Deborah Smith Ford

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Deborah Smith Ford

Deborah Smith Ford (born July 10th as Deborah Jean Smith) is an American actress, author and celebrity tribute artist. Ford is an actor in her own right.

The beginning of Ford's career was of bit parts and featured roles in film and television. She gained fame as Farmer Ford in TV and radio spots for the vitamin supplement Citracal.

Ford models for magazines, newspapers and other print work. As an actor, she has worked on soap operas, music videos, radio, shorts and feature films.

Early life[edit]

Ford was born in Sodus, New York to Richard Charles Smith, a Chemical engineer and Betty Jane Pike, a former waitress and dental assistant. The family lived in Wolcott, New York on an apple farm. Ford's younger siblings include Matthew, Victoria, Walrod, Jacqueline, Pamela, Theresa and Daniel. Ford's maternal grandparents were Charles Pike, a farmer and Rebina Kennedy, a wife and mother. Ford's nationality on paternal and maternal sides is English, Irish, Scottish and French. From her father's side Ford has been told that she's related to three U.S. presidents, Martin Van Buren, Theodore Roosevelt and Teddy's fifth cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In the mid 1950s Ford moved with her mother to Florida. There her mother remarried. Later as a widow she married Ellis Keene. Keene was a retired police officer who grew up in Fort Myers, Florida. In the 1920s-1930s Keene and family lived near Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Keene played in the famous men's backyards, and he played in Thomas Edison's laboratory. Once, young Keene was chased out of the lab by Edison himself. Keene's responsibility as a rookie police officer in the 1950s was to handle crowd control and escort celebrities. Elvis Presley was one of those celebrities. In later years Ford wrote about her stepdad's experiences in online articles and in two of her Allie Adventures books.

In 1968, Ford graduated from Manatee High School in Bradenton, Florida. She attended most of her compulsory education in Daytona Beach, Florida. She was active in sports, Future Homemakers of America and French Club. In 1967, while still a senior in high school, she attended college and continued her formal education part time until graduating with a B.S. degree with honors in elementary education in 1988 from the University of South Florida. She continued her college education in communications and theater with additional studies in acting in the areas of voice, improv, TV and film. Ford modeled part time to help cover her continued education expenses.

Ford volunteering for World Concern in Kenya, Africa in July 1987

Career[edit]

1950s-1980s

Ford worked on family farms in the 1950s-1960s. Her taste for entertainment began early when featured on The Today Show. On that TV show she played with chimp J. Fred Muggs. During that same decade Ford participated in church "little theatre" in Lima, New York.

Ford worked as an assistant in the areas of pharmacology, dentistry and veterinary medicine. She helped babysit Snooty, a wounded manatee, from 1969-1974 at The Manatee Aquarium in Bradenton, Florida. During that same time frame she volunteered at the Manatee Performing Arts Center assisting back stage.

In the late 1980s Ford and her husband worked with World Concern as volunteer shuttle missionaries to third world countries. In the 1990s their daughters followed in their footsteps. The Ford family volunteered in Africa. They worked in Morocco, South Africa and Kenya and on a variety of islands. The Fords, among other missionaries, provided guidance and leadership in agriculture, music, veterinary medicine, tutoring, English language skills, creative arts, cooking, sports and carpentry.

Ford with her father on apple farm in 1953 and on set of Citracal TV commercial as Farmer Ford in 2005

1990s-present

From the late 1990s into the 21st century Ford has worked behind the scenes on various television and film projects. Her acting career began when she had to work in front of the camera when an actress failed to show. Ford has worked with award-winning filmmakers for a majority of those 90's projects; one of them was David Nixon (director) of Making Waves.

Ford on set of feature film Making Waves in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida in 1997

In 1985, Ford wrote a rough draft of her first book. Years later, after a rewrite, it was published in 2009 later developing into a book series. During the 1990s she continued her college studies in communications and theatre and attended modeling and acting classes at multiple workshops. Casting director Lori Wyman, film director Tom Logan and actor Richard Hatch were a few of Ford's acting instructors.

Writing[edit]

1980s-present

Ford's first book The Little Apple was written in 1985 and published in 2009. Allie's Adventures book series continues to blossom.

From 2000 to present day Ford has written online articles and blogs. Her short stories for Kindle Vella began in 2021. Their topics are on entertainment, farming, gardening and celebrity impersonating.

Deborah and Alton Ford in 2018
2021 Ft. Myers Film Festival

Personal Life[edit]

In 1974, Deborah married Alton Ford. In SW Florida in the late 70s-90s they raised two daughters. Deborah's veterinary husband owns and operates an animal hospital while she acts and writes.

Awards & Recognitions[edit]

Throughout Ford's career she has received recognition for her work in the entertainment industry. Film, acting and writing awards...

