Ward Bond: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ward Bond

in A Guy Named Joe (1943)
Born Wardell E. Bond
April 9, 1903 (1903-04-09)
Benkelman, Nebraska
Died November 5, 1960 (aged 57)
Dallas, Texas
Years active 1929–1960
Spouse(s) Mary Louise May (1954–1960)
(his death)
Doris Sellers Childs
(1936–1944) (divorced)

Wardell Edwin Bond[1] (April 9, 1903 – November 5, 1960) was an American film actor whose rugged appearance and easygoing charm featured in numerous roles.



Early life

Bond was born in Benkelman, Nebraska – located in the southwestern corner of Nebraska just a few miles from Kansas and Colorado. The Bond family – father John W., mother Mabel L., and sister Bernice – lived in Benkelman until 1919 when they moved to Denver. He graduated from East High School in Denver.

Bond attended the University of Southern California and played football on the same team as John Wayne, who would become a lifelong friend and colleague. Bond was a starting lineman on USC's first national championship team in 1928. Wayne and Bond, along with several other football players, were recruited to play football players in a film about the United States Naval Academy.


Bond made his screen debut in 1929 in John Ford's Salute, and thereafter played over 200 roles. He was frequently typecast as a friendly policeman or as a brutal thug. He had a long-time working relationship with directors John Ford and Frank Capra, performing in such films as The Searchers, Drums Along the Mohawk, The Quiet Man, and Fort Apache for Ford, with whom he made 25 films, and It Happened One Night and It's a Wonderful Life for Capra. Among his other well-known films were Bringing Up Baby (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Sergeant York (1941), They Were Expendable (1945), Joan of Arc (1948), in which he was atypically cast as Captain La Hire, and Rio Bravo (1959). He later starred in the popular NBC western television series Wagon Train from 1957 until his death. Wagon Train was based on the 1950 movie Wagon Master, in which Bond also appeared.

An epileptic, he was rejected by the draft during World War II.

in The Searchers (1956)

During the 1940s, Bond was an intensely active member of the right-wing group called the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, whose major rationale was opposition to communists in the film industry. In 1960, Bond campaigned for the Republican presidential nominee Richard M. Nixon. Bond died three days before Democrat John F. Kennedy narrowly defeated Nixon.

The wide-shouldered 6`2" Bond appears in more of the films on both the original and the tenth anniversary edition of the American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Movies lists than any other actor: It Happened One Night (1934), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Maltese Falcon (1941), It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and The Searchers (1956).

Bond has also been in 11 films that were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, which may be more than any other actor:[2] Arrowsmith (1931/32), Lady for a Day (1933), It Happened One Night (1934), You Can't Take It with You (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Sergeant York (1941), It's a Wonderful Life (1946), The Quiet Man (1952) and Mister Roberts (1955).

A legend has developed that country singer Johnny Horton died in an automobile accident while driving to see Bond at a hotel in Dallas to discuss a possible role in the fourth season of Wagon Train. Although Horton was indeed killed in a car crash at 1:30 a.m. on November 5, 1960, and Bond died from a massive heart attack at noon that same day, the two events were unrelated. Horton was on his way from Austin to Shreveport, Louisiana, not Dallas. Bond was in Dallas to attend a football game.

Bond was 57 at the time of his death; John Wayne gave the eulogy at his funeral. Bond's will bequeathed to Wayne the shotgun with which Wayne had once accidentally shot Bond.[3]

For his contribution to the television industry, Bond has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6933 Hollywood Blvd. In 2001, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. There is also a Ward Bond Memorial Park in his birthplace of Benkelman, Nebraska.

Partial filmography


External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address