Marshall Bingeman Shantz, Jr.
January 10, 1919
|Died||March 9, 1983 (aged 64)|
|Spouse(s)||Barbara Dykeman Marshall|
Rex Marshall, (born Marshall Bingeman Shantz, Jr. January 10, 1919–March 9, 1983) was an American actor, television announcer, and a radio personality for 46 years. His career began in Boston, Massachusetts as a reporter for a radio station and ended in White River Junction as the owner of his own radio station.
Marshall's most memorable role was as the host and announcer of the anthology television drama series Suspense from 1949–1954. He was also remembered as an announcer on the radio, spokesman for the Reynolds Aluminum Company for 25 years and as the spokesman for the Maxwell House coffee brand.
Early life and career
Marshall was born on January 10, 1919, in Pemberton, New Jersey to parents Marshall Bingeman Shantz, Sr. (February 28, 1890–June 6, 1950) and Hermione Shantz (May 14, 1893–November 1, 1987). Marshall was the oldest of four children. He had a younger brother; George T. Shantz (January 11, 1925–April 1, 1981), and two younger sisters; Valrie and Hermione (July 23, 1927–November 3, 2010). Drafted into the Army, Marshall was a pilot instructor for the Army Air Corps at the beginning of World War II; later in the war, he flew the amphibious PBY in the Pacific theater, attaining the rank of Captain.
Marshall started his career as an announcer for a Boston radio station in 1937.
In 1948, Marshall helped to erect WPIX-TV (Channel 11) in New York. He was also the first staff announcer for the station. That same year, Marshall hosted the Republican National Convention. In 1949, Marshall left his employment at WPIX-TV to work as a freelance advertising spokesman. He returned to the station in 1967 to anchor its 10 O'Clock Evening News. He left the next year.
In 1949, Marshall became the host of a new television anthology drama entitled Suspense. It was based on the radio program of the same name. The series broadcast a new suspense-drama every week. The show was sponsored by the Auto-Lite Corporation. The series aired on the CBS Television Network. It aired six seasons and 260 episodes between January 6, 1949–August 17, 1954. Out of the 260 episodes, Marshall only appeared in 75. But Suspense is Marshall's most memorable appearance.
Marshall also did other work in television, mostly as an announcer, in the 1950s after and during Suspense.
He was the second announcer of the game show Blind Date, (also known as Your Big Moment) from 1950-51. He was also the announcer of the sports show The Herman Hickman Show during its one-season run from 1952-53. He also the announcer of the Easter Parade of the Stars Auto Show and an announcer of The Jack Paar Show in 1957.
In 1965, Marshall purchased an existing AM radio property, WVTR, licensed to operate out of White River Junction, Vermont. He had the call letters changed to WNHV 910 AM Radio. Marshall actively managed WNHV until his death. The station used to play music but as of 2000, the station changed its format and the station became an ESPN Radio affiliate. It remained a sports station until its operations stopped on May 5, 2010. Its license was deleted by the Federal Communications Commission on September 12, 2011.
Marshall also did many endorsements for several different products and companies.
During the run of Suspense, Marshall endorsed Auto-Lite spark plugs. Auto-Lite was the sponsor for Suspense. Marshall also went on to be the spokesperson for the Reynolds Aluminum Company for 25 years. Marshall was the first spokesman for Gleem toothpaste starting from its product release in 1954. He also endorsed coffee for the Maxwell House Coffee brand and gasoline for the Standard Oil Corporation.
Marshall married Barbara Dykeman in 1942. The two had four children; two sons: Peter and Jeffrey, and two daughters: Pamela and Jamie.
On Tuesday, March 8, 1983, Marshall was sitting at his desk at WNHV, the station that he owned for 18 years, in White River Junction, Vermont when, suddenly, he suffered a heart attack. He was rushed to the Veterans Administration hospital in White River where he died on March 9, 1983. He was 64 years old.
While comparing human to equine motivations: You have to know how to sell yourself to both before you can get them to do anything for you.
To be valuable to a client, I must be a multi-celebrity. I can only achieve this status by making many appearances; to make several appearances, I need several clients. Then I think that diversity is good for me, artistically. If I only sold one product, I would soon get in a rut. And, of course, this way I can remain independent. When you're tied to a company, you immediately lose some freedom. This way, it's like a romance; the other way, it would be like a marriage.
|1949-1953||Suspense||Presenter||Appeared in 75 episodes|
|1950||Kuda Bux, Hindu Mystic||Announcer|
|Tom Corbett, Space Cadet||Lieutenant Saunders||3 episodes|
|1950-1952||The Adventures of Ellery Queen||Announcer||Announced 47 episodes|
|1952||Tales of Tomorrow||Host / Pitchman|
- Rex Marshall at IMDb
- "Rex Marshall, 64, Announcer on Radio and TV since 1937". The New York Times. March 11, 1983. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- "Suspense TV - Let's Get to Know Rex Marshall!". www.suspensetelevision.com. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
- Rex Marshall Trivia
- Suspense TV series at IMDb
- Rex Marshall Quotes
- Filmography: Rex Marshall (Actor)