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Friday, 30 December 2016

Russ Tamblyn born 30 December 1934

Russell Irving "Russ" Tamblyn (born December 30, 1934) is an American film and television actor and dancer, who is best known for his performance in the title role of the 1958 Tom Thumb and the 1961 movie musical West Side Story as Riff, the leader of the Jets gang. He is also known for appearing in such films as Seven

Brides For Seven Brothers, The War of the Gargantuas, Peyton Place and The Haunting, as well as for his portrayal of Dr. Lawrence Jacoby in the television drama Twin Peaks. 
Tamblyn was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of actors Sally Aileen (Triplett) (1912-1995) and Eddie Tamblyn (Edward Francis Tamblyn) (1908-1957). He is the older brother of Larry Tamblyn, organist for the 1960s band The Standells. 

He was discovered at age 10 by Lloyd Bridges, who cast him in a play he was directing. In his first film, three years later, he played a friend of The Boy with Green Hair, Dean Stockwell. In his first starring role, he played The Kid from Cleveland, a runaway who becomes batboy for the 1948 Cleveland Indians.  He was the boy with an unhealthy fascination with guns in the original Gun Crazy, and Elizabeth Taylor's kid brother in the original Father of the Bride. His training as a gymnast in high school and abilities as an acrobat prepared him for his breakout role as Gideon, the youngest brother, in 1954's Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. 

He appeared with Glenn Ford and Broderick Crawford in The Fastest Gun Alive (1956), where he performed an extraordinary "shovel" dance at a hoe-down early in the film. Though uncredited, he served as a choreographer for Elvis Presley in 1957's Jailhouse Rock. Tamblyn portrayed Norman Page in the 1957 film of Peyton Place, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Tamblyn then played Tony Baker in 1958's High School Confidential prior to his being drafted into the United States Army.  

His performances in film musicals have included the title role in 1958's Tom Thumb and Danny, one of the sailors in the 1955 film version of Hit the Deck. His most famous musical role was Riff, the leader of the Jets in West Side Story (1961). 

He was Oscar-nominated for the steamy-for-the-50s Peyton Place, playing the boy wrongly accused of skinny-dipping with Lana Turner's daughter. In The Haunting, Tamblyn's character inherits the haunted mansion, and cynically dismisses all talk of ghosts. He also starred in one of the all-time great cheesy Japanese science fiction films from the legendary Toho Studios, titled The War of the Gargantuas in its American release.

By then, Russ decided to be more of an artist than just another actor. He fired his agent, took up painting, and began accepting only the roles that interested him. Among his best work from that time, he co-wrote and starred in an anti-nuke musical, Human Highway. He worked with the dancers on the series Fame, and appeared in a few episodes playing "Russ, the choreographer". He played Dr Jacoby on Twin Peaks, and later took the same character to General Hospital in 1997 dancing with his daughter Amber during the Nurses Ball.  
Tamblyn has also appeared in television series such as Tarzan, Fame (the 1980s television spin-off of the film of the same name), Quantum Leap, Nash Bridges and in Babylon 5 (episode "A Distant Star"). Russ Tamblyn also played Chuck Margaret on The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.
The actor’s last co-starring roles were shot overseas with the British-produced chiller “The Haunting” with Julie Harris and Claire Bloom. “I loved working with Harris and Claire, they were powerful actors who knew exactly how to make a character real and sometimes terrifying.  I watched in awe whenever they were in front of the camera.”
As so many other actors of his era he has taken on choreographic duties and managing his actress/daughter Amber Tamblyn who is recognized for her performance in “Joan of Arcadia.”  “I have no complaints,” he said. “I was lucky as hell to be given the chances I go and I’m still around to talk about it. And yes, I still miss all those guys who made Westside Story magic time!”

Russ underwent open heart surgery in October 2014. There were complications following the surgery and during the rehabilitation, although his health had reportedly improved as of February 2015.
(Info edited from & Wikipedia) 

Russ Tamblyn dancing in the Fastest Gun Alive (1956)

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