From Bette Davis to Connie Stevens,Canadian-American Actor Glenn Ford dated some of the most influential and prolific female stars of his day.
Ford was among the most prominent leading men of Hollywood’s Golden Age and was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1940s into the 1960s, so it’s not surprising that he was also one of Tinsel Town’s most eligible bachelors – even when he wasn’t technically a bachelor.
Ford’s career lasted more than five decades. A few of his most significant film roles were in film noir classics like 1946s Gilda and 1953s The Big Heat. He’s also noteworthy for appearing in films like 1955s angsty high school drama Blackboard Jungle and comedies and westerns like 1957s 3:10 to Yuma and 1961s Pocketful of Miracles – the latter of which earned him a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a comedy.
Join Facts Verse as we dive in head-first into this very engrossing chapter in cinema history.
Ford and Hayworth met by chance before either of them were famous, but after they were cast as lovers in 1946s Gilda, they fell madly in love and started a romantic relationship that was far more enduring than the one they shared on the big screen.
That steamy, critically-acclaimed film noir flick earned Hayworth the title of ‘Hollywood’s Love Goddess’. While that might be what the public called her, Glenn Ford called her something else – the love of his life.
Although they both adored each other immensely and shared a tremendous amount of chemistry, the duo never was quite able to make a more traditional relationship work. According to Glenn’s son, Peter Ford, who wrote the tell-all biography Glenn Ford: A Life in 2011, they never exchanged marriage vows because one or the other was always married to somebody else. But that little fact didn’t seem to matter that much as they still maintained a relationship that lasted many decades.
Rita, much like Ford, was married many times. One of her most famous husbands was Prince Ali Salman Aga Khan. She also was married to legendary filmmaker Orson Welles and vocalist Dick Haymes.
While Glenn Ford was married four times and had more affairs than we can count, his love for Rita never waned – and the ways that he expressed his affection for her were oftentimes quite audacious.
In 1960, he purchased a lot next to the Beverly Hills house where Rita and her last husband, screenwriter James Hill, lived. It’s been suggested that Rita was the one who tipped Ford off about the property’s availability.
The day after Ford moved into the house that he built on the property, Rita filed for divorce. Ford installed a gate in the backyard so that she could come over whenever she desired to.
Years later, in 1981, Rita ended up getting diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Glenn made sure that he was there for her, especially in the later stages of the disease’s progression. When Rita died in 1987, Glenn was one of the pallbearers who laid her to rest. So, while the two never married, “till death do us part” was still a theme in their somewhat complicated decade-spanning relationship.
Before we discuss some of Glenn Ford’s other notable affairs, take a moment to show us a little support by giving this video a like and subscribing to the Facts Verse channel if you haven’t already.
Ford and Garland knew each other for many years in Hollywood before they began their affair in 1963. By most accounts, their relationship was quite passionate, albeit short-lived. They only dated for six months or so, and at the end of their relationship, Garland wrote Ford a handwritten breakup letter – the contents of which were eventually leaked to the public.
The two page letter was written on monogrammed stationary bearing Garland’s initials. It was written in green ballpoint ink and began with Garland expressing that she had found herself in a state of ‘utter and complete confusion’. She went on to write that she was devastated to realize that Ford no longer was in love with her. She also referenced a bouquet of flowers that Glenn had sent her as some sort of parting gesture.
In 1960, Schell and Ford appeared alongside each other in the film Cimarron. While filming on location, the two carried on a passionate affair. Ford’s son Peter wrote about this fling in his 2011 biography.
Long after their affair came to an end, Schell gave Ford a dachshund puppy in 1981 that he ended up named Bismark. That dog ended up becoming his favorite and most constant source of comfort in his later years when his health began to deteriorate and he wound bedridden. After Bismark passed away, Ford had him cremated and requested that his ashes be buried with him when he died. In 2006 when Ford finally passed away, this wish was honored.
In 1952, Ford and Brooks co-starred in the French-American international production of the film The Green Glove. While enjoying each other’s company onset, the two stars struck up a romantic relationship despite the fact that they were both married to other people.
Whenever they had free time, Ford and Brooks would go sightseeing together. They genuinely seemed to be compatible, but after production on the film wrapped up, their relationship went on the rocks and eventually came to an end. Ford was apparently so heartbroken that he even attempted to join the French Foreign Legion as a means of coping with his despair.
Stevens and Ford appeared in three films together, 1963s The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, 1964s Advance to the Rear, and 1966s Rage. Over the course of their time working together, the two film stars engaged in an on-again-off-again affair. While they genuinely seemed to work well together onscreen and enjoyed each other’s intimate company after hours, their relationship never really got serious.
Gabor and Ford had a longterm on-and-off affair which began during the filming of 1957s Don’t Go Near The Water. The two dated between their respective marriages, and they even almost exchanged wedding vows in the early 70s.
In 1959, the two starred in the George Marshall-directed film. It Started With A Kiss. That proved to be the last film that they would appear in together. After her final marriage to Frank Gard Jameson Sr ended in divorce in 1983, Gabor was involved with TV producer Merv Griffin until her death. It’s rumored that this relationship was purely platonic and was meant to hide Griffin’s alleged homosexuality.
Ford and Stanwyck had an affair in 1955 while working together on the set of Rudolph Mate’s western film The Violent Men. Stanwyck was between marriages at the time, but Ford was still wed to his first wife Eleanor Powell at the time. After production of the film wrapped, Ford and Stanwyck ended their romance and went their separate ways.
According to Peter Ford’s book, Glenn and Grahame kept things strictly professional while making the 1953 film The Big Heat together, but when they were cast together once again in 1954s Human Desire, that’s when they struck up a sexual relationship.
While little is known about their romance, it’s undeniable that the two screen partners complimented each other quite well in both of those films.
Ford was still married to Elanor Powell when he and Grahame got involved. At the time, Grahame was inbetween marriages. In 1952, she and her second husband director and actor Nicholas Ray got divorced. After her brief relationship with Ford, Grahame married filmmaker Cy Howard in 1954.
All documented in his personal diaries, Ford had affairs with 146 actresses that we know of. Once again, it would be impractical to cover each and every fling that Glenn was involved in, but you got to admit that he had quite a prolific run in the dating world. It’s actually pretty mind-boggling to consider that an actor as active as he was, was capable of finding enough free time to engage in that many romances!
Did you know that Glenn Ford was known for being a notorious womanizer and that he hooked up with everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Rita Hayworth? Let us know in the comments.
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