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Faith Ford Actress

Faith Ford

Currently playing "Hope" on ABC's comedy "Faith and Hope", alongside Kelly Ripa who plays "Faith". In 1988 Faith Ford vaulted to fame as the plucky Corky Sherwood on Murphy Brown, whom she portrayed for ten years, garnering five Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations. Hope & Faith marks a return to ABC for the actress, who starred in Norm in for two seasons after guest-starring on the show; she made an indelible mark on thirtysomething as the ditzy secretary, Janine, and began her career at One Life to Live. Her extensive TV credits range from the series Maggie Winters to numerous telefilms, including Moms on Strike, A Weekend in the Country, Her Desperate Choice and Night Visitors. Her feature films include the film Sometimes They Come Back for More and North, among others. Ford was named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1991. She is the author of the forthcoming Cooking with Faith, a multi-generational Southern cookbook inspired by her childhood culinary adventures with her mother and grandmother. The book will be published by Scribner in May 2004. Ford resides in Los Angeles with her husband Champion Murphy, who is personal trainer and writer, their son, who was born on August 3, 2003 and two dogs.

Faith (born name Alexis) Ford was born on September 14, 1964, in Alexandria, Louisiana. Faith was raised in nearby Pineville. In high school, Faith acted in school plays and, in her senior year, was a finalist in Teen Magazine's annual model search. At 17, she was in New York where she worked in commercials and did some modeling. Soon Faith had recurring roles in soap operas such as "Muffy" in "One Life to Live" (1968). In 1984, Faith made the move to Hollywood. Faith found prime time work as Janine, the fumbling secretary, on "thirtysomething" (1987) as well as guest spots on other shows. Her big screen debut was in the seldom seen You Talkin' to Me? (1987). In 1988, after first turning down the role, she joined the cast of the Television series "Murphy Brown" (1988) as Corky, the blond. Over the years, Faith has received 5 Emmy nominations for her character and has seen Corky mature from the beauty queen ditz to the lightweight fluff reporter. After nine seasons on "Murphy Brown" (1988), Faith has tried to distance herself from Corky with the thriller Night Visitors (1996) (TV) and Her Desperate Choice (1996) (TV).

In Her Words: "I would be like the perfect housewife. I would be like June Cleaver or something."

Faith Ford Tackles Motherhood in "The Pacifier"

Faith Ford on Playing a Mom and Working with Vin Diesel
The Appeal of Playing a Mom: They basically offered it to me and when you're an actor and you get offered something, you should pay attention to it. I'm not ever so egotistical to think that that just comes along for everyone. So whenever I do get one, I like to pay attention to it.

I was very flattered and I said, "What is it? What's the part?" And they said, "Well, you're a mom and you've got five kids." I said, "Five kids! In real life, I don't even have one. How am I going to be the mother of five kids?" It's bad enough to have three on the show.

But I love playing moms. It's a lot easier than being a mom, I hear, because whenever the kids scream and cry, you can give them to their real moms. I love doing it. I think I just took it on because I thought it would be a great family film and I wanted to do something that, if I do have kids, they'll want to watch.

Her Rules of Motherhood: I would probably have to make them do things.

I don't think I could just let them sit around. One thing I think kids need to do is more chores, and take care of their own rooms. Responsibilities are really important to start them with. If they have animals, they have to feed them and care for them. That's the only way I think I could do it. I wouldn't be able to just do everything for myself. And, I would expect them to do what I would do. I pick up after myself, so I would expect them to pick up after themselves.

How Her Character Rates as a Mom: She gave up. Julie clearly gave up, probably as a self-survival thing. If you got into the neurosis or the subtext of Julie, you'd probably find out that she hasn't dealt with a lot of it. She's just had to keep going. I have a friend that has five kids and she went through a trial separation with her husband, and she didn't have time to be upset. Every now and then, she'd call me on the cell phone and just cry and say, "Okay, I've got to go now because I've got two Brownie Troop meetings and this and that and the other." She couldn't sit around crying in front of her kids and doing all of that. I liken Julie to that.

The Real Vin Diesel: Nothing like those action characters that he plays. He’s nothing like that. [He’s] like a kid in a man's body. That's what he is on the set. Every time I've run into him since being on the set, that's what he's like. He totally self-deprecates and deflects all intention toward him, that way. The only thing that makes you see that Vin is a star is what he's like on film. I think he has amazing presence and the fact that he's smart.

He plays around and he has a lot of fun, which makes him fun and available. And I think Adam [Shankman, the director] pulled that out of him. In this movie he brought out the kid in him, which made him have such great, real scenes with these kids. He's very vulnerable and I look forward to seeing what he's going to do in the future, as a result of having done this. I think it will be really great for him. But, I think he's also very, very smart. He's a smart producer. He has a great team of people that work behind him that make him able to, when he is working, completely focus on his work. I think you'll see more of him, for a very long time. I think he's only scratched the surface of what he can do.

