Ford Sterling

The Life and Films


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SKU: 9780786425877 Categories: , ,

About the Book

Vaudeville, burlesque, Shakespeare, baseball—in the course of his career, Ford Sterling performed them all. The well-educated son of a middle-class Chicago family, Sterling succumbed to the acting bug and left school at the age of 18. After trying a variety of performing activities—including working as an aerobatic circus clown—Sterling found his true niche in comedy. Best known for his role as the Keystone Kops villain, Sterling was a comedy legend as great as Charlie Chaplin in the opening decades of the twentieth century. He left his mark on silent film and effortlessly made the transition to sound, becoming one of the most sought-after character actors of the 1920s.
From A Dutch Gold Mine to Many Unhappy Returns, this biography chronicles the life and times of George Ford Stich, Jr. (aka Ford Sterling). It follows Sterling from his childhood to his college days at Notre Dame, where he got his first taste of acting. The main focus of the work is Sterling’s career, from 1911 to 1937, which is unfortunately largely forgotten today. With an emphasis on correcting inaccuracies and restoring Sterling’s legacy, this volume examines his on-screen work, his production ventures, his reputation as a world renowned photographer and his final debilitating illness. A detailed filmography provides all known production, cast and crew information as well as a synopsis for each film when available. The work is also indexed.

About the Author(s)

Wendy Warwick White lives in Peoria, Arizona and works as a production assistant for the Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFBD). Her articles and photographs have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers.

Bibliographic Details

Wendy Warwick White
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 207
Bibliographic Info: 66 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2587-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8220-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table Of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      1

1. His Youthful Fancy      5

2. His Smashing Career      19

3. Our Dare Devil Chief      26

4. A Dramatic Mistake      38

5. Roaring Lions and Wedding Bells      48

6. Out and In      54

7. His Wild Oats      67

8. Peeping Pete      80

9. Day of Faith      88

10. He Who Gets Slapped      99

11. Stout Hearts and Willing Hands      118

12. The Unhappy Finish      136

Ford Sterling Filmography      145

Notes      181

Bibliography      189

Index      191

Book Reviews & Awards

“excellent…well worth picking up and inhaling…full of fantastic silent film plot and character descriptions…remarkable”—Kelly Brown, film historian and writer.