Gail Russell

Active - 1942 - 1992  |   Born - Sep 23, 1924   |   Died - Aug 26, 1961   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Adventure, Western

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Sad-eyed actress Gail Russell was attending Santa Monica High School when she was spotted by a Paramount talent scout. Signed by the studio in 1942, Russell made her feature debut in Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour (1942). Her haunting, melancholy beauty was ideally suited for the ingénue role in the lavish Paramount supernatural yarn The Uninvited (1944). She also displayed a natural comic sense as Emily Kimbrough in Our Hearts Were Young and Gay (1944) and Our Hearts Were Growing Up (1946). In 1947, she was romantically involved with no fewer than three men: John Wayne, with whom she starred in Angel and the Badman (1947); director John Farrow, who guided her through Calcutta (1947); and actor Guy Madison, her first husband. After several well-publicized arrests for drunken driving, Russell became a virtual recluse, making only a handful of TV and movie appearances in her last years. On August 27, 1961, Gail Russell was found dead in her Brentwood apartment.

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