Last Updated: February 1, 2024
Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$5 Million
Apr 9, 1903 - Nov 5, 1960 (57 years old)
6 ft (1.85 m)
Actor, American football player
United States of America
💰 Compare Ward Bond's Net Worth

What was Ward Bond's Net Worth?

Ward Bond was a character actor who had a net worth of $500 thousand at the time of his death in 1960. That's equal to around $5 million in today's dollars after adjusting for inflation. Ward Bond appeared in over 200 films during his three-decade Hollywood career, including such classics as "Bringing Up Baby," "The Maltese Falcon," "It's a Wonderful Life," "Rio Bravo," and 25 films directed by John Ford. He also starred in the NBC Western television series "Wagon Train" from 1957 until his passing in 1960.

Early Life and Education

Wardell Bond was born on April 9, 1903 in Benkelman, Nebraska to Mabel and John. He had a sister named Bernice. In 1919, the family moved to Denver, Colorado, where Bond went to East High School. For his higher education, he attended the Colorado School of Mines, and then the University of Southern California. At USC, Bond played college football for the Trojans, and was part of the team that won the school's first national championship in 1928. He graduated in 1931 with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering.


Kino. Rauchende Pistolen, (SINGING GUNS) USA, 1950, Regie: R. G. Springsteen, WALTER BRENNAN, WARD BOND, ELLA RAINES, Stichwort: Verletzter, Verband. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)

Film Career

Bond had his first credited film role in John Ford's 1929 football film "Salute," which also featured John Wayne and the entire USC Trojans football team. After that, Bond became a prolific character actor, appearing in over 200 films throughout his Hollywood career. He was in 24 further films directed by John Ford, including "Drums Along the Mohawk," "They Were Expendable," "Fort Apache," "The Quiet Man," and "The Searchers." Bond appeared in a total of 23 films with his fellow USC alum John Wayne, including "The Big Trail," "Conflict," "The Shepherd of the Hills," "Dakota," "Hondo," and "Rio Bravo."

In his other notable collaborations, Bond was in several films by director Frank Capra, including "Lady for a Day," "It Happened One Night," "You Can't Take it With You," "It's a Wonderful Life," and "Riding High," among others. His other film credits include such classics as Howard Hawks's "Bringing Up Baby" and "Sergeant York"; Victor Fleming's "Gone with the Wind" and "Joan of Arc"; John Huston's "The Maltese Falcon"; Nicholas Ray's "On Dangerous Ground" and "Johnny Guitar"; and Frank Borzage's "China Doll." Bond's final appearance on film was in Howard Hawks's Western "Rio Bravo," released in 1959.


Television Career

Bond began appearing on television in the 1950s, mostly in episodes of various anthology series, such as "The Silver Theatre," "The Gulf Playhouse," "The Ford Television Theatre," and "General Electric Theatre." In 1957, he gained newfound popularity as the star of the NBC Western television series "Wagon Train." Inspired by John Ford's film "Wagon Master," in which Bond also starred, the show focused on the quest of a westbound wagon train through the American frontier from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. Bond starred as wagon master Major Seth Adams, with other main cast members including Robert Horton, Frank McGrath, Terry Wilson, and Chick Hannan. A variety of guest stars also appeared on the show throughout the years, among them such famous actors as Ernest Borgnine, Lee Marvin, and Bette Davis. Bond starred on "Wagon Train" for four seasons until his passing in 1960; he was succeeded in the wagon master role by John McIntire.


Bond was a Republican. He was a member of the conservative Hollywood organization the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, which worked to oppose alleged communists in the film industry.

Personal Life and Death

In 1936, Bond married Doris Childs. The couple eventually divorced in 1944. A decade later, Bond wed Mary May, with whom he remained until his death.

In 1960, Bond had a major heart attack while at a hotel in Dallas with his wife. At the hospital, he was pronounced dead on November 5. His longtime friend and colleague John Wayne delivered the eulogy at his funeral.


Bond left behind a legacy as a prolific Hollywood character actor known for playing friendly lawmen as well as vicious henchman in Western films. Before he passed away, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in honor of his contributions to entertainment. Later, in 2001, Bond was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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