Saturday, July 14, 2007

Paul Ford in Nabisco print ad, 1965

Even if it looks as though the slab of meat on the grill is being uncooperative, veteran character actor Paul Ford still looks perhaps just a tad skeptical about settling for barbecued beef-favored crackers as a substitute.

Imagine that.

Paul Ford (1901 - 1976) was another one of those great character faces (and voices) in movies and on TV.

He specialized in bluster, bravado, befuddlement, bull-headedness, and undoubtedly something else beginning with the letter 'B'.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, he didn't pursue acting in earnest until he was 40 years old.

He achieved his 'overnight success' at age 54, playing the role of Colonel Hall opposite Sergeant Bilko on 'The Phil Silvers Show'.

- Here's a link to a YouTube clip from the Bilko show, featuring Paul Ford and Phil Silvers.

Plenty more film, TV and stage work followed, heading into the 1960's. His notable film appearances include playing Mayor Shinn in 'The Music Man', Colonels Purdy and Wilberforce in 'The Teahouse of the August Moon' and 'It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World', respectively - -

- - and I'm probably fondest of him as Fendall Hawkins in 'The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming'.

Many of his most memorable roles were generally variations on the same theme, which is just fine by me.

He was perfect at what he did.

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