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Russell Simpson was an actor who had a successful Hollywood career. Early on in his acting career, Simpson landed roles in various films, including "Blue Jeans" (1918), "Circus Days" (1923) and "Ship of Souls" (1926). He also appeared in "Now We're in the Air" (1927), "The First Auto" (1927) and "Annie Laurie" (1927) with Lillian Gish. He kept working in film throughout the thirties, starring in the George O'Brien western "Frontier Marshal" (1934), the Richard Dix western "West of the Pecos" (1934) and the drama "The World Moves On" (1934) with Madeleine Carroll. He also appeared in the Norman Foster drama "The Hoosier Schoolmaster" (1935). Toward the end of his career, he continued to act in "Tennessee Johnson" (1942), "The Spoilers" (1942) with Marlene Dietrich and the Joe E Brown comedy "Shut My Big Mouth" (1942). He also appeared in "The Woman of the Town" (1943) and the western "Border Patrol" (1943) with Andy Clyde. Simpson last acted in "The Horse Soldiers" (1959). Simpson passed away in December 1959 at the age of 82.
albatros1 ( 2007-10-04 )
American actor Russell Simpson is another of those character players who seemed to have been born in middle age. From his first screen appearance in 1910 to his last in 1959, Simpson personified the grizzled, taciturn mountain man who held strangers at bay with his shotgun and vowed that his daughter would never marry into that family he'd been feudin' with fer nigh on to forty years. It was not always thus. After prospecting in the 1898 Alaska gold rush, Simpson returned to the States and launched a career as a touring actor in stock -- most frequently cast in romantic leads. This led to a long association with Broadway impresario David Belasco. Briefly flirting with New York-based films in 1910, Simpson returned to the stage, then chose movies on a permanent basis in 1917. Of his hundreds of motion picture and TV appearances, Russell Simpson is best known for his participation in the films of director John Ford, most memorably as Pa Joad in 1940's The Grapes of Wrath.
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