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John Russell

John Russell was an American film and television actor. Born William Lawrence Russell in Los Angeles, California, he fit the Hollywood image of tall, dark, and handsome. In 1937, he signed a contract as a juvenile actor for 20th Century Fox but became a student at the University of California. Following the outbreak of World War II, he joined the United States Marines and returned home after the war, a highly decorated soldier.

As John Russell, he made his film debut in 1945. He primarily played secondary roles, often in western films, but in 1952 starred opposite Judy Canova in Oklahoma Annie. In 1955 Russell was given the lead role in a television drama called Soldiers of Fortune. The half-hour adventure show placed him and his sidekick, played by Chick Chandler, in a dangerous jungle setting. While the show proved popular with young boys, it did not draw enough adult viewers to its prime slot and was canceled in 1957.

A year later, Russell was cast in his most memorable role as Marshal Dan Troop, the lead character in Lawman, an ABC western series that ran until 1962. Co-starring with Peter Brown, who played Deputy Johnny McKay, Russell played a U.S. frontier 'peace officer' mentoring his younger compatriot.

Russell appeared in other motion pictures, notably in the Howard Hawks 1959 western, Rio Bravo. Through the 1960s to the 1980s, he returned to secondary roles, appearing in more than twenty films including three directed by friend, Clint Eastwood.

John Russell passed away in 1991 and was interred in the Los Angeles National Cemetery, a former U.S. Veterans Administration cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.

John Russell Facts

Birth NameWilliam Lawrence Russell
BirthdayJanuary 3, 1921
BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, USA
Date of deathJanuary 19, 1991 (age 70)
Height6' 3" (1m91)  How tall is John Russell compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Not available.