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Ruth Ford

Ruth FordBorn: 7-Jul-1915
Birthplace: Hazlehurst, MS
Died: 12-Aug-2009
Location of death: Manhattan, NY
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor, Socialite

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: American stage actress

Born into a family of hoteliers, Ruth Ford moved to New York after visiting her brother, a poet and well-known Bohemian. She became a model, appeared on the cover of fashion magazines, and married an actor, though soon divorcing. She sought work as an actress and in 1938 was cast in the Mercury Theater Group's The Shoemakers' Holiday, and in 1939, Swingin' the Dream. Those were enough to start a Hollywood career making, in her own words, "terrible movies." Greater success came later, on Broadway, where she appeared in more than a dozen plays. In 1959 she starred opposite her husband in William Faulkner's Requiem for a Nun, a role written specifically with her in mind.

For decades, Ford resided in the historic Dakota Building on New York's Upper West Side, and her apartment became a hub of Manhattan culture. But towards her later years she became a recluse, and after the death of her beloved brother in 2002, she received hardly any visitors. She died there in 2009, and left her estate of about $10M, including the apartment and her Russian surrealist art collection, to her butler, Indra Tamang.

Father: Charles Ford
Mother: Gertrude Cato
Brother: Charles Henri Ford (poet/artist, d. 2002)
Husband: Peter Van Eyck (m. 1940, div., one daughter)
Daughter: Shelley (b. 1941)
Husband: Zachary Scott (actor, m. 6-Jul-1952, d. 3-Oct-1965)
Boyfriend: Dotson Rader (writer, b. 1942, cohabited 1971-77)

    University: MA Philosophy, University of Mississippi

    Too Scared to Scream (4-Jan-1985)
    Play It As It Lays (19-Oct-1972)
    Act One (26-Dec-1963) · Mrs. George S. Kaufman
    Strange Impersonation (16-Mar-1946)
    The Woman Who Came Back (13-Dec-1945)
    Circumstantial Evidence (20-Apr-1945)
    The Keys of the Kingdom (15-Dec-1944) · Sister Clotilde
    Wilson (1-Aug-1944) · Margaret Wilson
    Adventure in Iraq (27-Sep-1943)
    Escape From Crime (25-Jul-1942)
    Murder in the Big House (11-Apr-1942)
    Lady Gangster (1-Apr-1942)
    The Lady Is Willing (17-Feb-1942)
    The Man Who Returned to Life (5-Feb-1942)

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