Ward Bond - Actors and Actresses

Nationality: American. Born: Denver, Colorado, 9 April 1905. Education: University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Family: Married 1) Doris Sellers, 1936 (divorced 1944); 2) Mary Lou (Bond), 1954. Career: 1929—while attending USC, selected, along with John Wayne, by John Ford to appear in film Salute , which resulted in lifelong friendship and professional association between Bond, Ford, and Wayne; 1929–59—in supporting roles in some 200 films for several major directors including Ford, Hawks, Fleming, etc.; 1957–60—star of TV series Wagon Train . Died: In Dallas, Texas, 5 November 1960.

Films as Actor:


Salute (Ford); Words and Music (Tinling)


Born Reckless (Ford); The Big Trail (Walsh)


High Speed (Lederman); White Eagles (Hillyer); Rackety Rax (Werker); Hello, Trouble (Hillyer); Virtue (Buzzell)


When Strangers Meet (Badger); Heroes for Sale (Wellman); Wild Boys of the Road (Wellman); The Wrecker (Rogell); Unknown Valley (Hillyer); Police Car Seventeen (Hillyer); Obey the Law (Stoloff); The Sundown Rider (Hillyer)


Whirlpool (Neill); Most Precious Thing in Life (Hillyer); Straightaway (Brower); The Poor Rich (Sedgwick); Frontier Marshal (Seiler); Broadway Bill ( Strictly Confidential ) (Capra); It Happened One Night (Capra); The Defense Rests (Hillyer); Fighting Rangers (Seitz); Here Comes the Groom (Sedgwick); The Fighting Code (Hillyer); The Voice in the Night (Coleman); A Man's Game (Lederman); The Crime of Helen Stanley (Lederman); Girl in Danger (Lederman); The Human Side (Buzzell); Kid Millions (Del Ruth); Against the Law (Hillyer)


Devil Dogs of the Air (Bacon); Little Big Shot (Bischoff); The Informer (Ford); The Crimson Trail (Raboch); She Gets Her Man (Nigh); His Night Out (Nigh); Black Fury (Curtiz); Western Courage (Bennett); Fighting Shadows (Selman); Guard That Girl (Hillyer); Murder in the Fleet (Sedgwick); The Headline Woman (Nigh); Waterfront Lady (Santley); Men of the Night (Hillyer); Justice of the Range (Selman); Too Tough to Kill (Lederman)


Cattle Thief (Bennett); Muss 'em Up ( House of Fate ) (Charles Vidor); The Bride Walks Out (Jason); Second Wife (Killy); Without Orders (Landers); Crash Donovan (Nigh); Conflict (Howard); They Met in a Taxi (Green); The Man Who Lived Twice (Lachman); The Legion of Terror (Coleman); The Leathernecks Have Landed ( The Marines Have Landed )(Bretherton); Pride of the Marines (Lederman); Avenging Waters (Bennett)


You Only Live Once (Fritz Lang); Dead End (Wyler); Park Avenue Logger ( Tall Timber ; Millionaire Playboy ) (Howard); The Devil's Playground (Kenton); 23½ Hours Leave (Blystone); Night Key (Corrigan); Escape by Night (McFadden); The Wildcatter (Collins); A Fight to the Finish (Coleman)


Born to Be Wild (Kane); Flight into Nowhere (Collins); Hawaii Calls (Cline); Reformatory (Collins); Gun Law (Howard); The Law West of Tombstone (Tryon); Professor Beware (Nugent); Mr. Moto's Gamble (Tinling); Submarine Patrol (Ford); Prison Break (Lubin); Numbered Woman (Karl Brown); Over the Wall (MacDonald); The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (Litvak)


They Made Me a Criminal (Berkeley); Made for Each Other (Bean); Dodge City (Curtiz); Waterfront (Morse); Gone with the Wind (Fleming); Trouble in Sundown (Howard); Return of the Cisco Kid (Leeds); Young Mr. Lincoln (John Ford); Frontier Marshal (Dwan); The Girl from Mexico (Goodwins); The Kid from Kokomo ( The Orphan of the Ring ) (Seiler); Drums along the Mohawk (John Ford); Dust Be My Destiny (Seiler); The Oklahoma Kid (Bacon); Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (Cortez); Mr. Moto in Danger Island (Leeds)


Virginia City (Curtiz); The Cisco Kid and the Lady (Leeds); The Grapes of Wrath (John Ford); Little Old New York (King); Santa Fe Trail (Curtiz); Buck Benny Rides Again (Sandrich); The Mortal Storm (Borzage); Kit Carson (Seitz); The Long Voyage Home (John Ford)


Tobacco Road (John Ford); A Man Betrayed (Auer); The Shepherd of the Hills (Hathaway); Swamp Water ( The Man Who Came Back ) (Renoir); Sergeant York (Hawks); Man-power (Walsh); Doctors Don't Tell (Tourneur); Wild Bill Hickok Rides (Enright); The Maltese Falcon (Huston)


