Gail Russell

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Gail Russell
Gail Russell in Wake of the Red Witch trailer.jpg
BornElizabeth L. Russell
(1924-09-21)September 21, 1924
Chicago, Illinois, USA
DiedAugust 26, 1961(1961-08-26) (aged 36)
Brentwood, Los Angeles
California
Cause of death
Liver damage resulting from alcoholism
Resting place
Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood, California
OccupationActress
Years active1943–1961
Spouse(s)Guy Madison (1949–1954) (divorced)
 
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Gail Russell
Gail Russell in Wake of the Red Witch trailer.jpg
BornElizabeth L. Russell
(1924-09-21)September 21, 1924
Chicago, Illinois, USA
DiedAugust 26, 1961(1961-08-26) (aged 36)
Brentwood, Los Angeles
California
Cause of death
Liver damage resulting from alcoholism
Resting place
Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood, California
OccupationActress
Years active1943–1961
Spouse(s)Guy Madison (1949–1954) (divorced)

Gail Russell (September 21, 1924 – August 26, 1961) was an American film and television actress.

Career[edit]

She was born Elizabeth L. Russell to George and Gladys (Barnet) Russell in Chicago, Illinois, and then moved to the Los Angeles, California, area when she was a teenager. Russell's extraordinary beauty brought her to the attention of Paramount Pictures in 1942. Although she was almost clinically shy and had no acting experience, Paramount had great expectations for her and employed an acting coach to work with her.

At the age of 19 she made her film debut in the 1943 film Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour. Russell appeared in several more films in the early and mid-1940s, the most notable being The Uninvited (1944) with Ray Milland and Our Hearts Were Young and Gay (1944), in which she co-starred with Diana Lynn. Russell later appeared in the more popular films Calcutta (1947) with Alan Ladd and the two with John Wayne, Angel and the Badman (1947) and Wake of the Red Witch (1948).

Later career and personal life[edit]

With John Wayne (1947)

She continued working after 1947, and married actor Guy Madison in 1949, but by 1950 it was well known that she had become a victim of alcoholism, and Paramount did not renew her contract. She had started drinking on the set of The Uninvited to ease her paralyzing stage fright and lack of self-confidence.[1] Alcohol made a shambles of her career, appearance and personal life. She divorced Madison in 1954[2] and, after a five-year absence, returned to work in a co-starring role with Randolph Scott in the western Seven Men from Now (1956), produced by her friend Wayne, and had a substantial role in The Tattered Dress (1957).

On July 5, 1957, she was photographed by a Los Angeles Times photographer after she drove her convertible into the front of Jan's coffee shop at 8424 Beverly Blvd. After failing a sobriety test, Russell was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.[3]

Death[edit]

She appeared in two more films after that but was not able to control her addiction, and on August 26, 1961, Russell was found dead in her apartment in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, at the age of 36. She died from liver damage attributed to long-term alcohol abuse.[4] She was also found to have been suffering from malnutrition at the time of her death.[5] She was buried in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood, California.

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1943Henry Aldrich Gets GlamourVirginia LowryAlternative title: Henry Gets Glamour
1944Lady in the DarkBarbara (at 17)
1944The UninvitedStella Meredith
1944Our Hearts Were Young and GayCornelia Otis Skinner
1945Salty O'RourkeBarbara Brooks
1945The UnseenElizabeth Howard
1946Our Hearts Were Growing UpCornelia Otis Skinner
1946The Bachelor's DaughtersEileenAlternative title: Bachelor Girls
1947Angel and the BadmanPenelope WorthAlternative title: Angel and the Outlaw
1947CalcuttaVirginia Moore
1948MoonriseGilly Johnson
1948Night Has a Thousand EyesJean Courtland
1948Wake of the Red WitchAngelique Desaix
1949Song of IndiaPrincess Tara
1949El PasoSusan Jeffers
1949The Great Dan PatchCissy LathropAlternative title: Ride a Reckless Mile
1950Captain ChinaKim Mitchell
1950The LawlessSunny GarciaAlternative title: The Dividing Line
1951Air CadetJanet PageAlternative title: Jet Men of the Air
1956Studio 57Episode: "Time, Tide and a Woman"
1956Seven Men from NowAnnie Greer
1957The Tattered DressCarol Morrow
1958No Place to LandLynn DillonAlternative title: Man Mad
1960The RebelCassandraEpisode: "Noblesse Oblige"
1960ManhuntMrs. ClarkeEpisode: "Matinee Mobster"
1961The Silent CallFlore Brancato

References[edit]

  1. ^ Porter, Darwin (2005). Howard Hughes: Hell's Angel. Blood Moon Productions, Ltd. p. 618. ISBN 0-9748118-1-5. 
  2. ^ Donnelley, Paul (2003). Fade To Black: A Book Of Movie Obituaries (2nd ed.). Omnibus Press. p. 823. ISBN 0-7119-9512-5. 
  3. ^ Coates, Paul V.; Harnisch, Larry (2007-07-05). "Gail Russell: In memoriam". latimesblogs.latimes.com. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  4. ^ Davis, Ronald L (2001). Duke: The Life and Image of John Wayne. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-8061-3329-4. Retrieved July 26, 2010. 
  5. ^ Brettell, Andrew; King, Noel; Kennedy, Damien; Imwold, Denise (2005). Cut!: Hollywood Murders, Accidents, and Other Tragedies. Leonard, Warren Hsu; von Rohr, Heather. Barrons Educational Series. p. 251. ISBN 0-7641-5858-9. 

External links[edit]