Russ Tamblyn Biography

Birthday: 1934-12-30
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California USA
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Wiki Biography: Russ Tamblyn might as well face it...he will be a Jet "till his last dying day." Indelibly linked to the "womb to tomb" role of Riff, the knife-wielding, rocket-tempered, Baryshnikov-styled gang leader of the streetwise Jets in the musical film masterpiece West Side Story (1961), it's not a bad way to be remembered! Russ was actually 27 when he portrayed the teenage troublemaker who became the '50s equivalent of the Mercutio character in the Romeo and Juliet-inspired adaptation. To describe Tamblyn as talented and extremely agile is a huge understatement. This awesome musical performer was born in Los Angeles, California on December 30, 1934, and groomed early for stardom. Discovered at age ten by actor Lloyd Bridges for the play "Stone Jungle", Russ was soon performing on radio and in L.A.-based musical revues. Billed as "Rusty Tamblyn" then, the tousle-haired scrapper played a student extra in his first film The Boy with Green Hair (1948) starring another child actor, Dean Stockwell. Having taken up dancing and acrobatics from the age of 6, Tamblyn marked his abilities with his very first TV appearance on the "The Ed Sullivan Show." Eventually handed a starring role in the "B" film The Kid from Cleveland (1949), he was signed by an eager MGM who saw his potential as a juvenile actor. Featured in the popular family-oriented comedy Father of the Bride (1950), and its sequel Father's Little Dividend (1951), Tamblyn also had a prime role in the war drama Take the High Ground! (1953) before taking off in musical films. Demonstrating exceptional athleticism in one of MGM's best, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), Tamblyn's timing was regrettably off as musicals were quickly on the wane. He adjusted, however. A starring role in the low-budget The Young Guns (1956) led to excellent reviews in the ensemble box-office soaper Peyton Place (1957). Tamblyn, along with Lana Turner, Arthur Kennedy, Hope Lange and Diane Varsi, all received Oscar nominations for their participation. Russ scored quite well in the title role of tom thumb (1958), which became a large stepping stone in his being cast as Riff in 1961. Following this achievement, however, the offers started dwindling. Tamblyn's last co-starring roles in quality films were shot overseas with the British-produced chiller The Haunting (1963) with Julie Harris and Claire Bloom, and the British-Yugoslavian Viking costumer The Long Ships (1964) starring Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier. After that, his career grew quite dismal. Titles such as The Female Bunch (1971), Satan's Sadists (1969), Scream Free! (1969), Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) and The Bloody Monks (1988) pretty much tells the story. On the road in the lean years with minor stage productions here and there, including the musical "Cabaret," Russ all but disappeared from the viewing audience. When he finally nabbed the role of the overtly weird (and who wasn't on that show?) psychiatrist Dr. Lawrence Jacoby in the popular TV cult series "Twin Peaks" (1990), it was the first time Tamblyn had generated interest in over two decades. Barely recognizable with his wild-eyed look, mangy hair and frizzy beard, he has since gained employment off this eccentric image. Married three times, Tamblyn has lately taken on choreographic duties and the managing of actress/daughter Amber Tamblyn's career, she of "Joan of Arcadia" (2003) fame.

Russ TamblynPhotos & Pictures

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Filmography

TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Gideon Pontipee 1954 Adventure
Peyton Place 1957 Drama
Twin Peaks Dr. Jacoby 1990 Crime
Drive 2007 Crime
The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret Chuck Margaret 2009 Comedy
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
The Winning Team 1952 0
As Young as You Feel 1952 Comedy
Retreat, Hell! 1952 Drama
Take the High Ground! Paul Jamison 1953
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Gideon Pontipee 1954 Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Hit the Deck 1955 Comedy, Musical, Romance
The Fastest Gun Alive 1956 0
The Last Hunt 1956
Tom Thumb Tom Thumb 1958 0, 0, 0
Peyton Place 1958 Drama, Romance
West Side Story Riff 1961 Comedy, 0, Biography
The Long Ships 1964 Action, Adventure
Human Highway 1982
Commando Squad Anchor 1987 Action, Drama
Dracula vs. Frankenstein 1988
Necromancer Charles DeLonge 1988 Game Show
Aftershock Hank Franklin 1990 Action
The Bloody Monks Frank 1990 Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
Wizards of the Demon Sword Ulric 1991 Adventure, Fantasy
Cabin Boy 1994 0, 0, 0
Little Devils: The Birth Doc Clapton 1994 Comedy, Horror
Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold 1995
Starstruck Wheeler / Homeless Man 1997 Action, Thriller
Little Miss Magic Brenden Moran 1998 Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Drive 2011 0, 0, Game Show
Hits Russ 2014 Comedy
Chatty Catties Bruce 2015 Comedy