|One Life to Live|
|Portrayed by||Nic Robuck|
|Created by||Ron Carlivati|
|Introduced by||Frank Valentini|
|First appearance||June 9, 2010|
|Last appearance||January 11, 2012|
|Date of birth||1991 (age 25–26)|
Student @ Llanview University
Apartment 3E |
According to James, he and his brother were raised in Dayton, Ohio, he was born sometime in 1990. Their father is a criminal who runs a chop shop and forces James into his crew when he is only 15. Their father is abusive but Robert manages to get a scholarship for film school and moves to California leaving James in his father's hands. James decides he wants out so he steals $50,000 from his father and hides it. Their father sends one of his thugs, Bull, after James.
James is first seen as a stranger talking to Starr Manning about the problems in their lives. Later that day, James is revealed to be the little brother of Robert Ford who is nearly beaten to death. James's voice helps Ford regain consciousness. When police come in to question his brother, James leaves and bumps into Bull. James finds his way to the parking garage where he bumps into Starr whose having car trouble. After fixing her car, Bull finally catches up to him and James demands that Starr get in the car with him. As they speed away, Starr loses her purse.
James shows up again when he realizes that Bull is after Starr. The two escape to her aunt Vicki's cabin where James opens up about his abusive criminal father. James tells her that he stole $50,000 from his father so he wouldn't have to work for his dad. Starr and James decide the only way to get the money is to steal a car worth as much as he owes Bull. After stealing the car, the two end up in a car wreck after Starr's attempt to keep James from hitting an animal sends them into a tree. Though both of them are ok, the car isn't worth anything. James decides to turn himself into Bull promising to work off the money he owes. Though he tells her to stay away, Starr follows him to the abandoned barn where he is meeting Bull. Starr's father Todd Manning also arrives with $50,000 in exchange for his other daughter, Dani's boyfriend, Nate Salinger. As the situation starts to unravel with Bull and Todd fighting, James picks up a shovel attempting to knock Bull out as Starr grabs Bull's gun and accidentally shoots James. Fortunately, James makes it through surgery and shortly after, he tells Starr he has feelings for her. Starr tells James that they can never see one another again. James later learns that Nate's mother, Inez is the mother who abandoned him and Bobby when they were kids. He then begins dating Langston Wilde to make Starr jealous. Starr, James, and Langston all enroll in Llanview University around the same time and are surprised to learn the Ford is teaching a class that they are all taking. When Starr learns from Robert that her mother's fiancée, Elijah Clarke is actually a serial killer and her boyfriend Cole Thornhart knew about it, she is furious; James goes to comfort her.
Brody Lovett showed up at LU and beat up Ford for sleeping with Jessica while she wasn't in her right mind. This upset Langston, so she pretended to give Ford a second chance and secretly had photos taken of the two of them making out. She sent the pictures to the dean and got Ford fired.
James also loses his chance on education once Ford gets fired from his teaching position. Thanks to Clint Buchanan, Ford got his job back after Clint made a call to the Dean and James was able to stay in school.
Starr, Dani, and Hope are kidnapped by Elijah Clarke and Starr manages to get away. When Hannah goes through with her plans to get rid of Starr and Hope for good, James catches on and decides to handle it. He finds Starr trapped in the attic of Hannah's home in Delaware. Hannah has them dress up in Halloween costumes and takes them to the cemetery where she forces them to dig their own graves at gunpoint. She knocks James out and makes Starr bury him alive. As Hannah is about to bury Starr, James rises from the grave and distracts Hannah long enough for Starr to bash her unconscious with a shovel. The two subsequently turn her in to the police. When Cole kills Elijah believing that Starr and Hope were trapped in the building he just blew, James tries to help Starr and Cole run. Cole turns himself in and is sentenced to 10 years in prison and Starr is heartbroken. James comforts her and tries to help her forget about her problems.
When Eddie shows up in town, Bobby and James are forced to let him live with them because James will go to jail for stealing the $50,000 from him. Eddie picks up right where he left off and continues terrorizing James. On November 24, James and Ford attend the Cramer family Thanksgiving celebration and Eddie crashes it. After Eddie punches James in front of everyone, he is arrested. Starr convinces James that he doesn't have to live in fear of his father anymore and they spend Thanksgiving with her family.
Later, James becomes furious at Eddie for his action, and confronts him at his hotel room with a gun with the intention of killing him. Though he nearly does so, James realizes that he can't put Starr through the same ordeal that she went through when Cole was arrested and diverts his aim, subsequently warning his father to leave town before he changes his mind or before someone else attempts to do so before leaving. James also dated this girl, named Michelle, to get over Starr and they almost had sex but didn't because his heart belonged to Starr. Its revealed that he and Nate are the paternal uncles of Ryder Ford (Robert's son with Jessica Brennan). On February 28, 2011 James and Starr become a couple.
On August 10, 2011, James and Starr make love for the first time.
On January 3, 2012, James goes to Starr's house to warn her that Cole has broken out of prison and wonders if she has seen him. Starr assures him that she hasn't and James leaves. Later he returns, suspicious that Starr is hiding something. Sure enough, James walks in on Starr and Cole professing their love for one another. On January 10, realizing that Starr will never stop loving Cole, James breaks up with her