Faith Ford





Actress

Born September 14, 1964, in Alexandria, LA; daughter of Charles (an insurance agent) and Pat (a school teacher) Ford; married Robert Nottingham (an actor), 1989 (divorced, 1996); married Campion Murphy (a fitness consultant and writer), June 27, 1998.

Addresses: Office —c/o Hope & Faith, Silvercup Studios East, 34-02 Starr Ave., 2nd Flr., Long Island City, NY 11101.

Career

Actress on television, including: One Life to Live, ABC, 1983; Another World, NBC, 1984-85; Hardcastle & McCormick, 1985; Webster, 1986; Scarecrow and Mrs. King, 1986; Cagney & Lacey, 1986; The Popcorn Kid, CBS, 1987; If It's Tuesday, It Still Must Be Belgium (movie), 1987; thirtysomething, 1987-88; Murphy Brown, CBS, 1988-98; Murder She Wrote, 1990; Poisoned by Love: The Kern County Murders (movie), 1993; The Hidden Room, 1993; A Weekend in the Country (movie), 1996; Her Desperate Choice (movie), Lifetime, 1996; Night Visitors (movie), 1996; Maggie Winters, CBS, 1998-99; Norm, ABC, 1999-2001; Family Guy (voice), 2000; Moms on Strike, ABC Family, 2002; Hope & Faith, ABC, 2003—. Film appearances include: You Talkin' to Me?, 1987; For Goodness Sake, 1993; North, 1994; Sometimes They Come Back For More, 1999; Beethoven's 5th (video), 2003; The Pacifier, 2005. Stage appearances include: Crimes of the Heart, Los Angeles, CA, 1999.

Faith Ford

Sidelights

Actress Faith Ford has starred in a number of television situation comedies, including arguably her best-known role in CBS's long-time hit Murphy Brown. Ford also appeared on ABC's The Norm Show and Hope & Faith. In addition, she had roles in television movies, films, and stage productions.

Born on September 14, 1964, in Alexandria, Louisiana, Ford is the daughter of Charles and Pat Ford. Her father worked as an insurance agent, while her mother taught elementary school. Ford and her older sister were raised in Pineville, Louisiana. Ford's sister was perceived as smarter than Ford, who was voted "Most Spirited" in high school. After completing high school, Ford pursued a career in modeling. She went to a modeling convention in 1982 in New York City, then moved there. Among Ford's accomplishments was becoming a finalist in a modeling search run by Teen Magazine. Her success as a model led to an acting career. To prepare, she took voice lessons to lose her Southern accent.

Ford began her acting career on soap operas. Beginning in 1983, she had a recurring role as Muffy Critchlowe on One Life to Live. In 1984, she moved to Another World. Ford played Julia Schearer from 1984 to 1985. To further her career, Ford moved to Los Angeles and into prime-time acting work. She began by doing guest spots on television series. Her first guest role came in a 1985 episode of Hardcastle & McCormick. Ford also appeared in Cagney & Lacey and played a secretary on thirtysomething. Ford had her first regular role in the short-lived 1987 CBS show The Popcorn Kid. That same year, Ford also had her first film role in You Talkin' to Me?.

In 1988, Ford received a big career break when she was cast in a supporting role on CBS's Murphy Brown. The comedy starred Candice Bergen, and soon became a hit. Ford played Corky Sherwood, a perky, not too bright Miss America-turned-journalist on the fictional newsmagazine FYI. Over the course of the show, Ford's character matured and evolved from being a rather simple airhead to a true rival and journalist who was able to compete with Bergen's title character. Ford was nominated five times for Emmy Awards for best supporting actress in a comedy series.

During the ten-year run of Murphy Brown, Ford's personal and professional life became transformed. She married her first husband, actor Robert Nottingham, in 1989. The couple divorced in 1996. In 1990, Ford was diagnosed with Graves' disease, an overactive thyroid problem.

Ford also stretched her acting wings. In 1996, she appeared in a dramatic television movie called Her Desperate Choice. Ford played Jody Murdoch, a mother who takes her young daughter, Samantha, into hiding because she believes her former husband is molesting the girl. While Ford's Murdoch goes underground and gets rid of evidence related to her old life, she also finds new love. In addition to television movies, Ford also appeared in the 1994 film North.

When Murphy Brown ended its run in the spring of 1998, Ford was immediately offered a starring role in a new CBS situation comedy called Maggie Winters. She told Jefferson Graham of USA Today, "I feel like I've already won. What I wanted to achieve was to open up another door in my life and play a different character. It could have been very hard for me to have been accepted in a different role." Ford identified with Winters, who had moved back to her small hometown after the end of her marriage. Though Winters had been voted "Most Likely to Succeed" in high school, she also had no career. Though Ford and the show received positive reviews, it lasted only one season. In addition to the new, albeit short-lived, situation comedy, Ford also remarried. She and her second husband, fitness consultant and writer Campion Murphy, were wed on June 27, 1998.

After appearing in some television movies, Ford returned to situation comedies in 1999, beginning with ABC's Norm. The moderately successful show was a vehicle for comedian Norm McDonald, who played a former hockey player forced to do social work as part of his community service for a tax evasion conviction. In the 1999-2000 season, she had a six-episode appearance on Norm as probation officer Shelly Kilmartin. Ford's level-headed character worked as an antithesis to the many oddball characters on the show. Ford was added to the cast full time for the 2000-01 season, but the show was canceled at the end of the season.

After the end of Norm, Ford co-starred with Florence Henderson in a short-lived situation comedy for ABC Family called Moms on Strike in 2002. In 2003, Ford moved back to New York City for a co-starring role in a more successful situation comedy, ABC's Hope & Faith. Ford played Hope, a highly strung housewife in Ohio with three children, who takes in her sister, Faith (played by Kelly Ripa), a soap opera actress whose career is in decline. Though critics were not kind to the show and it was not expected to be renewed for a second season, it proved to have a faithful fanbase and was picked up for the 2004-05 season.

Outside of her acting career, Ford had a long-time interest in cooking and food. She enjoyed it as a hobby from childhood, having learned to cook in the fifth grade. At one point, she wanted to open a restaurant. In 2004, Ford published her first cookbook, written with Melissa Clark, called Cooking with Faith: 125 Classic and Healthy Southern Recipes. Of Ford's cooking, former castmate Bergen told People, "All of her food is kind of sensuous and it's incredibly comforting, but her cooking is very fresh and light." Though Ford's fascination with cooking led to a successful secondary career, she remained primarily an in-demand actress who continued to work regularly. She went on to appear in the 2005 Vin Diesel vehicle The Pacifier, an action comedy, and had other projects lined up.

Selected writings

(With Melissa Clark) Cooking with Faith: 125 Classic and Healthy Southern Recipes, Scribner, 2004.

Sources

Books

Celebrity Biographies, Baseline II, 2005.

Periodicals

Associated Press, September 15, 2000; September 23, 2003.

Baltimore Sun, August 4, 2004, p. 4F. People, November 14, 1988, p. 19; March 6, 1989, p. 239; October 28, 1996, p. 19; October 19, 1998, p. 29; September 29, 2003, p. 37; June 7, 2004, pp. 105-06; December 3, 2004, p. 42.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 25, 1994, p. TV34.

PR Newswire, April 10, 2003.

Rocky Mountain News, September 6, 1998, p. 4. St. Petersburg Times, November 26, 1989, p. 6. Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), October 6, 1996, p. T6.

USA Today, October 21, 1998, p. 3D; May 28, 2004, p. 6D.

Variety, September 28, 1998, p. 86.

—A. Petruso



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