57 (passed away Nov. 5th, 1960)
Apr. 9th, 1903
Benkelman, Nebraska, USA
6' 2 1/2"
Guest TV Roles
Gruff, burly American character actor. Born in 1903 in Benkelman, Nebraska (confirmed by Social Security records; sources stating 1905 or Denver, Colorado are in error.) Bond grew up in Denver, the son of a lumberyard worker. He attended the University of Southern California, where he got work as an extra through a football teammate who would become both his best friend and one of cinema's biggest stars: John Wayne (I). Director John Ford (I) promoted Bond from extra to supporting player in the film Salute (1929), and became another fast friend. An arrogant man of little tact, yet fun-loving in the extreme, Bond was either loved or hated by all who knew him. His face and personality fit perfectly into almost any type of film, and he appeared in hundreds of pictures in his more than 30-year career, in both bit parts and major supporting roles. In the films of Wayne and Ford, particularly, he was nearly always present. Among his most memorable roles are John L. Sullivan in Gentleman Jim (1942), Det. Tom Polhaus in The Maltese Falcon (1941) and the Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnson Clayton The Searchers (1956). An ardent but anti-intellectual patriot, he was perhaps the most vehement proponent, among the Hollywood community, of blacklisting in the witch hunts of the 1950s, and he served as a most unforgiving president of the ultra-right-wing Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. In the mid-'50s he gained his greatest fame as the star of TV's "Wagon Train" (1957). During its production, Bond traveled to Dallas, Texas, to attend a football game and died there in his hotel room of a massive heart attack.
- Although 'John Ford (I)' (qv) mocked many actors mercilessly (including 'John Wayne (I)' (qv)), Bond probably was on the receiving end of the worst verbal punishment from the director (who counted Bond among his favorite actors). At Bond's funeral, Ford walked up to 'Andy Devine (I)' (qv) and said, "Now YOU'RE the biggest asshole I know."
- The muppet "Bert" on _"Sesame Street" (1969)_ (qv) was rumored to be named after Bond's character (Bert the cop) in _It's a Wonderful Life (1946)_ (qv).
- On a hunting trip, he was accidentally shot by 'John Wayne (I)' (qv). Bond left Wayne the shotgun in his will.
- Entered films in 1928 while attending the University of Southern California.
- Worked with director 'John Ford (I)' (qv) on 26 films. Few, if any, actors, have appeared in so many films for a single director.
- Although his career was cut short by his premature death in 1960 at the age of 57, he was one of the most prolific of Hollywood's actors over a period of 30 years. He regularly appeared in 10 to 20 films per year, with the record year for him being 1935, when he acted in 30 movies.
- On his way to John Wayne's wedding he was hit by a car, but performed his duty as best man on crutches.
- Often played a policeman or soldier.
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