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 Rex Bell

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Rex Bell

  • Original Name George Francis Beldam
  • Birth 16 Oct 1903 Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
  • Death 4 Jul 1962 Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, USA
  • Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Plot Freedom Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Heritage
  • Memorial ID 2096

Cowboy actor and film star, who went on to become the Lieutenant Governor of Nevada. He is also remembered as the husband of actress Clara Bow, the famous “It” girl. Born George Francis Beldam in Chicago, Illinois, he moved with his parents to California, where he graduated from Hollywood High School in 1923. It is believed by some biographers that he played football for Iowa State University, but this is in dispute. Likewise, how he began in Hollywood making films is also in dispute, but regardless of how he began, he was good with horses, and was naturally placed in western films, picking the name of Rex Bell as his stage name. In the final days of silent films, Bell would become one of many cowboy stars working for Twentieth Century Fox studios, beginning with “The Cowboy Kid” (1928). Despite his lack of formal acting training, he had a warm smile, good looks, and wavy hair that made him attractive, and won him romantic supporting parts in such films as “Salute” (1929), “They had to see Paris” (1929), and “True to the Navy” (1930). It was during this last film, “True to the Navy” (1930) that he met actress Clara Bow, the famous “It” Girl. They quickly became attracted to each other, and within a year, they eloped and got married in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 3, 1931. They decided to set up a home on Bell’s ranch in Searchlight, Nevada. Rex would then travel between his home in Nevada and the Hollywood Studios, while Clara remained on the ranch, becoming a homemaker and mother to their two sons. They remained together until his death. As Rex began to become more involved in Nevada politics, he eased himself out of movie-making and his last major role came in 1942 with “Down on the Great Divide.” He would appear twice more, in uncredited bit parts, in 1952 and in 1961. In 1954, Bell accepted the role of Lieutenant Governor, serving eight years, from 1954 to 1962. Before leaving office, he played an uncredited bit role in the movie “Lone Star” (1952), and then stayed busy in politics, spending weekends at his ranch until 1961, when at the urging of his friend, actor Clark Gable, he played an uncredited bit part of an old cowboy in “The Misfits” (1961). He died the next year from a heart attack while in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2096
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rex Bell (16 Oct 1903–4 Jul 1962), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2096, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .