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The Info List - Harold Russell





Harold John Avery Russell[1][2] (January 14, 1914 – January 29, 2002) was a Canadian-American
Canadian-American
World War II
World War II
veteran who became one of only two non-professional actors to win an Academy Award for acting (the other being Haing S. Ngor). Russell also has the distinction of being the only performer to sell his Oscar award at auction.

Contents

1 Background 2 The Best Years of Our Lives 3 Later years 4 Filmography 5 References 6 External links

Background[edit]

Harold Russell
Harold Russell
and Cathy O'Donnell
Cathy O'Donnell
in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Harold Russell
Harold Russell
was born in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
Canada
and moved to Massachusetts
Massachusetts
with his family in 1921,[3] after his father's death in 1920.[4] In 1941, he was so profoundly affected by the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor that he enlisted in the United States Army
United States Army
on the following day. While he was an Army instructor, and training with the U.S. 13th Airborne Division at Camp Mackall, North Carolina, on June 6, 1944, a defective fuse detonated an explosive he was handling while making a training film.[5] As a result, he lost both hands and was given two hooks to serve as hands. After his recovery, and while attending Boston University
Boston University
as a full-time student, Russell was featured in an Army film called Diary of a Sergeant
Diary of a Sergeant
about rehabilitating war veterans. The Best Years of Our Lives[edit] When film director William Wyler
William Wyler
saw the film on Russell, he cast him in The Best Years of Our Lives
The Best Years of Our Lives
with Fredric March
Fredric March
and Dana Andrews. Russell played the role of Homer Parrish, a United States Navy
United States Navy
sailor who lost both hands during the war. For his role as Parrish, Russell won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1947. Earlier in the ceremony, he was awarded an honorary Oscar for "bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans." The special award had been created because the Board of Governors very much wanted to salute Russell, a non-professional actor, but assumed he had little chance for a competitive win. It was the only time in Oscar history that the Academy has awarded two Oscars for the same performance. Upon completion of the film, Wyler told Russell to return to school since there "weren't many roles for actors without hands." Russell returned to Boston University
Boston University
and graduated with a business degree in 1949. Russell authored two autobiographies, Victory in My Hands (1949) and The Best Years of My Life (1981). Later years[edit] Russell appeared in only two other films after his debut, Inside Moves in 1980 and Dogtown in 1997. He also appeared in an episode of Trapper John, M.D. in 1981 and a two-part episode of the television series China Beach
China Beach
in 1989. Russell became active in AMVETS, serving three terms as National Commander. As such, he wrote to President Truman in 1951, supporting his decision to dismiss General MacArthur. In his letter, Russell wrote: "The issue is whether the ultimate civil authority of the United States can tolerate actions in contempt of constitutional lines of authority. Any lessening of civil power over military power must inevitably lead away from democracy." From the early 1960s to the late 1980s, Russell served as the Chairman of the President's Commission on Employment of the Handicapped, an unpaid position. In 1992, in a controversial decision, Russell consigned his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor to Herman Darvick Autograph Auctions, and on August 6, 1992, in New York City, the Oscar sold to a private collector for $60,500 ($105,500 today). Claiming he needed money for his wife's medical expenses, Russell defended his action, saying, "I don't know why anybody would be critical. My wife's health is much more important than sentimental reasons. The movie will be here, even if Oscar isn't."[6] However, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which objects to the selling of its awards, disputed that motivation, stating that in actuality his new wife merely "wanted to take a cruise".[7] The Academy has required all Oscar recipients since 1950 to sign an agreement forbidding them from selling their award; as a pre-1950 winner, Russell was exempt from this provision. Russell died of a heart attack on January 29, 2002, 15 days after his 88th birthday, and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Wayland, Massachusetts.[6] Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes

1946 The Best Years of Our Lives Homer Parrish Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Honorary Academy Award Golden Globes
Golden Globes
- Special
Special
Award for Non-professional acting

1980 Inside Moves Wings

1981 Trapper John, M.D. Leo Hopkins TV episode - "The Days of Wine and Leo" aka: " Harold Russell
Harold Russell
Story"

1989 China Beach Uncle Conal TV episodes - "The World, Pts. 1 & 2"

1997 Dogtown Blessed William (Last appearance)

References[edit]

^ Cameron Rollins, Beth. "Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics". Nova Scotia Genealogy.  ^ Cameron Rollins, Beth. "1930 US Census". Ancestry .com.  ^ [1] ^ Cameron Rollins, Beth. "Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics". Nova Scotia Genealogy.  ^ Severo, Richard (February 1, 2002). " Harold Russell
Harold Russell
Dies at 88; Veteran and Oscar Winner". The New York Times.  ^ a b Bergan, Ronald (2002-02-06). "Harold Russell; Brave actor whose artificial hands helped him win two Oscars". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-02-05.  ^ Rothman, Heathcliff (2006-02-16). "I'd Really Like to Thank My Pal at the Auction House". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 

External links[edit]

