Mr. Ford, who had the ability to project a taut resoluteness and inner strength along with affability and gentleness, was never nominated for an Academy Award, although his acting consistently won high praise from critics and he was popular with moviegoers, especially in the 1950â€™s. He started his Hollywood career seemingly typecast as an actor who could do well in undistinguished films. He thus made a series of B movies for Columbia Pictures, playing featured roles in such forgettable productions as â€œMen Without Soulsâ€ and â€œMy Son Is Guiltyâ€ (both in 1940) and â€œTexas,â€ â€œThe Desperadoesâ€ and â€œDestroyerâ€ (all in 1941).
He usually attracted critical praise even when the script, production and direction were anything but praiseworthy.
In 1946, for example, Mr. Ford starred opposite Rita Hayworth in â€œGilda,â€ a film remembered mostly as the vehicle for her provocative rendition of a song called â€œPut the Blame on Mame.â€ Writing in The New York Times, Bosley Crowther praised Mr. Fordâ€™s â€œstamina and poise in a thankless role.â€
Joseph Stefano, who wrote "Psycho" (also, less illustriously, "Psycho IV: The Beginning") and many episodes of "The Outer Limits," passed away last Friday at age 84. Adam Bernstein in the Washington Post:
"Killing the leading lady in the first 20 minutes had never been done before," Mr. Stefano told a horror film fan magazine in 1990. Hitchcock suggested hiring Janet Leigh, then a major star, for the role of Marion because he thought it would add more of a shock.
Mr. Stefano also said he wanted to remake Bates from a drunk reprobate who peeks at girls to a more likeable young man. This led Hitchcock to suggest Anthony Perkins, a gangly juvenile star, for Bates.
The film earned Mr. Stefano a top award from the Mystery Writers of America and years of attention for having scripted one of the defining suspense classics of all time.