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Bing Russell Bio

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:22 pm
by Calamity
Bing Russell

CastCap by Cal Bing in Branded

He was born Neil Oliver Russell in Brattleboro, Vermont on May 5, 1926. Russell had two loves: acting and baseball. He made his film debut in 1951 in an un-credited role, but then went on to be in hundreds of films and television shows during his forty-year acting career. Some of his film credits included Rio Bravo (1959), Tango & Cash (1989) and even managed to work in several films with his son, Kurt. He married Louise Julia Crone in 1946 and was with her until he died. They had four children: Jill, Jamie, Jody and Kurt. Bing Russell died of cancer on April 8, 2003 in Thousand Oaks, California.

From 1961 to 1973, he was in fifty-five Bonanza episodes. Before assuming the role of Deputy Clem Foster we see him as Poindexter in The Long Night and as a corrupt Calvary officer in The Honor Of Cochise but once he came to Virginia City in 1963 as a law officer, he stayed. We first see him in Half a Rogue and see him last in The Bucket Dog. We see him once as a different sheriff in The Other Son, but I don't think we were supposed to recognize him. He is an honest and fair officer and one that the Cartwrights are proud to call friend.

CastCap by Cal Deputy Clem Foster

As a child in Florida, Bing watched spring training at the Yankees facility in St. Petersburg, Fl. One day in 1935 at age 9 he outraced other kids for a foul ball only to have to fight them off to keep it. Lefty Gomez, the ace of the Yankees' pitching staff, noticed the kids scuffling, picked up Bing by the collar and said, "Kid, you'll never have to fight for a ball the rest of your life." From then on Bing was their bat boy.

CastCap by Cal Bing and Kurt Russell on the ballfield

Bing maintained a long and varied association with baseball throughout his life, including playing professional minor league baseball in 1948 and later owning the only independent team in the Class A Northwest League - the Portland Mavericks. In 1974 he was named Minor League Executive of the Year and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame for his work as a minor league executive. Russell had created a park without corporate sponsorship. His June try-outs were always open to anyone that showed up. He hired the first female general manager in professional baseball, and hired the first Asian American General Manager. His team set a record for the highest attendance in Minor league history, and went on to win the pennant that year.

Bing Russell Bio by Calamity