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Rex Smith

Biography by Greg Prato

Rex Smith is perhaps best known as a late '70s/early '80s pin-up idol, who issued several albums for Columbia Records. But besides his recording career, Smith has acted in countless TV shows and Broadway musicals over the years. Born on September 19, 1955 in Jacksonville, Florida, Smith caught his big break in 1978, when he landed the role of Danny Zuko with the Broadway production of Grease, which led to the launch of a recording career soon after. The soundtrack to a 1979 TV movie he starred in, Sooner or Later, spawned a Top Ten hit with "You Take My Breath Away," as both the single and album achieved gold certification. Subsequently, Smith's popularity with teenyboppers skyrocketed, as the singer's mug was spotted on the covers of 16 and Teen Beat for several years subsequently. More albums soon followed (including 1983's Camouflage, which attempted to remake Smith over as rocker — complete with contributions from the J. Geils Band's Peter Wolf and Aerosmith's Brad Whitford), but all failed to match the success of his 1979 hit. Smith achieved greater success on Broadway, as he received a Theater World Award for his portrayal of the character Frederick in The Pirates of Penzance, which was made into a movie in 1983 (which Smith also starred in). Smith also replaced Andy Gibb as the host for the weekly music TV show, Solid Gold, holding down the job from 1982-1983. Smith continued to work in plays and TV throughout '80s and '90s, appearing in such Broadway productions as The Human Comedy, Grand Hotel, and The Scarlet Pimpernel, as well as spots on the TV shows Norm, JAG, and Baywatch, among others. The early 21st century saw Smith launch his own official website (http://www.rexsmith.com/), through which he issued a new album titled after his lone hit single, 2002's You Take My Breath Away

Content provided by All Music Guide. (C) 2009 All Media Guide, LLC.

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