Ruth Ford (actress)
Pierre Balmain and Ruth Ford, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, November 9, 1947
Brookhaven, Mississippi, USA
|Died||August 12, 2009
New York City, New York, USA
|Spouse(s)||Peter van Eyck 1940–19?? (divorced)
Zachary Scott 1952–1965 (his death)
Ruth Ford (July 7, 1911, Brookhaven, Mississippi – August 12, 2009, New York City) was an American model and stage and film actress. Her brother was the bohemian surrealist Charles Henri Ford. Their parents managed the Tennessee Hotel in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Life and career
She married actor Peter Van Eyck in the 1940s, but the marriage was unsuccessful. Van Eyck was the father of her daughter, Shelley, who was born in 1941. Prior to Ford's trip west to Hollywood she was a member of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre, and appeared in his film Too Much Johnson (1938), which was considered lost until the rediscovery of footage in 2013. Welles' assistance helped her to land contracts with Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. studios.
She starred in the 1976 Broadway play Poor Murderer.
Ford married film star Zachary Scott and they remained together until Scott's death in 1965. Scott adopted Shelley, who took the name Shelley Scott. Zachary Scott reportedly died penniless except for a $100,000 insurance policy he left for his widow.
In May 2010 it was reported, originally in The Wall Street Journal, that Ford's estate had been worth $8.4 million, almost all of it in the value of two apartments she owned in the famous apartment building The Dakota in Manhattan, where she died at the age of 98 in 2009. One of the apartments had belonged to her brother Charles, who predeceased her. She bequeathed the apartments to her cook/butler, Indra Tamang, a Nepalese-American whom Charles Henri Ford had brought to New York. Ford's daughter and grandchildren were reportedly disinherited.
"Oh, Errol Flynn, I've never had the yen. Victor Mature? Don't know him well but believe Dorothy Parker, a good friend of mine, summed it up well when she said, "He acts as though his body has gone to his head!" My favorite actor of course is Orson Welles. He's wonderful, magnificent, a darling, and I adore him. I like Humphrey Bogart, too. He's just as nice as he can be and looks just the same all the time. Ingrid Bergman? She's just as beautiful and natural off the screen as she is on and is admired by everyone. But one of the nicest people in Hollywood is William Faulkner, who I had known in Mississippi when I was getting my Masters Degree in Philosophy at the University there."