Two things American actor John Russell was not: he was not cinematographer John L. Russell, nor was he the Johnny Russell who appears as Shirley Temple's brother in 20th Century-Fox's The Blue Bird (1940). He was however, a contract juvenile at Fox from 1937 through 1941. Interrupting his career for war service, Russell emerged from his tour of duty as a highly decorated marine. Busy in postwar films and TV as a secondary lead and utility villain, Russell was given costar billing with Chick Chandler in the 1955 syndicated TV adventure series Soldiers of Fortune. Four years later, Russell (now sporting a mustache) was cast as Marshal Dan Troop on the Warner Bros. weekly western series Lawman. This assignment lasted three years, after which Russell became a journeyman actor again. John Russell was well served with character parts in 1984's Honkytonk Man and 1985's Pale Rider, both directed by and starring another ex-TV-cowboy, Clint Eastwood.