Rex Smith

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Rex Smith
Birth name Rex Smith
Born (1955-09-19) September 19, 1955 (age 58)
Origin Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Genres Soft rock
Occupations Actor, singer
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1976–present
Labels Columbia
Associated acts REX
Website www.rexsmith.com

Rex Smith (born September 19, 1955, Jacksonville, Florida) is an American actor and singer.[1] Smith debuted in the Broadway play Grease in 1978.[2] He is noted for his role as Jesse Mach in the 1985 television series Street Hawk, as well as being a singer and stage actor. During the late 1970s, Smith was popular as a teen idol. Because of his good looks, he was featured regularly in 16 Magazine and Tiger Beat. He also had a gold Top 10 single, "You Take My Breath Away" in 1979.[2][3]

Career[edit]

Music[edit]

In the early 1970s, Smith was the lead singer for a band from Athens, Georgia named Phaedra. Around 1976, Smith was in a band called Rex. The music was hard rock and consisted of the following members:

  • Rex Smith – Vocals
  • Mike Ratti – Drums, percussion
  • Lou Vandora – Guitar, background vocals
  • Orville Davis – Bass
  • Lars Hanson – Guitar, background vocals

The demo disc included the following songs:

  • "Trouble"
  • "Ten Seconds of Love"
  • "Feeling Better"
  • "Call Her 'Easy'"

In 1979, he had a hit single from the television movie Sooner or Later, entitled "You Take My Breath Away", which reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.[3] It is on the platinum-selling album Sooner or Later, which is also named for the movie. The music for this song was written by Stephen J. Lawrence and the lyrics were written by Bruce Hart. For many years, it was a staple on the play lists of FM radio stations with a soft rock or "lite" format.

In 1981, Smith hit the top 40 again with a remake of "Everlasting Love", in a duet with singer Rachel Sweet. Peaking at No. 32, the song is Smith's last charting hit to date. The song also became Smith's only hit on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at No. 35.[4]

Smith performed live at the 1982 Miss Universe beauty pageant main event night, held in Lima, Perú.

His latest album was released in 2000 and entitled Simply...Rex. It was re-released in 2006 and re-titled You Take My Breath Away.

Television[edit]

Smith is best known for his role as motorcycle police officer Jesse Mach in the short-running 1985 television series Street Hawk, but he has also made guest appearances on a variety of television shows, such as The Love Boat, Baywatch, Caroline in the City and JAG. Smith has been a celebrity spokesperson for a number of corporate entities.[5]

Also in 1982, Smith replaced Andy Gibb as a host on the music variety show, Solid Gold.

In 1989, Smith played Daredevil a.k.a. Matt Murdock in the television movie, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. This was as a backdoor pilot for an ongoing Daredevil television series.

From 1990 through 1992, Smith was a contract player on the CBS daytime drama, As the World Turns, in the role of Darryl Crawford.

Stage[edit]

In 1978, he made his Broadway debut in the musical Grease in the lead role of Danny Zuko.

Smith also starred as Frederic in the New York Shakespeare Festival's Central Park production of The Pirates of Penzance. In 1981, Smith won the Theatre World Award for his role in Pirates. For the 1983 film adaptation, Smith reprised the role of Frederic along with two other cast members, Kevin Kline as the Pirate King and Linda Ronstadt as Mabel.

Smith has appeared in other Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, including The Scarlet Pimpernel, Grand Hotel, The Human Comedy, and Annie Get Your Gun. He played Joe Gillis opposite Diahann Carroll as Norma Desmond in the 1995 Canadian production of Sunset Boulevard.

Smith also starred as Fred Graham/Petruchio in the 2001-2002 national tour of Kiss Me, Kate.

In 2005, Smith again starred in The Pirates of Penzance, this time playing the role of the Pirate King.[6]

More recently, Smith appeared as the Captain in The Sound of Music at the Ogunquit Playhouse, in 2010.

Personal life[edit]

Smith has been married four times:

  • His first marriage was to a Playboy bunny named Lois in the late 1970s. They were married only briefly.
  • Jamie Buell, married on February 28, 1987 and divorced in 1995. The couple had two daughters, Meagan Elizabeth (born 1987) and Madison Marie (born 1990).[7]
  • Courtney Schrag, a corrections officer, married in 1998 and divorced a few years later. She later became her husband's manager. The couple have a son, Gatsby Richard (born 1999), and a daughter, Savannah.[7]
  • Dr. Tracy Lin, a doctor in Orange County, CA, whom he married on September 28, 2009.

Smith also has a son by Karen Lakey, a record-company representative with whom he had a weekend affair. The son, Brandon, was born in 1980. Father and son met for the first time in 1997, during Smith's appearance in the musical "Sunset Boulevard" when he was signing autographs.[7]

Smith is the brother of Michael Lee Smith, who was the singer of 1970s hard rock band Starz.

Filmography[edit]

Title Role Notes
Pope Dreams Don
Richie Rich's Christmas Wish Rudy
Passion To Kill Ted
The Trial of the Incredible Hulk Matt Murdock/Daredevil
Ballerina And The Blues Lead
The Pirates of Penzance Frederick
Heading For Broadway Fast Eddie
Sooner or Later Michael Skye
Street Hawk: The Movie (1984) Jesse Mach
Once in a Lifetime Jeffrey Fields (Aad Schaaij The Netherlands)

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • 1976: Rex (Columbia)
  • 1977: Where Do We Go from Here (Columbia)
  • 1979: Sooner or Later (Columbia)
  • 1980: Forever, Rex (Columbia)
  • 1981: Pirates of Penzance (Original Soundtrack) (Elektra)
  • 1982: Everlasting Love (Columbia)
  • 1983: Camouflage (Columbia)
  • 1997: Sunset Boulevard (Original Canadian Cast recording)
  • 1997: Human Comedy (Original Broadway Cast)
  • 1999: The Scarlet Pimpernel: Encore! (1998 Broadway Revival Cast)
  • 2000: Simply…Rex (re-titled You Take My Breath Away, 2006)

Singles[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biography:". Starpulse. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  2. ^ a b "Biography for Rex Smith". IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  3. ^ a b "Rex Smith's claim to fame". Thirteen Ventures Ltd. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 509. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ "Interview with Rex Smith". TalkinBroadway.com. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  6. ^ "The Pirates of Penzance Starring Rex Smith". City of Bellflower. City of Bellflower. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c "Face to Face". Time Inc. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 

External links[edit]