Harold Russell
Harold Russell
on IMDb Harold Russell
Harold Russell
at Find a Grave

v t e

Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor

1936–1950

Walter Brennan
Walter Brennan
(1936) Joseph Schildkraut
Joseph Schildkraut
(1937) Walter Brennan
Walter Brennan
(1938) Thomas Mitchell (1939) Walter Brennan
Walter Brennan
(1940) Donald Crisp
Donald Crisp
(1941) Van Heflin
Van Heflin
(1942) Charles Coburn
Charles Coburn
(1943) Barry Fitzgerald
Barry Fitzgerald
(1944) James Dunn (1945) Harold Russell
Harold Russell
(1946) Edmund Gwenn
Edmund Gwenn
(1947) Walter Huston
Walter Huston
(1948) Dean Jagger
Dean Jagger
(1949) George Sanders
George Sanders
(1950)

1951–1975

Karl Malden
Karl Malden
(1951) Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quinn
(1952) Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
(1953) Edmond O'Brien
Edmond O'Brien
(1954) Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
(1955) Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quinn
(1956) Red Buttons
Red Buttons
(1957) Burl Ives
Burl Ives
(1958) Hugh Griffith
Hugh Griffith
(1959) Peter Ustinov
Peter Ustinov
(1960) George Chakiris
George Chakiris
(1961) Ed Begley
Ed Begley
(1962) Melvyn Douglas
Melvyn Douglas
(1963) Peter Ustinov
Peter Ustinov
(1964) Martin Balsam
Martin Balsam
(1965) Walter Matthau
Walter Matthau
(1966) George Kennedy
George Kennedy
(1967) Jack Albertson
Jack Albertson
(1968) Gig Young
Gig Young
(1969) John Mills
John Mills
(1970) Ben Johnson (1971) Joel Grey
Joel Grey
(1972) John Houseman
John Houseman
(1973) Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
(1974) George Burns
George Burns
(1975)

1976–2000

Jason Robards
Jason Robards
(1976) Jason Robards
Jason Robards
(1977) Christopher Walken
Christopher Walken
(1978) Melvyn Douglas
Melvyn Douglas
(1979) Timothy Hutton
Timothy Hutton
(1980) John Gielgud
John Gielgud
(1981) Louis Gossett Jr.
Louis Gossett Jr.
(1982) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1983) Haing S. Ngor
Haing S. Ngor
(1984) Don Ameche
Don Ameche
(1985) Michael Caine
Michael Caine
(1986) Sean Connery
Sean Connery
(1987) Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline
(1988) Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
(1989) Joe Pesci
Joe Pesci
(1990) Jack Palance
Jack Palance
(1991) Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman
(1992) Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones
(1993) Martin Landau
Martin Landau
(1994) Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey
(1995) Cuba Gooding Jr.
Cuba Gooding Jr.
(1996) Robin Williams
Robin Williams
(1997) James Coburn
James Coburn
(1998) Michael Caine
Michael Caine
(1999) Benicio del Toro
Benicio del Toro
(2000)

2001–present

Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
(2001) Chris Cooper
Chris Cooper
(2002) Tim Robbins
Tim Robbins
(2003) Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman
(2004) George Clooney
George Clooney
(2005) Alan Arkin
Alan Arkin
(2006) Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem
(2007) Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger
(2008) Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz
(2009) Christian Bale
Christian Bale
(2010) Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer
(2011) Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz
(2012) Jared Leto
Jared Leto
(2013) J. K. Simmons
J. K. Simmons
(2014) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2015) Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali
(2016) Sam Rockwell
Sam Rockwell
(2017)

v t e

Academy Honorary Award

1928–1950

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
/ Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
(1928) Walt Disney
Walt Disney
(1932) Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
(1934) D. W. Griffith
D. W. Griffith
(1935) The March of Time
The March of Time
/ W. Howard Greene and Harold Rosson (1936) Edgar Bergen
Edgar Bergen
/ W. Howard Greene / Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art
Film Library / Mack Sennett
Mack Sennett
(1937) J. Arthur Ball / Walt Disney
Walt Disney
/ Deanna Durbin
Deanna Durbin
and Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
/ Gordon Jennings, Jan Domela, Devereaux Jennings, Irmin Roberts, Art Smith, Farciot Edouart, Loyal Griggs, Loren L. Ryder, Harry D. Mills, Louis Mesenkop, Walter Oberst / Oliver T. Marsh and Allen Davey / Harry Warner
Harry Warner
(1938) Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks
/ Judy Garland
Judy Garland
/ William Cameron Menzies / Motion Picture Relief Fund (Jean Hersholt, Ralph Morgan, Ralph Block, Conrad Nagel)/ Technicolor Company (1939) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Nathan Levinson (1940) Walt Disney, William Garity, John N. A. Hawkins, and the RCA Manufacturing Company / Leopold Stokowski
Leopold Stokowski
and his associates / Rey Scott / British Ministry of Information (1941) Charles Boyer
Charles Boyer
/ Noël Coward
Noël Coward
/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(1942) George Pal
George Pal
(1943) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Margaret O'Brien
Margaret O'Brien
(1944) Republic Studio, Daniel J. Bloomberg, and the Republic Studio Sound Department / Walter Wanger
Walter Wanger
/ The House I Live In / Peggy Ann Garner (1945) Harold Russell
Harold Russell
/ Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
/ Ernst Lubitsch
Ernst Lubitsch
/ Claude Jarman Jr. (1946) James Baskett
James Baskett
/ Thomas Armat, William Nicholas Selig, Albert E. Smith, and George Kirke Spoor
George Kirke Spoor
/ Bill and Coo / Shoeshine (1947) Walter Wanger
Walter Wanger
/ Monsieur Vincent
Monsieur Vincent
/ Sid Grauman
Sid Grauman
/ Adolph Zukor
Adolph Zukor
(1948) Jean Hersholt
Jean Hersholt
/ Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
/ Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil B. DeMille
/ The Bicycle Thief (1949) Louis B. Mayer
Louis B. Mayer
/ George Murphy
George Murphy
/ The Walls of Malapaga (1950)

