Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rex Reason R.I.P.

Rex Reason, who starred in the TV shows Man Without a Gun and The Roaring 20's, as well as the classic sci-fi movie This Island Earthdied on November 19 2016 at the age of 86.

Rex Reason was born on November 30 1928 in Berlin, Germany, where his family was on a business trip. He grew up in Los Angeles. His brother Rhodes Reason, who would also become an actor, was born two years later. He attended Hoover High School in Glendale, California. He enlisted in the United States Army when he was 17 years old. Following his stint in the Army, Rex Reason studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Mr. Reason had an uncredited role in Scaramouche (1952) before playing the lead role in Storm Over Tibet (1952). He appeared in the films Mission Over Korea (1953) and China Venture (1953) before signing with Universal. Universal insisted on billing him as "Bart Roberts" in the films Taza, Son of Cochise (1954) and Yankee Pasha (1954) before he demanded to use his given name. During the Fifties he went onto appear in such films as Smoke Signal (1955), This Island Earth (1955),  Lady Godiva of Coventry (1955), The Creature Walks Among Us (1956). Badlands of Montana (1957), and The Rawhide Trail (1958).

Rex Reason made his television debut in an episode of Schlitz Playhouse. He starred in the TV series Man Without a Gun for two seasons before starring in The Roaring 20's for a single season. In the Fifties he appeared on such shows as Lux Video Theatre, Matinee Theatre, The Millionaire, Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers, The Ford Television Theatre, Conflict, The Web, 77 Sunset Strip, Bronco, Bourbon Street Beat, and The Alaskans.

In the Sixties Rex Reason guest starred on the shows Perry Mason, G.E. True, and Wagon Train. Afterwards he quit acting to go into real estate.

In many way Rex Reason was ideal for playing all-American heroic leads in the Fifties. Between his good looks and a distinct baritone voice he could be very convincing as a jet pilot, the editor of a newspaper in the Old West, or a reporter in the 1920s. Had he not ended his career when he did, it seems likely that he could have played the lead in yet another series (dark haired leading men being popular for action shows of the Sixties). As it is he left us with some memorable roles, particularly Dr. Cal Meacham in This Island Earth.

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