Rex Smith

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Rex Smith
Rex Smith signing autographs.jpg
Rex Smith signing autographs in 2012
Background information
Born (1955-09-19) September 19, 1955 (age 62)
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Genres Soft rock, pop
Occupation(s) Actor, singer
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1972–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 made his acting debut in the Broadway play Grease in 1978. He is noted for his role as Jesse Mach in the 1985 television series Street Hawk, as well as being the first actor to play the Marvel Comics superhero Daredevil in live action as well, also 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.

Career[edit]

Music[edit]

In the early 1970s, Smith was the lead singer for a band from Athens, Georgia named Phaedra. Smith next sang vocals in a hard rock band called Rex.

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.[2] 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.[3]

Smith performed live at the 1982 Miss Universe 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.[4]

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. Smith reprised the role of Frederic in the 1983 film adaptation, along with fellow Broadway 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 2001–02 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.[5]

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 twice:

  • 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).[6]
  • Courtney Schrage, 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.[6]

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.[6]

Smith is the brother of Michael Lee Smith, the singer of rock band Starz.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Title Label
1976 Rex Columbia
1977 Where Do We Go from Here Columbia
1979 Sooner or Later Columbia
1980 Forever Columbia
1981 The Pirates of Penzance (Broadway Cast Album) Elektra
1981 Everlasting Love Columbia
1983 Camouflage Columbia
1995 Sunset Boulevard (Original Canadian Cast Recording) Polydor
1997 The Human Comedy (Original Broadway Cast Recording) Kilmarnock Records
1999 The Scarlet Pimpernel: Encore! (1998 Broadway Revival Cast) Atlantic
2000 Simply…Rex (re-titled You Take My Breath Away, 2006) MCA/Universal

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US[7] US AC CAN UK
1979 "You Take My Breath Away" 10 11 3 - Sooner or Later
"Simply Jessie" - 31 - -
"Never Gonna Give You Up" - - - -
1980 "Forever" - - - - Forever
"Let's Make a Memory" - - - -
1981 "Everlasting Love" (with Rachel Sweet) 32 - - 35 Everlasting Love
"Love Will Always Make You Cry" - - - -

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1980 Headin' for Broadway Fast Eddie
1983 The Pirates of Penzance Frederic
1988 Transformations Wolfgang Shadduck Alternate title: Alien Transformations
1994 A Passion to Kill Ted Alternate title: Rules of Obsession (UK)
1998 Richie Rich's Christmas Wish Rudy Direct-to-video
2006 Pope Dreams Don Alternate title: Music for My Mother
2006 Collier & Co. Uncle Billy Alternate title: John Schneider's Collier & Co.: Hot Pursuit!
2015 Cats Dancing on Jupiter Rex Katz
2016 Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel Cube

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1979 Sooner or Later Michael Skye Movie
1980 The Love Boat Mark Redding Episode: "Vicki's First Love"
1980 Saturday Night Live Frederic / Musical Guest The cast of The Pirates of Penzance
1984 Faerie Tale Theatre The Prince Episode: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
1985 Street Hawk Jesse Mach Lead role (13 episodes)
1986 New Love, American Style Rookie Episode: "Love and Dear Penelope"
1986 Murder, She Wrote Stew Bennett Episode: "If a Body Meet a Body"
1986 Dear Penelope and Peter Ben Berlin Pilot
1987 Shades of Love: The Ballerina and the Blues Rick Peterson Movie
1987 Houston Knights Jake Bodine Episode: "Desperado"
1988 Cagney & Lacey Jerry Wickes Episode: "Old Flames"
1989 The Trial of the Incredible Hulk Matt Murdock/Daredevil Movie
1990 Perry Mason: The Case of the Silenced Singer Andy Sacks Movie
1991–93 As the World Turns Darryl Crawford Daytime serial
1993 Silk Stalkings Bob Johnson Episode: "Night Games"
1994 Once in a Lifetime Jeffrey Fields Movie
1994 Cobra Mark Dante Episode: "Blast from the Past"
1997 The Sentinel Galileo / Frank Rachins Episode: "Dead Drop"
1997 JAG Sgt. Max Frankl Episode: "The Court-Martial of Sandra Gilbert"
1997 Caroline in the City Dr. David Engel Episode: "Caroline and the Free Cable"
1998 Pacific Blue Hudson Miller Episode: "Caretakers"
1998 Baywatch Gavin Episode: "Friends Forever"
1999 Malibu, CA Jesse Mercer Episode: "Jason's Song"
2000 The Norm Show Pirate #1 Episode: "Norm vs. Jenny"
2002 Just Cause Keith Temple Episode: "Fading Star"
2007 City Girls Ben Morgan Pilot

Stage[edit]

Title Role Production dates Theatre
The Pirates of Penzance Frederic January 8, 1981 – November 28, 1982 Broadway: Uris Theatre / Minskoff Theatre, New York City
The Human Comedy Spangler April 5 – April 15, 1984 Broadway: Royale Theatre, New York City
West Side Story Tony September 3 – September 21, 1985 Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.
Brownstone Stuart October 8 – December 6, 1986 Off-Broadway: Union Square Theatre, New York City
Anything Goes Billy Crocker October 18, 1988 – January 15, 1989 US National Tour
Grand Hotel Felix Von Gaigern (replacement) April – May 1990 Broadway: Martin Beck Theatre, New York City
Grease Danny Zuko September 24, 1994 – 1995 US National Tour
Sunset Boulevard Joe Gillis October 15, 1995 – August 18, 1996 Canadian Tour: Toronto
December 1, 1996 - April 9, 1997 Canadian Tour: Vancouver
The Scarlet Pimpernel Chauvelin (replacement) October 10, 1998 – May 30, 1999 Broadway: Minskoff Theatre, New York City
Annie Get Your Gun Frank Butler July 11 - October 29, 2000 US National Tour
Frank Butler (replacement) April 17 – May 6, 2001 US National Tour
Kiss Me, Kate Fred Graham / Petruchio June 19, 2001 – June 16, 2002 US National Tour

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]