My Tribute to Actress Betty Ford

When i was a kid, a Hollywood actress came to stay at our Bed & Breakfast in Harpers Ferry.

Her name was Betty Dingeldein, but she had changed it to Betty Ford or something. Anyway she was so sweet to me, calling me cute etc, and she talked to me like a human she really liked. She learned i liked Ghostbusters, and she was friends with the actor that played Viggo the Cartpathean in G2, so she mailed me his large photos with signatures to me his fan. I must have been 12 years old, but it changed my life to know that i could talk to the people that i saw in shows like Hunter on TV, or get notes from famous movie actors, suddenly it felt like i could live the way i want when i grow up. I think i started to realize that the happiest adults pursue what they want, even if it is as insane as acting.

from Wikipedia:

Bette Ford (born Harriet Elizabeth Dingeldein; June 24, 1937) is an American actress and former model and professional bullfighter. She was the first American woman to fight on foot in the Plaza México, the world’s largest bullfight arena. Bette Ford was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. She began her career as a model and actress in New York, where her modeling credits included stints as the Jantzen Bathing Suit Girl, the Camay Bride, and the Parliament Cigarette Girl, and her acting credits included appearances as a regular on The Jackie Gleason Show and The Jimmy Durante Show. While on a modeling photo shoot in Bogotá, Colombia, Ford was introduced to the renowned matador Luis Miguel Dominguín and watched him fight in the ring. Soon after, Ford left New York for Mexico to train as a bullfighter. Warner Bros made a short documentary about her training.

Her historic debut at the Plaza México was followed by several years of fighting as a figura (bullfighting celebrity) in Mexico and the Philippines. The studio MGM, which had offered her an acting contract before she left New York to become a bullfighter, planned a full-length feature film based on her life story, and sent several writers, among them John Meston, the co-creator of Gunsmoke, to meet with Ford and discuss a screenplay. Ford married Meston shortly after they met and then retired as a bullfighter. Ford has appeared in feature films including the Clint-Eastwood-directed ‘Sudden Impact’ and ‘Honkytonk Man’, and television series including Cheers, L.A. Law, Melrose Place, and Felicity. Her voice can be heard in ‘The Animatrix’, the companion animated DVD of the film trilogy ‘The Matrix’, and numerous commercials.

Shortly after moving back to New York, she married another actor, David Ford, whose name she kept after the marriage ended. She later married John Meston (who died in 1979) an American radio and television writer best known for creating, along with Norman Macdonnell, the long-running radio and TV series, Gunsmoke. Her third and current husband is Scott Wolkoff.

i lost touch with her because as a kid i was not good at writing to adults. I learned that even famous people can care about those without as much fame or ‘success’. Which of course begs the question of what ‘success’ can be for most people.

  • Valley of the Sun …. Bunny McGill (2011)
  • The Animatrix …. (voice only)
  • Final Flight of the Osiris …. (voice only)
  • The Division …. (TV Episode)
  • Felicity …. (TV Episode)
  • ER …. (TV Episode)
  • Providence …. (2 TV episodes)
  • Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place …. (TV Episode)
  • Promised Land …. (TV Episode)
  • A River Made to Drown In …. Lady with Whip
  • Nash Bridges …. (TV Episode)
  • A Face to Die For (TV Episode) …. (TV Episode)
  • It Was Him or Us …. (TV Episode)
  • Party of Five …. (TV Episode)
  • Thunder Alley …. (TV Episode)
  • Tales from the Crypt …. (TV Episode)
  • Melrose Place …. (TV Episode)
  • The Wonder Years …. (TV Episode)
  • The Commish …. (TV Episode)
  • Marked for Death …. Kate Hatcher
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air …. (TV Episode)
  • Hunter …. (TV Episode)
  • Major Dad …. (TV Episode)
  • L.A. Law …. (4 TV episodes)
  • A Year in the Life …. (TV Episode)
  • Crime Story …. (TV Episode)
  • Hotel …. (TV Episode)
  • Crazy Like a Fox …. (TV Episode)
  • Cheers …. (2 TV episodes)
  • St. Elsewhere …. (TV Episode)
  • Emerald Point N.A.S. …. (TV Episode)
  • Sudden Impact …. Leah
  • Falcon Crest …. (TV Episode)
  • Falcon Crest …. (TV Episode)
  • Honkytonk Man …. Lulu
  • James at 15 …. (TV Episode)
  • Emergency! …. (TV Episode)
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2 Responses to “My Tribute to Actress Betty Ford”

  1. Scott Wolkoff Says:

    So…. we just saw this post and remember you. It’s been many years and delightful to see this post so if you want to get in touch again please do.
    Scott Wolkoff & Bette Ford

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