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Ward Bond

A character actor whose rugged appearance and easygoing charm were seen in more than 200 films and the television series Wagon Train from 1957 to 1960.

Ward Bond



Noah’s Ark 



Words and Music 


So This Is College 



The Lone Star Ranger 

Born Reckless 

Cheer Up and Smile

The Big Trail 

Up The River 

The Doorway to Hell 



A Connecticut Yankee 

Quick Millions 

Three Girls Lost

The Brat 

The Spider 

Sob Sister 

Over the Hill 


Maker of Men 

Blonde Crazy 



The Greeks Had a Word for Them 

High Speed 

Careless Lady

The Trial of Vivienne Ware

Bachelor’s Affairs

Hello Trouble 

Hold ‘Em Jail 

White Eagle

Rackety Rax 


Air Mail 


Sundown Rider 



Lucky Devils 

State Trooper 

Obey the Law’ 

Unknown Valley 

When Strangers Marry

Heroes for Sale 

The Wrecker

Lady for a Day 

Wild Boys of the Road 

Police Car 17 

College Coach 

Son of a Sailor 


The Fighting Code 



Frontier Marshal 

School for Romance

Speed Wings 

It Happened One Night 

The Poor Rich 

The Fighting Ranger 

Voice in the Night 


The Crime of Helen Stanley 

I’ll Tell the World 

The Most Precious Thing in Life 

Here Comes the Groom 

A Man’s Game 

The Circus Clown 

The Defense Rests

The Affairs of Cellini 


The Human Side 

Girl in Danger 

Death on the Diamond 

6 Day Bike Rider 

Against the Law 

Men of the Night 

Broadway Bill



Grand Old Girl 

Under Pressure 

Devil Dogs of the Air 

One New York Night 

Times Square Lady 

The Crimson Trail 

Black Fury 

Fighting Shadows

G Men 

Go Into Your Dance 

Strangers All 

Mary Jane’s Pa 

The Headline Woman

Murder in the Fleet

Justice of the Range 

Calm Yourself 

She Gets Her Man 

Little Big Shot 

His Night Out

Waterfront Lady 

The Last Days of Pompeii 

Three Kids and a Queen 

Western Courage 

Guard That Girl 

I Found Stella Parish 

Broadway Hostess 

Too Tough to Kill

We’re Only Human 

Hitch Hike Lady 



Two in the Dark 

Muss ‘Em Up 

The Leathernecks Have Landed 

Boulder Dam 


The First Baby 

Pride of the Marines

The Case Against Mrs. Ames

Avenging Waters 

Fatal Lady 

The Cattle Thief


High Tension 

The Bride Walks Out 

White Fang 

Crash Donovan 

Second Wife

They Met in a Taxi 

The Man Who Lived Twice 

The Big Game 

Without Orders 

Legion of Terror 

The Accusing Finger


After the Thin Man 




You Only Live Once 

The Devil’s Playground 

When’s Your Birthday? 

