GAIL RUSSELL BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Gail Russell was born on September 21st, 1924 in Chicago, Illinois with the birth name Elizabeth L. Russell to parents George and Gladys (Barnet) Russell. She was raised in Chicago until her family chose to relocate to California when she was fourteen years old. She completed her schooling at Santa Monica High School and upon graduation became involved in acting when a Paramount scout spotted her at her High School.
She joined paramount Pictures Studios and was offered a contract. Even though she lacked any type of acting experience, it was due to her exquisite beauty that the studio felt they could train her how to be an actress.
At the age of nineteen she debuted in her first film role, "Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour" (1943). She only had a small part and it was her own film role that year, however the following year she was offered another role in, "The Uninvited" (1944). Gail was a very shy person and therefore she turned to alcohol to calm her nerves on set. Her next film role was significantly better starring in, "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay" (1944) with costar Diana Lynn.
Gail continued to get cast as supporting characters in decent films such as her next role on, "Salty O'Rourke" (1945) followed by an appearance on, "The Unseen" (1945). This particular film was profitable but not as successful as producers had hoped for. Again, she worked alongside actress Diana Lynn in, "Our Hearts Were Grown Up" (1946) which was a sequel to the last film she worked with Diana on, "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay". Sadly, this film lacked the success of the first one and failed miserably at the box office.
As time proceeded she continued to get roles on films that were all decent but none hit a major success. Some of the films she worked on were, "Angel and the Badman" starring John Wayne and "Variety Girl" (both 1947) and "Wake of the Red Witch" (1948) also starring alongside John Wayne. She then did three more films, "Song of India" (1949), "El Paso" (1949) and "Captain China" (1950). One more film role followed in 1950 on, "The Lawless", however soon after Paramount decided not to renew her contract due to her alcohol addiction problem.
She began to earn a bad reputation in the industry and after she did one more film in 1951, "Air Cadet" she was not cast in another film for the next five years. Gail returned to the big screen in 1956 with a role in, "Seven Men From Now" followed by two more roles on the films, "The Tattered Dress" (1957) and "No Place to Land" (1958).
Gail was unable to control her alcohol addiction and after appearing in her final film role, "The Silent Call" (1961) she was found dead on August 27th, 1961 in Los Angeles, California from an apparent heart attack in her apartment in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California at the tender age of thirty six. Cause of death was liver damage due to alcohol. She is interred at Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood, California.
She married once to another famous actor Guy Madison from July 31st, 1949 Through October 26th, 1954 when they divorced. She had no children throughout her lifetime. In addition to being a beautiful woman she was also very interested in art from a young age. She became a very talented oil painter.
Had it not been for her shyness and alcohol addicition, Gail Rusell's career would have reached a level of success, but sadly, she did not have the will power to over come such an obtacle.
1961 The Silent Call
1960 The Rebel
1958 No Place to Land
1957 The Tattered Dress
1956 Seven Men from Now
1956 Studio 57
1951 Air Cadet
1950 The Lawless
1950 Captain China
1949 The Great Dan Patch
1949 El Paso
1949 Song of India
1948 Wake of the Red Witch
1948 Night Has a Thousand Eyes
1947 Angel and the Badman
1946 The Bachelor's Daughters
1946 Our Hearts Were Growing Up
1945 The Unseen
1945 Salty O'Rourke
1944 Our Hearts Were Young and Gay
1944 The Uninvited
1944 Lady in the Dark
1943 Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour