Rex Bell Jr, son of silent film superstar Clara Bow (right) and cowboy actor Rex Bell, died of cancer on Saturday, July 9. He was 76.
A former Republican Lieutenant Governor and Clark County (Las Vegas and surrounding areas) district attorney who believed in long sentences and more and bigger prisons, Bell Jr didn’t have much of a career in films. He appeared in only a couple of run-of-the-mill A. C. Lyles Westerns in the mid-’60s, Stage to Thunder Rock (1964) and Young Fury (1965).
At that time, Paramount producer Lyles used faded stars — and children of faded stars — in his series of B Westerns: Stage to Thunder Rock features Barry Sullivan, Marilyn Maxwell, Lon Chaney Jr, Wanda Hendrix, and John Agar; in addition to Chaney and Agar, Young Fury has Virginia Mayo, Rory Calhoun, Richard Arlen, Merry Anders, and Jody McCrea, son of Joel McCrea and Frances Dee.
Clara Bow died at the age of 60 in 1965. Rex Bell died at 59 while running for (Republican) governor of Nevada in 1962. According to one source, Bell Jr looked after both his parents and his troubled younger brother.