Park Avenue Logger 

23 1/2 Hours’ Leave 

The Soldier and the Lady 

Night Key

They Gave Him a Gun 

The Wildcatter 

Mountain Music

A Fight to the Finish 

The Singing Marine 

Marry the Girl 


Dead End 

Escape by Night 

The Game That Kills 

Music for Madame 

The Westland Case 

Fight for Your Lady 

The Go Getter 

Souls at Sea 




Of Human Hearts 

The Kid Comes Back 

Bringing Up Baby

Born to Be Wild 

Hawaii Calls

Mr. Moto’s Gamble 

Over the Wall 

The Adventures of Marco Polo 

Flight into Nowhere

Gun Law

Numbered Woman 


Professor Beware 

Prison Break 

The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse 

You Can’t Take It with You 

Fugitives for a Night 

Submarine Patrol 

The Law West of Tombstone 

Going Places 



They Made Me a Criminal 

Made for Each Other 

Pardon Our Nerve 

The Oklahoma Kid 

Trouble in Sundown 

Dodge City 

Mr. Moto in Danger Island 

Confessions of a Nazi Spy 

Union Pacific 

The Return of the Cisco Kid 

The Kid from Kokomo

Young Mr. Lincoln 

The Girl from Mexico 


Frontier Marshal

Dust Be My Destiny 

Drums Along the Mohawk 

Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence 

Gone with the Wind

The Cisco Kid and the Lady 

Son of Frankenstein 



The Grapes of Wrath 

Little Old New York 

Virginia City 

Buck Benny Rides Again 

The Mortal Storm 

Sailor’s Lady 

Kit Carson

City for Conquest 

The Long Voyage Home

Santa Fe Trail



Tobacco Road 

A Man Betrayed

Sergeant York 

The Shepherd of the Hills 


Doctors Don’t Tell 

The Maltese Falcon 

Swamp Water

Know for Sure 



Wild Bill Hickok Rides

The Falcon Takes Over 

Ten Gentlemen from West Point 

Sin Town 

Hitler – Dead or Alive 

Gentleman Jim 

In This Our Life 



Hello Frisco, Hello 

Slightly Dangerous 

They Came to Blow Up America 

A Guy Named Joe 



The Sullivans, renamed The Fighting Sullivans

Home in Indiana

Tall in the Saddle 




They Were Expendable 



Canyon Passage

My Darling Clementine 

It’s a Wonderful Life 




The Fugitive



Fort Apache

Sins of the Fathers 

The Time of Your Life

Tap Roots

Joan of Arc 

3 Godfathers 



Singing Guns 

Riding High 

Wagon Master 

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye 



Operation Pacific 

The Great Missouri Raid 

Only the Valiant 

Bullfighter and the Lady 

On Dangerous Ground 



The Quiet Man 





Blowing Wild 

The Moonlighter 




Gypsy Colt 

Johnny Guitar 

The Bob Mathias Story 



The Long Gray Line 

Mister Roberts 

A Man Alone



The Searchers 

Dakota Incident 

Pillars of the Sky 



The Halliday Brand 

The Wings of Eagles 



China Doll 



Rio Bravo 

Alias Jesse James 


Ward Bond was never nominated for an Academy Award.

Wardell Edwin Bond, known as Ward Bond was born on April 9, 1903 in Benkelman in Dundy County, Nebraska. The Bond family, John W., Mabel L., and sister Bernice, lived in Benkelman until 1919 when they moved to Denver, Colorado, where Ward graduated from East High School.

Bond attended the Colorado School of Mines and then went to the University of Southern California and played football on the same team as future USC coach Jess Hill. At 6′ 2″ and 195 pounds, Bond was a starting lineman on USC’s first national championship team in 1928. He graduated from USC in 1931 with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering.

Bond and John Wayne, who as Marion Michael Morrison, had played tackle for USC in 1926 before an injury ended his career, became lifelong friends and colleagues. Bond, Wayne, and the entire Southern Cal team were hired to appear in Salute (1929), a football film starring George O’Brien and directed by John Ford. During the filming of this movie, Bond and Wayne befriended Ford, and appeared in many of Ford’s later films.

Bond made his screen debut in Salute and thereafter was a busy character actor, playing over 200 supporting roles. He appeared in 31 films released in 1935 and 23 in 1939. Rarely playing the lead in theatrical films, 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, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Riding High 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, Rio Bravo (1959), and Raoul Walsh’s 1930 widescreen wagon train epic The Big Trail, which also featured John Wayne’s first leading role. He was in 23 films with John Wayne.

Bond starred in the popular series Wagon Train from 1957 until his death. Wagon Train was inspired by the 1950 film Wagon Master, in which Bond also appeared. Wagon Master was influenced by the earlier The Big Trail. For Wagon Train, Bond was assigned the lead role of the crusty but compassionate Major Seth Adams, the trail master. Bond specifically requested Terry Wilson for the role of assistant trail master Bill Hawks and Frank McGrath as the cook Charlie B. Wooster. Wilson and McGrath stayed with the series for the entire run on NBC and then ABC from 1957 to 1965. Upon Bond’s death in 1960, the trail master role passed in 1961 to John McIntire.

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, albeit always as a supporting player: 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 is also in 13 films that were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, which may be more than any other actor: Arrowsmith (1931/32), Lady for a Day (1933), It Happened One Night (1934) Dead End (1937), You Can’t Take It with You (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Long Voyage Home (1940), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Sergeant York (1941), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), The Quiet Man (1952), and Mister Roberts (1955).

Bond wed Doris Sellers Childs in 1936, and they divorced in 1944. He married Mary Louise Meyers in 1954, and she survived him.

Bond died on November 5, 1960, from a heart attack; he 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.

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