My theory is, if you can do comedy and you can be in a scene with someone like Brad Garrett and hold your own, you've really got a future in this business because I think comedy is one of the hardest things to do. To play the straight guy, which he did in a lot of his scenes with Brad and Carol [Kane], it really should be commended.

TV Versus Films: It's hard to work, in general, in our business, on more than one thing. How some actors go from back-to-back films, I don't know. I don't know if I could do that. It takes a lot of energy to work, in general, especially if you're the lead in something. To do my show, I'm always in every scene and it's very physical comedy, and even to motivate to want to work at all when I'm off is very challenging. But sometimes you go, "Well, what if the series is over next year and then there's that lull?"

Usually when you're working is when people want you to work. They don't want you as much when you're not working. That's the frustrating nature of our business. In all that time period that I had in between doing “Murphy Brown” and “Norm” and other things, you're not as much in demand. They want the other person that's working on the other thing, and they don't have time to do it. So when things come to you, you try to take advantage of those opportunities.

I also knew that this wouldn't be very demanding, compared to what I do. It wouldn't be as physically or emotionally demanding. That was also a motivating factor. And I was going to get some time off in there to be able to come back to L.A., and I did. Actually, sometimes I really felt guilty even being there because they put me in a really nice hotel and I got to really relax and enjoy the spa. It was just so great. We're very spoiled.

Faith Ford Is A Funny Girl

Faith Ford was once a shy, Southern belle who dreamed of being a June Cleaver-type housewife; today, the woman best known for her stint as Corky Sherwood on the hit series "Murphy Brown" is a successful actress who is anything but a shrinking violet.
Faith Ford was once a shy, Southern belle who dreamed of being a June Cleaver-type housewife; today, the woman best known for her stint as Corky Sherwood on the hit series "Murphy Brown" is a successful actress who is anything but a shrinking violet.

Judging by her stint as funny former beauty queen Corky on the hit series "Murphy Brown," it's hard to believe that Faith Ford was a skinny, unpopular school girl. But she grew up a long way from Hollywood in the small town of Pineville, Louisiana, and she discovered that being funny was a good way to make friends. Encouraged by her family, the teenage Ford competed in and won a slew of speech tournaments, boosting her confidence as a performer. After making it to the finals of the Teen Magazine annual modeling contest, Ford moved to New York City to try her luck at being an actress.

Ford lived in a cramped dorm room in the Hotel Tudor on Manhattan's East Side, but she soon landed work doing commercials and appearing in two soap operas. In 1985, when her character on "Another World" was killed off, Ford moved to Hollywood. She enrolled in an acting class, where she met fellow performer Jane Leeves (of "Frasier" fame), who became her roommate and lifelong friend.

In the mid-'80s, Faith landed guest spots on several TV shows, including "thirtysomething." In 1987, she appeared in her first big-screen movie, "You Talking to Me?," after which she auditioned and got the part she is best known for — Corky Sherwood, the perky reporter.
During the 10 years that "Murphy Brown" was on the air, Ford received five Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress. Behind the professional success, however, Ford was dealing with heavy-duty personal struggles.

In the early '90s, the actress was diagnosed with Graves disease, a serious but treatable thyroid condition that leads to weight loss, rapid heartbeat and memory problems. In addition, her relationship with actor Robert Nottingham, whom she married in 1989, began fraying at the seams. Ford immersed herself in her work, acting in TV movies when "Murphy Brown" was on hiatus. In 1997, Ford and Nottingham divorced.

Ford's romantic luck changed when she met personal trainer and writer Campion Murphy at a spiritual retreat in Sedona, Arizona. The couple exchanged wedding vows on June 27, 1998, in a small ceremony at the Carmel Mission Ranch in Carmel, California.

Ford, who appeared in Rob Reiner's 1994 flick, "North," recently created and starred in her own sitcom, "Maggie Winters," on CBS. The 1998 series showcased the actress as a woman who moves back home with her mom after her marriage breaks up. In 1999, Ford appeared in Norm MacDonald's TV series, "Norm."

Cooking with Faith Ford

125 Classic and Healthy Southern Recipes by Faith Ford

Beloved comic actress Faith Ford puts a fresh and healthy new spin on down-home cooking with 125 updated Southern classics and traditional favorites cooked by three generations of her family.

You wouldn't know it by looking at her -- either during her years as Corky Sherwood on CBS's Murphy Brown or now on her hit ABC comedy Hope & Faith -- but Faith Ford loves to eat.

