Born in Canada, Ford moved to California as a child and joined Columbia Pictures in 1939.
During a 53-year Hollywood career, he featured in more than 100 films from romance to comedy, often portraying the tough, introspective hero.
Early in his career, Ford turned out a film every five days from Columbia Pictures' B-unit.
Service in the Marines during World War II interrupted his fledgling career, but only briefly.
Ford appeared with Henry Fonda (l) and Robert Mitchum (r) in Midway
Ford went on to establish himself as a leading Hollywood star and formed an electric on-screen partnership with Rita Hayworth, which lasted for six films.
His acting talents ranged from romance to comedy, with famous credits like Superman, The Sheepman, The Gazebo, Pocketful of Miracles and Don't Go Near the Water.
He also appeared in a number of Westerns, including 3:10 to Yuma, Cowboy, Texas, and The Fastest Gun Alive.
An action man both on and off screen, he later took up hang-gliding at the age of 64 and got married for the fourth time at 76.
But he suffered a series of strokes in the 1990s.
Failing health meant Ford missed a 90th birthday tribute on 1 May at Hollywood's Grauman's Egyptian Theatre.
But he did send greetings via video, saying: "I wish I were up and around, but I'm doing the best that I can. There's so much I have to be grateful for."
At the event, Shirley Jones, who co-starred with him in the comedy The Courtship of Eddie's Father, called Ford "one of the cornerstones of our industry, and there aren't many left."
"So, what, no fuckin' ziti now?"