Betsy Russell

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Betsy Russell
Russell, Betsy (2007).jpg
Russell at the 2007 Scream Awards
BornElizabeth Russell
(1963-09-06) 6 September 1963 (age 50)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Years active1982–present
Spouse(s)Vincent Van Patten (m. 1989–2001)
Partner(s)Mark Burg
Website Betsy Russell on Twitter
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Betsy Russell
Russell, Betsy (2007).jpg
Russell at the 2007 Scream Awards
BornElizabeth Russell
(1963-09-06) 6 September 1963 (age 50)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Years active1982–present
Spouse(s)Vincent Van Patten (m. 1989–2001)
Partner(s)Mark Burg
Website Betsy Russell on Twitter

Betsy Russell (born Elizabeth Russell; September 6, 1963)[1] is an American actress who is best known for her role in Private School, and as Jill Tuck, the ex-wife of the Jigsaw Killer in the Saw film series.

Early life[edit]

Russell was born in San Diego, California, the daughter of Constance (née Lerner) and Richard Lion Russell, a stock analyst.[2] Her maternal grandfather was journalist and educator Max Lerner.[3] Russell wanted to be an actress since age eight and started acting in school plays.[4] She appeared in a Pepsi commercial that was taped locally while in high school. After graduating from Mission Bay High School in 1981,[5] she moved to Los Angeles and began taking acting classes and waitress jobs before her first role.


Russell's first role was in the 1982 film Let's Do It! That same year, she landed roles on T.J. Hooker and Family Ties. In 1983, Russell's breakout role came as Jordan Leigh-Jenson in the sex comedy, Private School. While shooting the film Avenging Angel, she was offered to audition for the 1985 film Silverado but turned it down. She said in an interview, "Everything happens for a reason. I always believe my career would have been different had I done that part. I can’t say if it would have been better or worse. I’ve had a good run".[3] She went on to star in a series of B movies in the 1980s including Tomboy, and Cheerleader Camp. In addition to films, Russell also appeared on The A-Team, Murder, She Wrote, 1st & Ten, and an episode of Superboy, which was a reunion with her Tomboy co-star Gerard Christopher.

After a brief retirement from acting, Russell appeared in a small role in Saw III playing John Kramer's ex-wife, Jill Tuck. She went on to star in the sequels, Saw IV, Saw V, Saw VI, and Saw 3D.[6] She played a role in the 2010 film Chain Letter, the SyFy film Mandrake and My Trip Back to the Dark Side. [7][8]

Personal life[edit]

In August 1988, Russell was engaged to actor Vincent Van Patten, son of Dick Van Patten. They were married nine months later on May 27, 1989 in North Hollywood. Their wedding reception was at Patten's father Sherman Oaks home which was attended by Alan Alda, Carl Reiner, Valerie Perrine, Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, Wayne Gretzky and Janet Jones, Hugh Hefner and Kimberley Conrad.[9] They divorced in 2001 and have two children; Richard Van Patten (March 1993) and Vincent Van Patten, Jr. (September 3, 1995)[10][11] Russell was once engaged to producer Mark Burg.[12] Russell holds a master's degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica.[13] She resides in Malibu, California.[14]


1982Let's Do It!Kittie
1983Private SchoolJordan Leigh-JensonAlternative title: Private School... for Girls
1985Avenging AngelMolly "Angel" Stewart
1985TomboyTomasina "Tommy" Boyd
1985Out of ControlChrissie Baret
1987Cheerleader CampAlison WentworthAlternative title: Bloody Pom Poms
1989Trapper County WarLacey Luddigger
1991Camp FearJamieAlternative title: The Millennium Countdown
1992Delta HeatVicky Forbes
1993Amore!Cheryl Schwartz
1995The BreakCandy
2000The Flunky
2006Saw IIIJill Tuck
2007Saw IVJill Tuck
2008Saw VJill Tuck
2009Saw VIJill Tuck
2010Chain LetterSergeant Hamill
2010Saw 3DJill TuckEyegore Award
2012Lose YourselfDestinyDirect-to-video
2013Knock 'em DeadLouannePost-production
2013My Trip Back to the Dark SideDestiny
1982The Powers of Matthew StarDawnEpisode: "Jackal"
1982T. J. HookerTeenagerEpisode: "Second Chance"
1982Family TiesGirlEpisode: "Not with My Sister You Don't"
1984,1986The A-TeamTina
Adrian Prescott
Episode: "Bullets and Bikinis"
Episode: "Members Only"
1986Murder, She WroteDoris RobinsonEpisode: "Menace, Anyone?"
1st & TenEpisode: "Yinessa's Interview"
Episode: "Easy Come, Easy Go"
Episode: "The Big One"
1987Roxanne: The Prize PulitzerLiza PulitzerTelevision film
1987SuperboySereneEpisode: "Superboy... Rest in Peace"
1995Platypus ManBeckyEpisode: "The Crush"
2010MandrakeFeliciaTelevision film on SyFy


  1. ^ "Betsy Russell Biography". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  2. ^ "MARRIAGE IN APRIL FOR MISS C. LERNER; Columnist's Daughter Engaged to Richard Russell, Former Air Force Bombardier". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). February 15, 1953. Retrieved October 30, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b McDonald, Patrick (October 27, 2010). "Interview: Betsy Russell Completes the Jigsaw Puzzle in 'Saw 3D'". Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  4. ^ Farinella, Tony (October 24, 2008). "411 Movies Interview: Betsy Russell of Saw V". Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Betsy Russell". Soylent Communications. Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  6. ^ Topel, Fred (October 26, 2007). "Betsy Russell on Saw IV". CraveOnline. Retrieved May 31, 2008. 
  7. ^ Miska, Brad (November 8, 2009). "AFM '09: New Films Acquires 'Chain Letter', New Trailer". Bloody Disgusting (The Collective). Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  8. ^ Seidman, Robert (August 30, 2010). "Syfy Original Movie 'Mandrake' Premieres Saturday, September 11 at 9pm". TVbytheNumbers (Zap2it). Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  9. ^ Swertlow, Frank (June 2, 1989). "Hollywood Freeway - Tears and Cheers for 'Phantom'". Los Angeles Daily News (MediaNews Group). 
  10. ^ Noor, Star (November 2010). "Betsy Russell on MF Magazine". Music Fashion Magazine. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Biography for Vincent Van Patten". TCMDb. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  12. ^ Bowles, Duncan (November 9, 2009). "Interview with Saw actress Betsy Russell". Den of Geek. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  13. ^ Aushenker, Michael (October 13, 2010). "Malibu's queen of Halloween". The Malibu Times. Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  14. ^ Bryant, Jessica (August 26, 2010). "Haute Secrets Los Angeles: Betsy Russell". Haute Living Magazine. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 

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