Growing up in Pineville, Louisiana, Faith learned how to cook the great Southern classics from her mother and grandmother: Old-Fashioned Smothered Chicken, Mom's Smoky Beef Brisket, Southern-Style Fried Catfish, Cora's Skillet Candied Sweet Potatoes, Snap Beans and New Potatoes, Buttermilk Biscuits, Fluffy Lemon Icebox Pie, and more.

Then, at age seventeen, she left Pineville for a modeling and acting career in New York City and later Los Angeles. She longed for the comforting foods of home but sought to adapt them to match her new, California, health-conscious sensibility. Thus began a lifetime of experimentation in the kitchen, developing healthier versions of foods from her childhood by cooking with olive oil; incorporating loads of vegetables -- staples on the family farm in Louisiana -- into every meal; oven-frying; and using chopped fresh herbs for maximum flavor. The delicious results -- Golden Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken; Broiled Red Snapper with Olives, Onions, and Tomatoes; Grilled Veggie Po' Boys; Dilled Egg White Salad; Green Beans Braised with Balsamic Vinegar and Soy Sauce; Asparagus with Tarragon Vinaigrette; Peaches-n-Creamy Shake; and Sweet Summer Melon-Mint Salad -- regularly wow friends in Los Angeles and have even won over Mom and the folks back home.

An inspired combination of the best of both worlds -- the homespun, heirloom dishes Faith grew up on (because every once in a while you need to indulge and only the "real thing" will do) and her own healthier, more modern versions and creations -- Cooking with Faith is also about the bonds that grow between family and friends as they spend time together in the kitchen. After all, says Faith, "well-made food is an experience. It's about taking pride in what you eat. It's a remedy for an increasingly fast-food-reliant society -- I mean, how can you be that much in a hurry?"


Faith Ford's new project ''The Pacifier''

Lauren Graham (WB's "Gilmore Girls") and Faith Ford (ABC's "Hope & Faith") are ready to tackle The Pacifier, a thriller starring Vin Diesel.

Shooting starts this month in Vancouver on the Disney project, which finds Diesel playing an undercover agent hired to protect a government scientist and his family. Graham will star opposite Diesel's character as the principal of the school where he's working undercover, with Ford starring as the mother of the kids that his character is protecting.

Brad Garrett of TV's "Everybody Loves Raymond" also recently signed on to the project. Brittany Snow and Max Thieriot round out the cast. Adam Shankman directs.

Faith, Hope and Charity

Faith Ford and Kelly Ripa play sisters in their TV show. In real life, they share a belief in rolling up their sleeves for a good cause.

On the set of the new ABC series "Hope & Faith", Kelly Ripa's character is back in high school to finally get her diploma, and French class is très difficile. So Faith Ford, playing the sister, agrees to go to the class to lend support. It's the kind of help that good people give each other.

In real life, Ford (famous from "Murphy Brown") and Ripa ("Live With Regis and Kelly") help others regularly. Ford, the 2003 national spokeswoman for Make A Difference Day, will spend Oct. 25 in an environmental cleanup in a needy Washington, D.C., neighborhood. Other times, you'll find her devoting time to Meals-on-Wheels, Project Angel Food, Feed the Children, PAWS and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Furry creatures are her, ahem, pet cause; she has adopted two pound dogs. Ripa, a married mom of three children, from 8 months to 6 years old, is making sure her children grow up with an appreciation for outreach. Her oldest child attends a school at which community service is an essential program. And Ripa is active in children's causes as well as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

In a chat with USA WEEKEND Magazine, the two stars elaborated on the importance of making differences in people's lives -- whether in the bright lights of New York, where they tape their show; or in places like Alexandria, La., where Ford grew up. While chatting, the two demonstrated how they lean on each other onscreen and off: Ripa got so cold in a frosty sitting room that she curled deep into an olive-green blanket and cuddled up next to Ford for warmth, tenderly leaning her head on her friend's shoulder. She had just spent the morning nursing her youngest, Joaquin, between taping and rehearsals for her TV shows. Read on to find out how much both stars value the act of making a difference.

Do you truly believe you can make a difference in someone's life in just one day?
Ford: Are you kidding me? It has to happen in one day. Many people will start out with just that one day. Then one day leads to another day, which leads to another day, which leads to another day. To make a difference you have to make a commitment to a day. If all you do is go out and pick up trash in your local park, it's a good thing to do!

Ripa: During the blackout over the summer, this was never more clear. People were out in the streets helping each other, handing out water and food and directing traffic. A lot of people really made a difference that day. But you don't need a blackout.

Faith, animals are a big cause for you. Why?
Ford: My sister, Devon O'Day, has been rescuing animals out of Nashville for years. She's known for that, because she's an on-air personality with a syndicated show called "Country Hitmakers". People brought her abandoned animals they'd find; she'd nurse them back to health and find them homes. She was a great influence on me. Both of my dogs are rescues. Bosco and Tess are 12 and 13 now. They're just like my children. I like cats, too -- I just have allergies to them. But if I saw an abandoned cat, I wouldn't leave it.

