|Birth: ||Sep. 15, 1918|
|Death: ||Oct. 2, 2005|
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
Actor, Comedian and Humorist. He is most remembered for his role of the Tin Man in "The Wiz" (a takeoff of the Wizard of Oz story) and on television game shows such as The Match Game (1973 to 1979) and Hollywood Squares. He was called television's "poet laureate" for always presenting a short humorous poem during his game show and talk show appearances. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, he graduated from the University of Cincinnati, and during World War II, and served as an Army Captain in Europe. Following the war, he worked in several minor acting jobs, finally deciding to make a pitch at television, and he began his television career as Officer Dave Anderson on the 1961 sitcom "Car 54, Where are You?" From there he went on to such shows as Laugh-in, The Dean Martin Show, the Jackie Gleason Show, the Tonight Show, and The Toast of the Town, always playing himself as a comedian. He and actor Dean Martin got along so well that he later became a regular on Dean Martin's Celebrity Roasts. He played the role of the Tinman in the 1978 remake of the Wizard of Oz, "The Wiz," and although the film was a financial failure, he was viewed as having made a positive contribution, and thus, acting jobs continued to come his way. Russell has played on Broadway for a number of years, and in in such films as "Nemo" (1984) and "Wildcats" (1986). His last film was reprising his earlier role of Officer Dave Anderson in the movie version of "Car 54, Where are You?" Russell never married. He died of cancer in New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital at the age of 87. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)
Cause of death: Cancer
Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: A.J. Marik
Record added: Oct 04, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11882274
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