biography

Born in Los Angeles on December 30, 1934, actor and choreographer Russ Tamblyn was born into a family of entertainers. As age ten, he was discovered by actor Lloyd Bridges while doing a play in the mid 1940s. Soon he was appearing on radio programs and in a number of plays in the Los Angeles area. His first film was the Republic drama The Kid from Cleveland (1949; with George Brent and Lynn Bari), billed as 'Rusty' Tamblyn. As he moved into adulthood, he was cast in musicals that showcased his dance skills, including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954; with Jane Powell) and Hit the Deck (1955; with Jane Powell, Tony Martin, and Debbie Reynolds). Tamblyn also acted in a number of westerns, such as The Last Hunt (1956; with Robert Taylor), The Fastest Gun Alive (1956; with Glenn Ford), and The Young Guns (1956; with Gloria Talbott).

Tamblyn's career was going very well when he was drafted into the Army in 1957, around the time his marriage to his first wife, actress Venetia Stevenson, ended. The draft damaged the momentum in his career, and after his discharge in 1959, Tamblyn began to scramble for roles. His greatest success came when he landed the role of Riff in the big-budget musical West Side Story (1961; with Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer). While the film was a hit, musicals were dying as a genre, so he turned to television appearances between such films as The Haunting (1963; with Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, and Lois Maxwell) and Son of a Gunfighter (1965; with Kieron Moore and Fernando Rey).

Russ Tamblyn and Venetia StevensonRuss Tamblyn, Tommy Kirk, Stanley Livingston, Ross Hagen, and Fred Olen Ray

LEFT: With actress Venetia Stevenson, shortly after their 1956 marriage. RIGHT: Behind-the-scences cast member photo from Attack of the 60-Foot Centerfold (1995). Left to right: Actors Russ Tamblyn, Tommy Kirk, Stanley Livingston, and Ross Hagen. Seated is director Fred Olen Ray


By the late 1960s, Tamblyn acted in a number of fun drive-in flicks, including Scream Free! (1969; with Richard Beymer, Lana Wood, and Casey Kasem), Satan's Sadists (1969; with Scott Brady, Greydon Clark, and Regina Carrol), The Female Bunch (1971; with Lon Chaney Jr., Leslie McRay, and Regina Carrol), and Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971; with Anthony Eisley, Lon Chaney Jr., and Regina Carrol).

the films of russ tamblyn

Father of the Bride (1950)

Tom Irish, Spencer Tracy, Elizabeth Taylor, Don Taylor, Joan Bennett, and Russ Tamblyn

Russ Tamblyn plays the youngest member of the family in the MGM comedy Father of the Bride. Pictured are Tom Irish, Spencer Tracy, Elizabeth Taylor, Don Taylor, Joan Bennett, and Russ Tamblyn

As Young as You Feel (1951)

Constance Bennett and Russ Tamblyn

With Constance Bennett in the 20th Century Fox comedy As Young as You Feel

Hit the Deck (1955)

Tony Martin, Russ Tamblyn, and Gene Raymond

From MGM's bid-budget musical comedy Hit the Deck with Tony Martin and Gene Raymond

The Young Guns (1956)

Russ Tamblyn and Walter Coy

From the Allied Artists western The Young Guns with Walter Coy

The Last Hunt (1956)

Ed Lonehill, Russ Tamblyn, and Robert Taylor

With Robert Taylor and Ed Lonehill in the MGM western The Last Hunt

Peyton Place (1957)

Russ Tamblyn and Diane Varsi

From the 20th Century Fox potboiler Peyton Place with Diane Varsi

High School Confidential! (1958)

Russ Tamblyn and Charles HaltonMamie Van Doren and Russ Tamblyn

LEFT: With Charles Halton in Albert Zugsmith's MGM teen crime drama High School Confidential!. RIGHT: With Mamie Van Doren as Tamblyn's aunt

tom thumb (1958)

Russ Tamblyn

George Pal directed the British MGM fantasy tom thumb, in which Russ Tamblyn plays the title character

West Side Story (1961)

Russ Tamblyn

With a budget of about $6 million, the musical West Side Story was the biggest picture of Russ Tamblyn's career

The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962)

Yvette Mimieux and Russ Tamblyn

With Yvette Mimieux in the MGM fantasy The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm

Follow the Boys (1963)

Russ Tamblyn, Paula Prentiss, Richard Long, Dany Robin, Roger Perry, Connie Francis, Ron Randell, and Janis Paige

From the MGM romantic musical Follow the Boys. From left to right: Russ Tamblyn, Paula Prentiss, Richard Long, Dany Robin, Roger Perry, Connie Francis, Ron Randell, and Janis Paige

The Haunting (1963)

Richard Johnson, Claire Bloom, and Russ TamblynJulie Harris and Russ Tamblyn

LEFT: From the excellent MGM horror release The Haunting with Richard Johnson and Claire Bloom. RIGHT: With Julie Harris

