Rex Smith (born September 19, 1955, Jacksonville, Florida) is an American actor and singer. 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.
In the early 1970s, Smith was the lead singer for a band from Athens, Georgia named Phaedra. Smith next sang vocals in a pop 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More recently, Smith appeared as the Captain in The Sound of Music at the Ogunquit Playhouse, in 2010.
CBS Records 1983
CBS Records 1981
Columbia Records 1980
Sooner Or Later
Columbia Records 1979