The Falcon Takes Over (Reis); In This Our Life (Huston); Ten Gentlemen from West Point (Hathaway); Gentleman Jim (Walsh); Sin Town (Enright)


Hello Frisco, Hello (Humberstone); A Guy Named Joe (Fleming); Hitler—Dead or Alive (Grinde); Slightly Dangerous (Ruggles); They Came to Blow Up America (Ludwig); Cowboy Commandos (Luby)


Home in Indiana (Hathaway); The Sullivans (Bacon); Tall in the Saddle (Marin)


Dakota (Kane); They Were Expendable (John Ford)


Canyon Passage (Jacques Tourneur); It's a Wonderful Life (Capra); My Darling Clementine (John Ford)


The Fugitive (John Ford); Unconquered (DeMille)


Fort Apache (John Ford); The Time of Your Life (Potter); Tap Roots (Marshall); Joan of Arc (Fleming); Three Godfathers (John Ford)


Riding High (Marshall); Wagonmaster (John Ford); Singing Guns (Springsteen); The Great Missouri Raid (Douglas); Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (Douglas)

Ward Bond (right) with Jack Holt, John Wayne, and Robert Montgomery in They Were Expendable
Ward Bond (right) with Jack Holt, John Wayne, and Robert Montgomery in They Were Expendable


Operation Pacific (Waggner); Only the Valiant (Douglas); On Dangerous Ground (Nicholas Ray)


Hellgate (Warren); Thunderbirds (Auer); The Quiet Man (John Ford)


Blowing Wild (Fregonese); The Moonlighter (Rowland); Hondo (Farrow)


Gypsy Colt (Marton); Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray); The Bob Mathias Story ( The Flaming Torch ) (Lyon)


The Long Gray Line (John Ford); Mr. Roberts (John Ford); A Man Alone (Milland)


The Searchers (John Ford); Dakota Incident (Foster); Pillars of the Sky (Marshall)


The Wings of Eagles (John Ford); The Halliday Brand (Lewis)


China Doll (Borzage)


Rio Bravo (Hawks); Alias Jesse James (McLeod)


On BOND: books—

See entry on John Ford in International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 2: Directors .

On BOND: articless

Casas, Q., "Ward Bond," Nosferatu (Argentina), no. 20, January 1996.

* * *

Ward Bond acted best what he was in reality: a dyed-in-the-wool social and political conservative, a perfect expression of the American West. He proudly displayed his extreme right-wing views during the 1940s and 1950s when he worked for the still relatively liberal John Ford, and he set himself up for some merciless kidding from his mentor. In fact, Ford went beyond mere "kidding." His papers at the Lilly Library at Indiana University again and again exhibit a contempt for Bond, and that attitude had something to do with the kinds of roles that Ford, from among his company of stock players, chose Bond to play.

In the early films the conservative Bond is usually cast by Ford as an unimaginative and stolid foil to a rebellious John Wayne—the Wayne persona, if not the man himself. In the later films Wayne himself assumes the role of the inflexible man: there is no need for a Bond figure in, say, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance .

There are a number of films in which Ford achieves his "balance" in this way. In The Three Godfathers the bank robber (played by Wayne) is set in opposition to the conventional lawman-in-pursuit (played by Bond). The two even fight over the unusual name given the lawman's grandchild, who has been christened and adopted by the bank robber. Again, it is a fight between the supporter of social order (Bond) against the disrupter from the desert (Wayne). As sheriff, Bond is, at once, the gravel-voiced commander and the always-joking upholder of the status quo.

In The Quiet Man Bond plays a priest. Set as he is against the fiery personalities of Wayne and Victor McLagen, Bond is nothing more than the stuffy representative of an anachronistic Irish Catholicism. The demands of this particular part, however, seem to be beyond him. The stiffness with which he plays the part of an intriguer demonstrates not only his limitations as an actor, but also his inability as a person to play, even for a moment, the social Other. Only in pious poses and (as the film's narrator) in priestly tones is Bond at ease.

In Wagonmaster Ford fully exploits the dominant aspect of Bond's persona—the organization man. He portrays a Mormon elder, the intractable punisher of sin—sin in the form of a young sinner who has joined the wagon train to Zion—and here the portrayal is completely successful. In this unsettling film Bond becomes the pivotal emblem for all that is reactionary in our society—the American Patriarch. This figure represents only one part of Ford's vision of America. But it was a part—one piece among many others—that Bond embodied to perfection.

—Rodney Farnsworth

User Contributions:

Teresa Seamans
Did Ward Bond have any children? I am looking into my family tree and was told that Ward Bond was related. I would like to know if there is anyone I can contact to get more information on Ward.

Thank you
you have some information wrong on this bio. Ward Bond was actually born in Benkelman, Nebraska on April 9, 1903 and moved to Denver in 1919.

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