The Long Ships (1964)

Russ Tamblyn and Richard Widmark

From the Columbia adventure The Long Ships with Richard Widmark

Son of a Gunfighter (1966)

Kieron Moore, James Philbrook, and Russ TamblynRuss Tamblyn and María Granada

LEFT: Shot in Spain, Son of a Gunfighter has proven to be one of Russ Tamblyn's final western films. Also pictured are Kieron Moore and James Philbrook. RIGHT: With María Granada

Satan's Sadists (1969)

Russ Tamblyn and Richard Widmark

Scripted by Greydon Clark and directed by Al Adamson, Satan's Sadists stars Tamblyn as Anchor, head of a vicious biker gang

russ tamblyn today

Russ Tamblyn worked relatively little as an actor in the 1970s, as he spend a large part of the decade as an artist. But by the late 1980s, he resumed his film career and was cast on the series Twin Peaks. And at age 82 he is still working as an actor, primarily in television. On a personal note, Tamblyn married showgirl Elizabeth Kempton in 1960, and the couple had two children before their 1979 divorce. He married wife Bonnie in 1981, and their daughter, actress Amber Tamblyn, was born in 1983.

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filmography

FILM
Hits (2014) with James Adomian
Django Unchained (2012) with Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Dennis Christopher, and Don Stroud
Drive (2011) with Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Christina Hendricks, and Ron Perlman
Inherit the Wind (1999) with Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott
Little Miss Magic (1998) with Michelle Bauer and Tommy Kirk
My Ghost Dog (1997) with John Phillip Law
Invisible Dad (1997) with Karen Black and Ross Hagen
Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfolds (1995) with Michelle Bauer, George Stover, Ross Hagen, Tommy Kirk, and Stanley Livingston
Rebellious (1995) with Ross Hagen, Nancy Kwan, Fred Olen Ray, and Amber Tamblyn
Starstruck (1995) with Julie Strain, Lawrence Tierney, Joe Estevez, and Karen Black
Cabin Boy (1994) with Chris Elliott, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Ann Magnuson
Little Devils: The Birth (1993) with Stella Stevens
Running Mates (1992) with Diane Keaton, Ed Harris, Ed Begley Jr., and Brandon Maggart
Wizards of the Demon Sword (1991) with Lyle Waggoner, Lawrence Tierney, and Hoke Howell
The Bloody Monks (1990) with Isela Vega
Aftershock (1990) with John Saxon, Michael Berryman, Christopher Mitchum, and Richard Lynch
Desert Steel (1989) with David Naughton
B.O.R.N. (1988) with Ross Hagen, P.J. Soles, Hoke Howell, William Smith, Amanda Blake, Rance Howard, Clint Howard, and Claire Polan
Necromancer (1988) with Elizabeth Kaitan
Commando Squad (1987) with Kathy Shower, Brian Thompson, William Smith, Robert Quarry, Sid Haig, Marie Windsor, Ross Hagen, and Tane McClure
Human Highway (1982) with Neil Young , Dean Stockwell, Dennis Hopper, Charlotte Stewart, Sally Kirkland, and Mark Mothersbaugh
Black Heat (1976) with Timothy Brown; directed by Al Adamson
The World Through the Eyes of Children (1975) with Dave Garroway, Gregg Palmer, and John Mitchum
Win, Place or Steal (1975) with Dean Stockwell, Alex Karras, Alan Oppenheimer, McLean Stevenson, Peggy Rea, and Harry Dean Stanton
Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) with J. Carrol Naish, Lon Chaney Jr., Zandor Vorkov, Anthony Eisley, Regina Carrol, Jim Davis, and Greydon Clark; directed by Al Adamson
The Female Bunch (1971) with Lon Chaney Jr., Jennifer Bishop, Leslie McRay, Regina Carrol, and Albert Cole; directed by Al Adamson
The Last Movie (1971) with Julie Adams, Toni Basil, Rod Cameron, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Kris Kristofferson, John Phillip Law, Sylvia Miles, and Tomas Milian
Scream Free! (1969) with Richard Beymer, Lana Wood, Casey Kasem, Jody McCrea, and Lindsay Crosby
Satan's Sadists (1969) with Scott Brady, John 'Bud' Cardos, Robert Dix, Gary Kent, Greydon Clark, Kent Taylor, Regina Carrol, and Jacqueline Cole; directed by Al Adamson
The War of the Gargantuas (1966)
Son of a Gunfighter (1965) with Kieron Moore and Fernando Rey
The Long Ships (1964) with Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, Rosanna Schiaffino, and Lionel Jeffries
The Haunting (1963) with Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnsonl, and Lois Maxwell
Follow the Boys (1963) with Connie Francis, Paula Prentiss, Janis Paige, Richard Long, Ron Randell, and Roger Perry
How the West Was Won (1962) with Carroll Baker, Lee J. Cobb, Henry Fonda, Carolyn Jones, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, John Wayne, and Richard Widmark
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962) with Laurence Harvey, Claire Bloom, Walter Slezak, Barbara Eden, and Yvette Mimieux
West Side Story (1961) with Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, and Simon Oakland
Cimarron (1960) with Glenn Ford, Maria Schell, Anne Baxter, Arthur O'Connell, Mercedes McCambridge, and Vic Morrow
Tom Thumb (1958) with Alan Young, Terry-Thomas, and Peter Sellers
High School Confidential! (1958) with Jan Sterling, John Drew Barrymore, Diane Jergens, Mamie Van Doren, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Anthony, Jackie Coogan, and Michael Landon
Peyton Place (1957) with Lana Turner, Lee Philips, Lloyd Nolan, Terry Moore, Hope Lange, Diane Varsi, and Barry Coe
Don't Go Near the Water (1957) with Glenn Ford, Gia Scala, Earl Holliman, Anne Francis, Keenan Wynn, Fred Clark, Eva Gabor, and Jeff Richards
The Young Guns (1956) with Gloria Talbott and Myron Healey
The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) with Glenn Ford, Jeanne Crain, Broderick Crawford, Leif Erickson, and Noah Beery Jr.
The Last Hunt (1956) with Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger, Lloyd Nolan, Debra Paget, and Constance Ford
Hit the Deck (1955) with Jane Powell, Tony Martin, Debbie Reynolds, Walter Pidgeon, Vic Damone, and Ann Miller
Many Rivers to Cross (1955) with Robert Taylor, Eleanor Parker, Victor McLaglen, Jeff Richards, James Arness, Alan Hale Jr., and John Hudson
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) with Howard Keel, Jeff Richards, Jane Powell, Julie Newmar, and Ruta Lee
Take the High Ground! (1953) with Richard Widmark, Karl Malden, Elaine Stewart, Carleton Carpenter, and Steve Forrest
The Winning Team (1952) with Doris Day and Ronald Reagan
Retreat, Hell! (1952) with Richard Carlson
As Young as You Feel (1951) with Monty Woolley, Thelma Ritter, David Wayne, Jean Peters, Constance Bennett, Marilyn Monroe, and Albert Dekker
Father's Little Dividend (1951) with Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor, and Billie Burke
Father of the Bride (1950) with Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor, Billie Burke, and Leo G. Carroll
The Vicious Years (1950) with Tommy Cook, Eduard Franz, and Marjorie Eaton
Captain Carey, U.S.A. (1950) with Alan Ladd and Wanda Hendrix
Gun Crazy (1950) with Peggy Cummins, John Dall, and Berry Kroeger
Samson and Delilah (1949) with Hedy Lamarr, Victor Mature, George Sanders, and Angela Lansbury
The Kid from Cleveland (1949) with George Brent, Lynn Bari, Tommy Cook, Ann Doran, and John Beradino

