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Studio haircut by jackrfromDFW
(George) Cooper Ford IV was a stage and film actor. Born into a wealthy Texan family in 1914 and moved to New York in the early ‘30s. After some odd jobs and modeling work, he landed a small role in a play portraying a rapist. In the late 1930s a tamed film version was made with Ford reprising his Broadway role but this time as a thief and woman beater. But Ford wanted to play the lead role of mild-manned yet tormented husband after revenge on the rapist. Since the first film version, Ford remained in Hollywood. He was kicked around from studio contract to studio contract, playing second leads and cowboys in low budget Westerns. He left Hollywood too briefly to serve in the War.
In 1951 a director finally got the courage to fight the Hays code and film the play with its original form. Cooper Ford landed to lead with director, Grant Brooks. Brooks was known for his close cropped flat top haircut and fanatical attention to detail. Before shooting the film Brooks demanded that Ford cut off his longish slicked back hair into a short crew cut to resemble the lead character as a returning Veteran. In the play, changing from WWI to Korea.
Ford got a haircut but Brooks thought it was not short enough. Brooks marched Ford to local barber shop for a haircut. The visit happened something like this:
Ford sat in the chair and asked for something short.
` Brooks took one look and said shorter. Ford hair was clipped shorter.
Brooks: shorter More was cut off.
Ford: Hey what gives?
Brooks: Cooper, this guy is a vet returning home to his wife and family. He needs a good real vet haircut.
Ford: you mean something like yours.
Brooks: something like that.
Ford: Look Brooks if you want this guy to have your haircut. You play the part yourself.
Brooks: you want to play cowboys all your life. I’m going to make you a star. Now cut just a bit more, please.
Barber: I can go all the way now to the skin?
Ford: I’ve had enough of this. Steeping out of the chair and lighting a cigarette. He took a look in the mirror. Oh, what the hell, go ahead a cut it.
The barber went back to work using hand clippers. Starting at the right sideburn going all the way up the temple to the crown. He next started on the left side. And placed the actor’s head disown so his chin touched his chest. The barber evened up the clipped haircut.
Ford: are we done yet?
Brooks: no he has the finish the top, just enough to comb and part.
Barber: no problem. Comb over scissors and a little hair tonic and a straight razor outline and your done.
Ford after the haircut, I look like a just escaped from Devil’s Island than a Midwest math teacher.
Ford continued hi film career doing Broadway from time to time and keeping the same short haircut until he in 1981.