

Dorothy Ford

Highest Rated:   100% Sands of Iwo Jima (1950)
Lowest Rated:   43% Jack and the Beanstalk (1952)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Some actresses may give off the aura from the screen of being larger than life, but Dorothy Ford presented that image for real, in person. Standing 6'2" tall, the dark-haired, beautifully proportioned Ford parlayed her height (which should have been an impediment) and good looks into a Hollywood career lasting more than 20 years. Born in Perris, CA, and raised in Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and Tucson, AZ, Ford appeared in school pageants and went into modeling after she graduated; her 38-26-38-and-a-half figure coupled with her 6'2" frame made her ideal for photographic work. Her first experience as a performer came about when Billy Rose cast Ford in his aquacade alongside Johnny Weissmuller. She also did a stint as an Earl Carroll showgirl, appearing in revues including Something to Shout About and Star Spangled Glamour. Ford's physique and striking good looks quickly brought her to the attention of casting offices, and she made her screen debut in 1942 in Lady in the Dark, playing a model. MGM put her under contract in 1943 and cast her in the musical Thousands Cheer (1944) and Broadway Rhythm (1944), in which she was seen sipping champagne with Charles Winninger; her other appearances that year included roles in Meet the People, Bathing Beauty, Two Girls and a Sailor, and The Thin Man Goes Home. She was seen in The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) as part of an onscreen performing act, and worked in King Vidor's An American Romance (1945) before she left MGM. Ford took acting seriously and even spent time working and studying as a member of the Actors' Lab, the West Coast equivalent of New York's Group Theater. She did decidedly better in screen time and roles in her Universal Pictures debut, in Abbott and Costello's Here Come the Co-Eds (1945), which at last gave Ford a chance to act. Playing the towering captain of a women's basketball team appearing as "ringers" in a college game, Ford exuded confidence and boldness, as well as a sly streak, and dominated every shot she was in. Most of Ford's subsequent screen roles were genuine acting assignments. After a brief return to modeling in Rio de Janeiro, as part of South America's first postwar fashion show, she went back to MGM in Love Laughs at Andy Hardy, in which she played a young woman who is dateless until she crosses paths with Mickey Rooney -- the height difference between the actress and the diminutive star became a centerpiece of the plot. This was also Ford's first major role to play off of her height. By that time, Ford was often referred to in the press, in a complimentary manner, as a "Glamazon," and she was outspoken in encouraging more tall women to stand up for themselves: In one interview, she advised female readers that "if nature has made you tall, then be good and tall," chiding tall women who tried to stoop over or otherwise hide their height. Ford herself wore her 145 pounds extremely well and was regarded at one point in the 1940s as one of the most strikingly beautiful women in Hollywood. In an era in which Maureen O'Hara was regarded as formidable at 5'8", Ford made her 6'2" work for her, and not just in "freak" roles, which she resisted taking. Following an appearance in a New York stage production called The Big People, which played off of her height in a positive way, she was back in Hollywood in On Our Merry Way (1948), an unusual independently made anthology film. In 1949, she got cast in the Western Three Godfathers, directed by John Ford, and was given one of the more interesting parts of her career, portraying a woman who becomes the potential love interest of the character played by John Wayne in two key scenes. Ford's career slowed down considerably as the 1950s began. Her biggest role of all, in terms of screen time, came along in 1952 when she was cast in the Bud Abbott/Lou Costello comedy-fantasy Jack and the Beanstalk -- the movie gave her several choice bits of comedy and choreography with Lou Costello as a very tall woman in modern t

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Gun Brothers
  • Molly
1956
69% Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
  • Blonde
1956
No Score Yet Pardners
  • Amanda
1956
87% The Seven Year Itch
  • Indian Girl
1955
No Score Yet Feudin' Fools
  • Actor
1952
43% Jack and the Beanstalk
  • Receptionist/Polly
1952
No Score Yet Flame of Araby
  • Naja
1951
100% Sands of Iwo Jima
  • Tall Girl
1950
No Score Yet Key to the City
  • Miss Construction
1950
82% Three Godfathers
  • Ruby Latham
1948
No Score Yet On Our Merry Way
  • Lola
1948
No Score Yet Love Laughs at Andy Hardy
  • Coffy Smith
1946
No Score Yet Nob Hill
  • Tall Showgirl in Sally's Act
1945
No Score Yet Here Come the Co-eds
  • Bertha
1945
No Score Yet Lady in the Dark
  • Model
1944

Quotes from Dorothy Ford's Characters

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