Phil Ford, Actor-Writer Who Worked With Mimi Hines on Broadway, in Vegas and in Stock, Dead at 85

Obituaries   Phil Ford, Actor-Writer Who Worked With Mimi Hines on Broadway, in Vegas and in Stock, Dead at 85
Phil Ford, the trouper who appeared on Broadway, in nightclubs and in summer stock for many years, died June 15 at age 85 in Nevada, the Associated Press reported.

Mr. Ford's name was often linked to Mimi Hines, his showbiz partner and former wife, whose appearance on "The Jack Paar Show" in the late 1950s led to a wider career in nightclubs. She took over for Barbra Streisand in Broadway's Funny Girl, and Mr. Ford was Fanny Brice's pal, Eddie Ryan, in the replacement company of the hit.

Ford and Hines were among top acts in Vegas, with Mr. Ford writing the routines. One of his more famous punchlines was "rotsa ruck," in an Asian dialect ("lotsa luck") that might not play as well today in a more enlightened showbiz era.

Mr. Ford died of natural causes, his sisters and daughter reported.

Although Mr. Ford and Hines divorced in 1972, they continued to perform together. Their names were known to new generations as they appeared regionally in musicals such as Hello, Dolly!

Mr. Ford also appeared in a 1981 Broadway musical revue, This Was Burlesque, inspired by the burlesque world inhabited by Ann Corio. Mr. Ford was born in San Francisco and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He and Hines (his second wife) reportedly met in 1952 in Alaska and married in 1954.

"We had an awful lot of fun together," Hines, who lives in Las Vegas, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Everybody loved Phil. He had a lot of charisma, a lot of sparkle."

He married twice after his split with Hines, who survives him. He is also survived by his sister, Treasure Ford, and daughter, Sally Ford, both of Las Vegas. A son predeceased him.

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