TELEVISION SERIES
The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, 2010-2012 IFC series. Tamblyn portrayed Chuck Margaret
Twin Peaks, 1990-1991 ABC TV Series. Tamblyn portrayed Dr. Lawrence Jacoby

TELEVISION GUEST APPEARANCES
Joan of Arcadia, episode Friday Night, originally aired November 12, 2004
Joan of Arcadia, episode Do the Math, originally aired April 2, 2004
Joan of Arcadia, episode Night without Stars, originally aired February 13, 2004
Nash Bridges, episode The Counterfeiters, originally aired January 24, 1997
Babylon 5, episode A Distant Star, originally aired November 23, 1994
Quantum Leap, episode Thou Shalt Not... - February 2, 1974, originally aired November 15, 1989
Fame, episode Baby, Remember My Name, originally aired May 18, 1987
Fame, episode Hold That Baby, originally aired November 10, 1986
Fame, episode Losin' It, originally aired May 17, 1986
Nero Wolfe, episode Before I Die, originally aired January 30, 1981
The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, episode The Skyrider, originally aired May 5, 1978
The Quest, episode The Captive, originally aired September 22, 1976
Cade's County, episode Ragged Edge, originally aired March 5, 1972
The Name of the Game, episode A Hard Case of the Blues, originally aired September 26, 1969
Iron Horse, episode Decision at Sundown, originally aired February 27, 1967
Tarzan, episode Leopard on the Loose, originally aired September 23, 1966
Gunsmoke, episode He Who Steals, originally aired May 29, 1965
Burke's Law, episode Who Killed Rosie Sunset?, originally aired January 27, 1965
Channing, episode The Last Testament of Buddy Crown, originally aired December 18, 1963
The Greatest Show on Earth, episode Silent Love, Secret Love, originally aired September 24, 1963

russ tamblyn links

Russ Tamblyn's Official Website

russ tamblyn now showing

Watch Russ Tamblyn in the 1951 film Father's Little Dividend
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