Death of an action man
Ford, who celebrated his 90th birthday in May this year, was found dead by paramedics in his Beverley Hills home yesterday afternoon.
He leaves behind millions of fans won over by the combination of his easygoing style, rugged good looks and frequent portrayal of action figures during his 50-year career on stage and screen.
Ford broke into the big time in 1946 when he starred alongside Rita Hayworth in Gilda, his smouldering on-screen persona helped by the fact that he was inwardly madly in love with his co-star.
He spent the next 20 years featuring in action adventures, mostly playing cowboys in western dramas, but was also distinguished for his roles as an ordinary man dealing with strange circumstances, as in 1955's Blackboard Jungle.
By the time he played Rear Admiral Raymond A. Spruance in 1976's Midway, Ford had become internationally revered as one of Hollywood's biggest stars.
He continued his career into the 1980s with a clutch of TV appearances but a series of strokes in the 1990s saw him enter a well-earned retirement.
On his 90th birthday Ford received a tribute at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, but was prevented from attending the gala himself because of poor health.
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