Mr John Ford
1st February 1894 To 31st August 1973
John Martin Feeney was born in Maine, USA on February 1st 1984. In 1907 his older brother Francis entered the movies and took the stage name Ford. In 1914 Jack as he was called followed his brother, and began working at Universal Studios. First as a prop man then a stuntman to his brother. After a series of arguments with the studio executives, Francis left. But Jack continued his work. In 1917 after much pleading, he was allowed to make his first two reeler, The Tornado. His first feature followed this the same year called Straight Shooting. On July 3rd 1920 he married Mary Macbryde Smith, their daughter Barbara was born two years later. In 1923 Jack formerly changed his name to John Ford. One year later after filming The Iron Horse, his work began to make people sit up and take notice. After the huge success of this films it catapulted John into the position of one of the top Hollywood directors. He loved working on the western themed films, and often used the actors he most felt comfortable with. They were the ones he felt understood his work. But in 1935 he surprised a lot of people with his change of style when he filmed the story of betrayal during the Irish revolution called The Informer. For this, he won the Best Director Oscar. In 1939 he had three films released. One of these was called Stagecoach. It was the film that propelled John Wayne into the public eye. After the breakout of World War 11, John was assigned to the Field Photographic Branch of the OSS. He released several documentaries; two of them were The Battle Of Midway and December 7th. At the end of the war he returned to the studios. In 1952 the partnership of Ford and Wayne shone through again when The Quiet Man was released. The stirring tale reduced many to tears. The beautifully shot film earned John an unprecedented fourth Oscar. He had gained the reputation of being a man with a short temper, but after this film was released it showed the lighter, caring side to him. This astounded many that had worked with him over the years. He continued to work in cinema. His final feature film was made in 1966, but it was not the huge success that everyone had hoped for. John became the first film director to be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the American Film Institute. In 1971, although already ill, John became the subject of a Peter Bogdanovich documentary John passed away from cancer on August 3rd 1973. He left behind his wife of fifty three years, a son a daughter and one grandson.
You fed the need of every little boy. With cowboys and Indians, soldiers and sailors. Your work became as legendary. as your name.
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