Films & Acting[edit]
Miss Bonita Springs 1967 film poster

Down East Flick Fest 3rd place, Founder's Award, Best Drama for Miss Bonita Springs 1967 (2017), 2019 Olympus Film Festival Won, March - Athena, Best Actress for Miss Bonita Springs 1967 (2017), G.E.T. TV Live, 4th Letter Productions, 2018 Global Film Festival Awards Won, Global Film Festival Award Honorable Mention Actress for Miss Bonita Springs 1967 (2017), 2018 Global Shorts, Los Angeles Won, Special Mention, March for Miss Bonita Springs 1967 (2017), 2018 Top Shorts Film Festival Won, February Award, Best Actress in an Indie Film for Miss Bonita Springs 1967 (2017), 2017 IndieFEST Film Awards Won, Award of Recognition Film Short for Miss Bonita Springs 1967 (2017) 4th Letter Productions, G.E.T. TV Live Won, Award of Recognition Actress: Leading for Miss Bonita Springs 1967 (2017), 4th Letter Productions, G.E.T. TV Live, 2017 The IndieFest Film Awards Won, Award of Recognition, Lead Actress for Miss Bonita Springs 1967 (2017), 2016 Fort Myers Beach Film Festival Won, Best Local Film, Best Short for The Hanging Millstone (2015), Three C's Productions 2015, Fort Myers Beach Film Festival Nominated, Best Short Short Comedy for Casting (2014)

2017 Madrid Art Film Festival Pre-selected, Miss Bonita Springs 1967 short film, 2017 Indie Film Fest Lead Actress Award to Deborah Smith Ford in Miss Bonita Springs 1967 Richard Watts - writer and director Erik Krefeld - cinematographer, 2017 Indie Film Fest Short Film Award Miss Bonita Springs 1967 won a short film award Richard Watts - writer and director Erik Krefeld - cinematographer, 2017Red Carpet Film Fest Nominated Best Short Miss Bonita Springs 1967, 2016 Bonita Short Film Fest Runner Up Best Short Film Miss Bonita Springs 1967 Richard Watts - writer and director Erik Krefeld - cinematographer, 2020 The Reel Awards - International Celebrity News Media Award Nominated, 2012 International Celebrity Images' The Reel Awards, The Reel Awards Best Actress 2007 International Celebrity Images' The Reel Awards Best Actress in Film 2007 International Celebrity Images' The Reel Awards Television Performance Award 2006 International Guild of Celebrity Impersonators & Tribute Artists, Cloney Director's Rising Star Award, 2003 World Tribute Artists Celebrity Impersonators Rising Star Award to MATRIX'S "Trinity" 2000 Florida Motion Picture & Television's Crystal Reel Awards 1 Crystal, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze (1990s), 2016 Ft. Myers Beach Film Festival Best Local Film, Ford is one of cast or crew who is part of the film, "The Hanging Millstone," that won the award. 2015 Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival People's Choice Award, Ford is one of talent in film "The Hanging Millstone" that received this award. 2016 International Celebrity Images' The Reel Awards News Hound Award, 2015 The Sunburst Convention Hall of Fame Media Award, 2019 Women of Distinction Gala Women of Distinction in Creative Arts Award, 2019 The Reel Awards Best Actress Reel Award, 2019 So You Think You Can Act So You Think You Can Act Best Actress Award, 2019 Bonita Springs Film Festival nominated for Best Overall Film, Film: A Related Matter

Humanitarian, News Hound & Moxy[edit]

2011 Peter Banks Humanitarian Award from International Celebrity Images' The Reel Awards, News Hound Award 2010 International Celebrity Images', 2012 The Sunburst Convention News Hound Award, 2011 The Sunburst Convention News Hound Award, 2010 The Sunburst Convention News Hound Award, 2003 The Sunburst Convention Moxy Award (earned 4 times)

Margaret Bishop and Ford at book signing in 2014
Books[edit]

DIY Book Festival Runner Up, Deborah Smith Ford took 2nd place or runner up with her first in children's book series "Allie's Adventures" with the book "The Little Apple.", 2013 Paris, France Book Festival Honorable Mention, 2013 Hollywood Book Festival Honorable Mention, Book award for the book "The Little Apple," the first in the series of "Allie's Adventures." 2013 San Francisco Book Festival Honorable Mention "The Little Apple" book award, first in series of "Allie's Adventures", 2014 New England Book Festival Honorable Mention for book "The Little Apple", 2013 Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention, 2015 Beach Book Festival 1st Place Children's Book Award Ford took 1st Place for her 2nd book of "Allie's Adventures" series, "The Little Goat in Africa.", 2019 Florida Authors & Publishers Association Awards FAPA Author Award

Entertainment Organizations[edit]

United Film & Television Artists logo

Ford was an officer for Florida Motion Picture & Television Association in the 1990s.

Ford is former president of United Film & Television Artists, Inc. (UFTA), and she has actively continued to volunteer as a UFTA officer since 2000. UFTA.us


References[edit]


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