JACK FORD LEARNED EARLY that good looks and lots of charm can land a guy in trouble. As cocaptain of the football and track teams at Point Pleasant Beach High School in New Jersey, his predilection for girls in uniform "caused such a disruption on the squad," he recalls, "that the adviser said, 'I'm banning you from dating any of my cheerleaders!' " Some 33 years later, the 49-year-old front-man for ABC's 20/20
is still turning heads. "When he first walked into the office, women suffered whiplash," reports his coanchor Connie Chung. Yet despite a flood of fan mail complimenting his rugged features, those blue eyes are reserved for just one: his wife of 27 years, Dorothy. "Almost every Friday night," at their Spring Lake, N.J., home, he says, "we light a fire and candles and have a romantic dinner." But to Dorothy, it's Ford's ability "to share" that's most sexy: "He'll come home after having met all these interesting people, but he is just as interested in what I did with the kids after school." Ford credits his mother, Peggy White, 77, who raised her four children alone after their father left when Ford was 5, with teaching him "the importance of a partnership." Fatherhood is equally important. To stay in touch and in shape, the 6-ft. Ford lifts weights with his daughter Ashley, 17, or shoots hoops with son Colin, 13. And though he's a family man to the core, he admits he was flattered when, on a recent outing with Dorothy, he was accosted by two giggling 22-year-olds. "You could park your shoes under my bed anytime," offered one. "I said, 'Thank you very much,' " Ford recalls. "I don't think it's going to happen. But it's a lovely comment."