1951–1975

Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly
/ Rashomon
Rashomon
(1951) Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
/ Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Harold Lloyd
Harold Lloyd
/ George Mitchell / Joseph M. Schenck / Forbidden Games
Forbidden Games
(1952) 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation / Bell & Howell Company / Joseph Breen / Pete Smith (1953) Bausch & Lomb Optical Company / Danny Kaye
Danny Kaye
/ Kemp Niver / Greta Garbo / Jon Whiteley
Jon Whiteley
/ Vincent Winter / Gate of Hell (1954) Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1955) Eddie Cantor
Eddie Cantor
(1956) Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
/ Gilbert M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson / Charles Brackett / B. B. Kahane (1957) Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Chevalier
(1958) Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton
/ Lee de Forest
Lee de Forest
(1959) Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
/ Stan Laurel
Stan Laurel
/ Hayley Mills
Hayley Mills
(1960) William L. Hendricks / Fred L. Metzler / Jerome Robbins
Jerome Robbins
(1961) William J. Tuttle
William J. Tuttle
(1964) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
(1965) Yakima Canutt
Yakima Canutt
/ Y. Frank Freeman
Y. Frank Freeman
(1966) Arthur Freed (1967) John Chambers / Onna White (1968) Cary Grant
Cary Grant
(1969) Lillian Gish
Lillian Gish
/ Orson Welles
Orson Welles
(1970) Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
(1971) Charles S. Boren / Edward G. Robinson
Edward G. Robinson
(1972) Henri Langlois
Henri Langlois
/ Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx
(1973) Howard Hawks
Howard Hawks
/ Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir
(1974) Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford
(1975)

1976–2000

Margaret Booth (1977) Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
/ Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
/ King Vidor
King Vidor
/ Museum of Modern Art Department of Film (1978) Hal Elias / Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1979) Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
(1980) Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck
(1981) Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
(1982) Hal Roach
Hal Roach
(1983) James Stewart
James Stewart
/ National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
(1984) Paul Newman
Paul Newman
/ Alex North (1985) Ralph Bellamy
Ralph Bellamy
(1986) Eastman Kodak
Kodak
Company / National Film Board of Canada
Canada
(1988) Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa
(1989) Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren
/ Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy
(1990) Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
(1991) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1992) Deborah Kerr
Deborah Kerr
(1993) Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni
(1994) Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
/ Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones
(1995) Michael Kidd
Michael Kidd
(1996) Stanley Donen
Stanley Donen
(1997) Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan
(1998) Andrzej Wajda
Andrzej Wajda
(1999) Jack Cardiff
Jack Cardiff
/ Ernest Lehman (2000)

2001–present

Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
/ Robert Redford
Robert Redford
(2001) Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
(2002) Blake Edwards
Blake Edwards
(2003) Sidney Lumet
Sidney Lumet
(2004) Robert Altman
Robert Altman
(2005) Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
(2006) Robert F. Boyle (2007) Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
/ Roger Corman
Roger Corman
/ Gordon Willis
Gordon Willis
(2009) Kevin Brownlow / Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard
/ Eli Wallach
Eli Wallach
(2010) James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
/ Dick Smith (2011) D. A. Pennebaker
D. A. Pennebaker
/ Hal Needham
Hal Needham
/ George Stevens Jr.
George Stevens Jr.
(2012) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
/ Steve Martin
Steve Martin
/ Piero Tosi (2013) Jean-Claude Carrière
Jean-Claude Carrière
/ Hayao Miyazaki
Hayao Miyazaki
/ Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara
(2014) Spike Lee
Spike Lee
/ Gena Rowlands
Gena Rowlands
(2015) Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
/ Lynn Stalmaster / Anne V. Coates / Frederick Wiseman (2016) Charles Burnett / Owen Roizman / Donald Sutherland
Donald Sutherland
/ Agnès Varda (2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 55458221 LCCN: n80156023 ISNI: 0000 0000 5542 0142 GN

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