Rod Cameron was a Canadian-born movie actor whose career extended from the 1930s to the 1970s. He appeared in horror, war, action and science fiction movies, but is best remembered for his many westerns.
Cameron was born Nathan Roderick Cox in Calgary, Alberta. He moved to Hollywood as a young man and started out as a stuntman and bit player for Paramount Pictures. His early films include Heritage of the Desert with Donald Woods and Russell Hayden, Rangers of Fortune with Fred MacMurray, and Henry Aldrich for President with Jimmy Lydon. He also played bit roles at Universal Pictures, including in If I Had My Way, starring Bing Crosby and Gloria Jean.
In 1943, Rod Cameron gained star status in action serials for Republic Pictures. As crime-busting federal agent Rex Bennett, Cameron battled enemy terrorists in 15 weekly episodes of G-Men vs the Black Dragon. He was already working in another serial when audience reaction to Black Dragon made him a hit. Cameron was so popular that the studio turned the new production into another Rex Bennett adventure, Secret Service in Darkest Africa, with Cameron again battling against Axis agents.
When cowboy star Johnny Mack Brown left Universal Pictures for Monogram Pictures, Rod Cameron replaced him as Universal’s western series star. Tall and rugged, Cameron looked good in the saddle and was very popular. Universal soon gave him straight character roles in feature films, including Salome, Where She Danced and River Lady both co-starring fellow Canadian Yvonne DeCarlo.