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Glenn Ford suffered condition where brain cells ‘die in minutes’

Stroke: CDC outlines the main signs and how to respond

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Born as Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford in Sainte-Christine-d’Auvergne, Canada, his family soon moved to California when he was eight years old in 1924. Much closer to the Hollywood hills, Ford became the famed cowboy in numerous Westerns, such as The Violent Men, Jubal, and Cimmaron. A superstar of the 40s, the actor also served his country in the Second World War.

Returning to the cameras, one of his most recognised films was created – Gilda (1946).

He then went on to deliver classics such as The Big Heat (1953), Pocketful Of Miracles (1961), and Superman (1978).

During his career, Ford remarried four times, with his latest – and shortest – marriage being to Jeanne Baus, which ended in 1994.

His true love, however, is reportedly fellow star Rita Hayworth, who he first met on the set of Gilda.

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Peter Ford, his son from his marriage to Eleanor Powell, told Closer: “They never married because either one or the other was married to someone else.”

In 1960, Ford bought the plot of land next to Rita’s house, where he built his “dream home”.

“He installed a little gate in the back of his property so she could come from her house over to his,” Peter revealed.

“She would spend a lot of time at my dad’s house sitting by the pool. They were constantly together.”

Ford outlived Rita, however, who died from Alzheimer’s disease in 1987, so did he, himself, die from a broken heart?

Living until 2006, Ford carried on for nearly two decades without his true love.

He did, however, suffer from a series of strokes, which finally resulted in his body being discovered by paramedics in his Beverley Hills home.


Neurologist Dr Robert Brown explained: “An ischaemic stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced.”

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Consequently, the brain tissue is starved of oxygen and nutrients, causing the brain cells to “die in minutes”.

A stroke is a medical emergency, as some treatment options are most effective when given sooner, rather than later.

Symptoms of a stroke, acceding to Dr Brown, can include:

  • Trouble speaking and understanding what others are saying
  • Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg
  • Problems seeing in one or both eyes
  • Headache
  • Trouble walking.

When there is a temporary disruption in blood flow to the brain, it is known as a mini-stroke.

A mini-stroke doesn’t lead to lasting symptoms, said Dr Brown, but it does significantly raise the risk of a more damaging stroke.

Dr Brown still advised “seeking emergency care” if you experienced a mini-stroke.

As Ford did, one stroke led to a few more which, eventually, ended his life.

Glenn Ford starred in Cowboy, which is showcasing on Film4+1 at 2.40pm.

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