Thursday, August 20, 2009

Actors Ruth Ford & John Quade

Ruth Ford

Ruth Ford, a star of movies, television, and Broadway plays, who was once a member of Orson Welle's Mercury Theatre passed on August 12 at the age of 98.

Ruth Ford was born on July 7, 1911 in Brookhaven, Mississippi. She attended the University of Mississippi and received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in philosophy. Her brother was poet, novelist and artist Charles Henri Ford. After having visited him in New York City on summer vacations, Ruth Ford moved to New York City herself. Ford became a model, photographed by such photographers as Cecil Beaton and Man Ray. She appeared on the covers of such magazines as Harper's Bazaar, Mademoiselle, Town and Country and Vogue.

It was in 1937 that Ford joined Orson Welle's Mercury Theatre. In 1938 she made her Broadway debut in Welles' production of The Shoemakers' Holiday. She also appeared in Welle's production of Danton's Death on Broadway that same year. As part of the Mercury Theatre, Ford also appeared on its radio show The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was in 1938 that she appeared in her first film, Too Much Johnson. In 1939 she appeared in her first Broadway play outside of the Mercury Theatre, the musical Swingin' the Dream.

In 1941 Ford moved to Hollywood and began her film career. Her first film was Roaring Frontiers that same year. Over the next five years she appeared in over 24 films, among them Across the Pacific, Wilson, and Dragonwyck. Unfortunately, most of the films were programmers. Ford returned to New York in 1946, appearing in the play No Exit that year. Ruth Ford would appear on Broadway regularly until 1980, in such plays as Clutterbuck, Requiem for a Nun, Dinner at Eight, Poor Murderer, and Harold and Maude.

It was in 1949 that Ruth Ford made her debut on television, in an episode of Theatre of Romance. Ruth Ford would appear regularly on television in the Fifties and Sixties, guest starring on such shows as The Adventures of Ellery Queen, Suspense, The Hallmark Hall of Fame, Studio One, The United States Steel Hour, Naked City, The Nurses, and The Defenders. Starting in the Sixties she once more appeared in movies, such as The Tree, Play It as It Lays, and The Eyes of Amaryllis.

John Quade

Actor John Quade died August 9 at the age of 71 from natural causes.

John Quade was born John William Saunders in Kansas City, Kansas on April 1, 1938. He attended Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, then went onto careers in Santa Fe Railway repair shop and aerospace engineering. In 1968 he made his first appearance on television, playing a bit part on the series The Wild Wild West. Over the next few years he appeared in guest shots on Gunsmoke, Cade's County, Bonanza, and Bearcats!.

Quade made his movie debut in Deadhead Miles in 1972. He went on to appear in the Blaxploitation film Hammer in 1972 and the film Bad Company the same year. It was in 1973 that he first appeared with Clint Eastwood, with whom he would work several times, in the film High Plains Drifter. Quade also appeared in the Eastwood films The Outlaw Josey Wales, Every Which Way But Loose, and Any Which Way You Can. He would also appear in the films Papillon, The Sting, The Last Hard Men, and La Bamba.

Quade made several more appearances on television over the years, guest starring on Ironside, Dusty's Trail, McMillan and Wife, Kung Fu, Get Christie Love, The Rockford Files, McCloud, How the West Was Won, Palmerstown USA, Hill Street Blues, Crime Story, and Hunter. He also appeared in the mini-series Return to Lonesome Dove. With regards to television, he was perhaps best known for playing Sheriff Biggs on the mini-series Roots. He was also one of the stars on the short lived series Lucky Luke, based on Franco-Belgian comic strip of the same name.

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