What should people do for an abandoned animal?
Ford: Take it to the vet. Make sure it has its shots. And if you don't want to keep it yourself, put up fliers to find a home for it, or to get the word out to the original owners that you found it. If you get no response, run an ad. You'd be surprised at how many people respond. If that fails, take the pet to a shelter that doesn't believe in euthanasia; they do exist.

Kelly, how do you volunteer?
Ripa: Mothers Against Drunk Driving is something I really believe in and support. My sister, Linda, was hit by a drunk driver four years ago and nearly killed. She'll never be the same. She has no use of one leg. She's had seven surgeries, and she needs more. She has a shattered pelvis and a broken back. She's 30 and moves like she's 95. And she has a 4-year-old son, so it's very difficult just to get through daily life.

Ford: This is big with me, too. I was the designated driver on prom night. I've lost two friends to drunk driving. One was in college, a brilliant student; a drunk driver ran over him when he was crossing the road.

Lots of students participate in Make A Difference Day. Kelly, your son Michael is getting a head start on community service at his school, right?
Ripa: His school is all about volunteerism. Every day, part of their lesson is that you have to help in your community. Helping out is all you have in life, really. The kindergartners will plant trees and help them grow, then the first-graders will plant them in Central Park. Or they'll sell some and donate the proceeds to a shelter. For Thanksgiving, the kids make centerpieces and gift baskets and take them to a senior center. The kids really get it; they feel empowered to do good things. It's not something they feel like they "gotta do." They want to make a difference.

He's getting great guidance. Who guided you, Faith?
Ford: My mom. She taught at an all-black elementary school in Louisiana. She watched the little girls jumping rope and noticed the cadence in their chants while they did it. She came up with the idea of doing the same thing with her flashcard lessons. She'd turn every exercise into a little song with its own rhythm: "1 + 2 is ..." The kids really got into it, clapping along and learning. She really connected. I consider her one of the first rappers!

Have you ever had a Lucy-and-Ethel or Hope-and-Faith moment while volunteering?
Ripa: I sure did. David Canary, my co-star when I was on "All My Children", used to take the cast to sing carols at St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan every Christmas. Many of my castmates were really good singers. But one year, he had a hard time getting turnout. I was one of the few who showed up. So when I sang "Good King Wenceslas", one of the women there actually asked me to stop singing. She said it was starting to make her feel not so good.

Humor can be a way to make a difference.
Ford: Oh, definitely. Sometimes I think about sitcoms, and I wonder whether I should be doing this with my life. Then, I'll go to a store, and someone will come up to me and say, "I had cancer years ago, and you had this storyline on "Murphy Brown" that just made me laugh so much. It really helped me get through the experience." You're never aware of how much of a difference you can make just by making someone laugh or smile.


Faith Ford plays Hope in the new TV comedy ''Hope & Faith''

Hope & Faith" is a comedy about what happens when the fast lane collides with the carpool lane. It's about the moments that make you want to hug your sister... and the times you have to resist the urge to kill her.

Hope, a down-to-earth, happily married mom of three in Columbus, Ohio, had her tidy world up-ended by the arrival of her celebrity sister, Faith (Kelly Ripa, "Live with Regis & Kelly," "All My Children"). Faith was living the high life in Hollywood as a daytime soap opera star until her soap's character, Ashley Storm, was suddenly and unceremoniously killed off on "The Sacred and the Sinful" by her evil twin. After a year under her roof wreaking occasional havoc, Hope can attest that you can kill the diva off on the daytime drama, but you can't take the drama out of the diva.

Last season's cliffhanger ending left Faith missing -- lost in an undetermined third world country instead of an ashram in India where she was going to go "find herself." Assuming Faith finds her way back to Ohio, she'll have to make some changes, like accepting her soap career is seriously on hold, getting a real job, or series of jobs, and moving out of the family's house- -- well, at least out of her niece's bedroom. Hope and her husband, Charley (Ted McGinley, "Married...with Children"), will find new parenting challenges as Faith tries to influence their three impressionable kids, especially their oldest teenaged daughter, Sydney, who starts to rebel against Hope's authority and gets her first serious boyfriend, a gorgeous "bad-boy" who makes Charley especially nervous.

"Hope & Faith," which in its premiere season was nominated for a People's Choice Award for Favorite New Television Comedy Series, stars Faith Ford as Hope, Kelly Ripa as Faith, Ted McGinley as Charley, Megan Fox as Sydney, Macey Cruthird as Hayley and Paulie Litt as Justin.

Creator/executive producer is Joanna Johnson; executive producers are Emile Levisetti and Guymon Casady. "Hope & Faith" is produced by Touchstone Television in association with Industry Entertainment.

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