Last night Johnny woke me up to tell me that Glenn Ford passed away in his home in Beverly Hills. I couldn’t tell if I was crying or if the small leak above my bed had been worsened by the storm. I am not sure if any of you have heard or knew what a freak I am for revering this guy but he was the last of the true old school leading men and an object of my affection (yes affection) for the sense of style he brought to everything he did. Glenn was in fact, the person I always claim as my inspiration for the way I dress and general overall perception of myself (my sense of "cool")…well, in all honesty it's a mix of Kermit the Frog, Glenn Ford, Rivers Cuomo, Charlie Brown and Scooter from the Muppets.
The first movie that my close relative and I saw together that we felt an instant bond over was Glenn Ford's 1964 "Dear Heart." It even ignited an entire secret language between us. Glenn plays Harry Mork, a greeting card salesman who after meeting the irreverent and charming Post Master (Geraldine Page) Evie, has a change of heart before marrying his overbearing fiancé Phyllis "the tomato from Altoona" (Angela Lansbury). The film is black and white, unpolished and sweetly candid. I cannot tell you how magical this movie is, everyone should see it! It is very much overlooked, an "indie" if you will and I love it that way. It was Glenn in his prime.
One time while in L.A., Johnny and I looked up Glenn's home address and nervously circled around it as we did with many of our obsessions, Bea Arthur, Rip Taylor...you name it. His house was just behind the Beverly Hills hotel although James and Kelly will probably tell you that I don't know what I'm talking about. Anyway, I wanted to get out and take a photo of myself in front of it when all of a sudden a girl peeks over the wall and asks if we need help with anything. I was so embarrassed and nervous that I almost ran back towards the car. She asks me if I knew who lived in the house and I nervously answered that I thought it was Glenn Ford. She replies "He's my grandpa!" She was so shocked and excited someone my age would have so many nice things to say and be so interested in her grandpa. We ended up talking for about 20 minutes and she even invited me inside the house, which I stupidly declined. Johnny had gotten nervous once Glenn's granddaughter popped her head over the fence and had sped off so I could talk to her and I didn't want to exclude him since we shared the connection.
The last of the leading men, Glenn will leave here with over 100 films under his belt and without even one Academy Award. Something his fans know that is more deserving of the man who would be the one true Pa Kent. Since his passing probably means a Ford-A-Thon, if you are kicking back today or have your DVR's set for "stun," do yourself a favor and watch a little Glenn for me. Make a special note to catch "Dear Heart," you'll be glad you did….or at least think of me.
Editors note: In fear of meme-ing all over myself, I have decided to go ahead and just post my initial emotion as you see above and as it was poured out earlier today to a small group of my closest friends. My apologies to those of you that have already been burdened by this once today but I feel it needs to be seen officially by...well, tens of people. I miss you Glenn.