Rex Bell (born George Francis Beldam; October 16, 1903 – July 4, 1962) was an American actor and politician. Bell primarily appeared in Western films during his career. He also appeared in the 1930 movie True to the Navy, starring Clara Bow; Bell and Bow married the following year.
|21st Lieutenant Governor of Nevada|
January 1, 1955 – July 4, 1962
|Governor||Charles H. Russell|
|Preceded by||Clifford A. Jones|
|Succeeded by||Maude Frazier|
George Francis Beldam
October 16, 1903
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||July 4, 1962 (aged 58)|
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California|
Bell was born George Francis Beldam in Chicago on October 16, 1903.
Bell made his film debut in Wild West Romance in 1928, and went on to act in a number of films, mostly Westerns, in which he had the lead role. Fox Film executives were reported to be grooming Bell to be a successor to Tom Mix. He left the movie industry in 1936, although he had generally small roles in a few later films.
In 1944, Bell ran for the United States House of Representatives on the Republican ticket against Democrat Berkeley Bunker. The Nevada State Journal commented on November 1: "He has made friends where ever he appeared, but consensus is that the time is too short to overcome a handicap of not being so well known as his opponent". The election was held November 7, and Bell got 19,096 votes while Bunker received 36,648.
The ties Bell forged during those years helped him win the Lieutenant Governor's office in 1954. That election year, Charles H. Russell, the incumbent Republican governor, also won. In 1958, Democrat Grant Sawyer unseated Russell, but Bell won re-election as Lieutenant Governor (Bell and his Nevada state political position are mentioned in John D. MacDonald's 1960 novel The Only Girl in the Game). Bell died after giving a campaign speech on July 4th, 1962, while running for governor, still in office, of a heart attack in 1962, at the El Rancho Vegas in Las Vegas.
Bell was host of the program Cowboys and Injuns in 1950. It began on a station in Los Angeles and went on to be broadcast on ABC. The show focused on legends that were derived from folklore of cowboys and Native Americans in the United States.
Bell operated Rexco, Incorporated, which manufactured and distributed novelty gift items. He and his brother also had two clothing stores in Nevada.
Bell married actress Clara Bow in 1931. They had two sons, Tony Beldam, who changed his name to Rex Anthony Bell Jr., and George Beldam Jr. Rex Bell Jr. appeared in two Western films—Stage to Thunder Rock (1964), in the role of "Shotgun Rex", and Young Fury (1965), and later served as district attorney of Clark County from 1987 to 1995.
|1928||Wild West Romance||Phil O'Malley|
|1928||The Cowboy Kid||Jim Barrett|
|1928||Girl-Shy Cowboy||Joe Benson|
|1928||Taking a Chance||Joe Courtney|
|1929||Pleasure Crazed||Peters (chauffeur)|
|1929||Happy Days||Rex Bell|
|1929||They Had to See Paris||Clark McCurdy|
|1930||Harmony at Home||Dick Grant|
|1930||True to the Navy||Eddie|
|1930||Lightnin'||Larry - Betty's Husband|
|1931||Battling with Buffalo Bill||Dave Archer||Serial|
|1931||Forgotten Women||Jimmy Burke|
|1931||Law of the Sea||Cole Andrews|
|1932||The Arm of the Law||Robin Dale|
|1932||Broadway to Cheyenne||Breezy Kildare|
|1932||The Man From Arizona||Kent Rogers|
|1932||Lucky Larrigan||Craig Larrigan - posing as Tex aka Lucky|
|1932||Crashin' Broadway||Tad Wallace|
|1933||Diamond Trail||Speed Morgan - posing as Frisco Eddie|
|1933||Fighting Texans||Randy Graves|
|1933||The Fugitive||Joe Kean|
|1933||Rainbow Ranch||Ed Randall|
|1933||Hollywood on Parade No. A-8||Himself||Short|
|1934||The Tonto Kid||Skeets Slawson aka The Tonto Kid|
|1935||Fighting Pioneers||Lieutenant Bentley|
|1935||Border Vengeance||Announced Rodeo Guest Star||Uncredited|
|1935||Saddle Aces||Steve Brandt|
|1936||Too Much Beef||Johnny Argyle alias Tucson Smith|
|1936||West of Nevada||Jim Carden, posing as Jim Lloyd|
|1936||Men of the Plains||Jim Dean - aka Tom Porter|
|1936||Idaho Kid||Todd Hollister aka Idaho|
|1936||Law and Lead||Jimmy Sawyer|
|1936||Stormy Trails||Tom Storm|
|1942||Tombstone, the Town Too Tough to Die||Virgil Earp|
|1942||Dawn on the Great Divide||Jack Carson|
|1952||Lone Star||Minor Role||Uncredited|
|1952||Sky Full of Moon||Himself||Uncredited|
|1961||The Misfits||Old Cowboy||Uncredited, (final film role)|
- Clothier, Gary (February 11, 2007). "Vernor's got start after war". The Herald-Palladium. Michigan, Saint Joseph. United Feature Syndicate. p. 6 B. Retrieved June 8, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Rex Bell: Nevada's Goodwill Ambassador". Films of the Golden Age (91): 58–59. Winter 2017–2018.
- "Being groomed to follow Mix". The Star Press. Indiana, Muncie. November 4, 1928. p. 26. Retrieved June 8, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
- Kalil, J.M. (2000-12-20). "WALKING BOX RANCH: Sale brings less than third of asking price". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
- Kalil, J.M. (2000-11-19). "Ranch sells for $650,000". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
- Reid, Harry (2007-11-05). Searchlight: The Camp That Didn't Fail. University of Nevada Press. p. 103. ISBN 978-0874177534.
- Nevada State Journal, November 1, 1944
- Nevada State Journal, November 18, 1944
- Nevada Day Grand Marshals
- Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 216. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
- Hall, Mordaunt (2011). "Movies". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
- "Rex Bell Jr., former Clark County district attorney, dies at 76". Las Vegas Review-Journal. July 9, 2011. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- Rex Bell Elementary School
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rex Bell.|