Who is Russ Tamblyn (“West Side Story”)? Spouse, Net Worth


Who is Russ Tamblyn?

Russell Irvin ‘Russ’ Tamblyn, also known as Rusty Tamblyn, was born on 30 December 1934 under the zodiac sign of Capricorn in Los Angeles, California USA. He is an 87-year-old retired film and TV actor and dancer, probably best recognized for landing the roles of Norman Page in the drama film “Peyton Place” (1957), and Dr. Lawrence Jacoby in the ABC/Showtime mystery-horror serial drama series “Twin Peaks” (1989-1991) and its 2017 revival.

How rich is he, as of now? Russ Tamblyn’s Net Worth

As of early 2022, Russ Tamblyn’s net worth is estimated at over $3 million; earned through his successful involvement in the entertainment industry. He has worked on almost 100 television and film titles during his seven-decade-long career, active from 1948 to 2018.

Early Life, Parents, Siblings, Nationality, Ethnicity, Religion, Educational Background

Russ Tamblyn spent his early years in his hometown of Los Angeles, where he was raised by his father, Edward Francis ‘Eddie’ Tamblyn, and his mother, Sally Aileen (nee Triplett), both of whom were actors. He has a younger brother named Larry Tamblyn, who is a well-known keyboardist for the rock band The Standells. He holds American nationality, belongs to White Caucasian ethnic group, and is a Christian. He attended North Hollywood High School. He studied dramatics under Grace Bowman. He also studied dance at the North Hollywood Academy, which was owned and run by his parents. Russ was a hyperactive child, and had an affection for performing and gymnastics.


He wanted to become a circus performer, and developed a musical act that included dancing, singing, juggling and comedy.

Career Beginnings as a Child Actor

Russ Tamblyn launched his professional acting career at the age of 10, when he was spotted by actor Lloyd Bridges after performing in a play. He made his debut feature film appearance in a minor non-speaking role in the 1948 fantasy drama film “The Boy With Green Hair”, after which he won the lead role of Johnny Barrows in the 1949 sports drama film “The Kid From Cleveland”, next to George Brent and Lynn Bari; although the film didn’t achieve much success, it established him as an actor. Also in 1949, he featured as Saul in Cecil B. DeMille’s version of “Samson And Delilah”, which was both a commercial and critical success, the film winning two Academy Awards for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.

It was followed by his portrayals of Bart Tare in the crime film “Gun Crazy” (1950), alongside Peggy Cummins and John Dall, and as Tommy Banks, the younger brother of Elizabeth Taylor’s character, in the Academy Award-nominated comedy film “Father Of The Bride” (1950), and its sequel “Father’s Little Dividend” (1951).

Rise to Prominence and MGM

Thanks to his performance as Jimmy W. McDermid in the 1952 war film “Retreat, Hell!”, Russ Tamblyn caught the attention of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and signed a contract with them. His first role under the new contract was the role of Paul Jamison in the 1953 war film “Take The High Ground!”, which was directed by Richard Brooks. His big break came the following year, when he played Gideon in the musical film “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers”, next to Jane Powell, Howard Keel and Jeff Richards.


It was followed by his appearances as Danny Xavier Smith in Roy Rowland’s 1955 musical film “Hit The Deck”, and Eric Doolittle in the hit 1956 Western film “The Fastest Gun Alive”, in which he shared the screen with Glenn Ford and Jeanne Crain. His first star role came later in 1956, when he was chosen to play Tully Rice in the Western film “The Young Guns”. The next year, he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance as Norman Page in the drama film “Peyton Place”, which became a huge box office success.

Continued Success

In 1958, Russ landed two major roles as Tony Baker in the crime drama film “High School Confidential”, directed by Jack Arnold, and the title character in the fantasy musical film “Tom Thumb”, which is based on the Brothers Grimm’ fairy tale “Thumbling”.

He then had to take an hiatus to serve in the U.S. Army for two years. After returning home, he booked a prominent supporting role in the 1960 Western film “Cimarron”, alongside Glenn Ford. Russ Tamblyn’s next major appearance came with his portrayal of Riff, the leader of the Jets gang, in the 1961 film adaptation of the Broadway musical “West Side Story”, in which he starred alongside Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer. The next year, he took a supporting role in the critically acclaimed Western film “How The West Was Won”, which is rated one of Hollywood’s greatest epic films. It was followed by his portrayals of Luke Sanderson in the horror film “The Haunting” (1963), Orm in the adventure film “The Long Ships” (1964), opposite Richard Widmark, and Johnny Ketchum in the Western film “Son Of A Gunfighter” (1965), directed by Paul Landres.


He then played Dr. Paul Stewart in the 1966 Japanese kaiju film “War Of The Gargantuas”, and featured as Anchor in the 1969 outlaw biker film “Satan’s Sadist”.

Further Work

Russ started the new decade with such roles as Bill in the action film “The Female Bunch”, and Rico in the horror film “Dracula Vs. Frankenstein”, both directed by Al Anderson and released in 1971. He then became more interested in art rather than acting ,so he refused numerous film roles, until he was cast as Raymond in the comedy film “Win, Place Or Steal” in 1973, then portrayed Ziggy in the action film “Black Heat”, and featured as Kelly in the Western film “The Captive: The Longest Drive 2”, alongside Kurt Russell and Tim Matheson, both in 1976.

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His next film role came in 1982, when he played Fred Kelly in Neil Young’s comedy film “Human Highway”, for which he was also credited for screenplay and choreography. He continued to work as a choreographer for Young’s concert tour, and the 1983 play entitled “Man With Bags”. Later in the decade, he had the parts of Charles DeLonge in the horror film “Necromancer”, and Frank in the fantasy horror-thriller film “The Bloody Monks”.

“Twin Peaks” and Other Roles

Russ’ first significant TV role came when he joined the main cast of the ABC mystery-horror serial drama “Twin Peaks”, starring in the role of Dr. Lawrence Jacoby. The series was created by David Lynch and Mark Frost and aired for two seasons from 1989 to 1991, gaining a cult following, and became a critical success.


After a gap of more than 25 years, the show returned for its third season in 2017, broadcast on Showtime, in which Russ reprised his role; he also reprised the role in the 2014 film “Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces”.

Throughout the 1990s, he could be seen in the roles of Doc Clapton in the comedy horror film “Little Devils: The Birth” (1993), Chocki in the fantasy comedy film “Cabin Boy” (1994), and Brenden Moran in the family fantasy film “Little Miss Magic” (1999). Thereafter, he was cast as God in the Emmy Award-nominated CBS family drama series “Joan Of Arcadia” in 2004. He then took the supporting parts of Doc in the 2011 action film “Driver”, next to Ryan Gosling and Bryan Cranston, and Dale in the 2014 comedy-drama film “Hits”. He also appeared several times in the British-American black comedy series “The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret” (2010-2016), alongside his daughter Amber Tamblyn.

His latest role came when he guest-starred as Dr Montague in an episode of the Netflix supernatural horror miniseries “The Haunting Of Hill House” in 2018, after which he retired from acting.

Appearance and Vital Statistics

Russ Tamblyn has short grey hair and dark brown eyes. He stands at a height of 5ft 9ins (1.77m), while his weight is around 160lbs (72kgs). Information about his vital statistics, biceps size, and shoe size isn’t available.

Personal Life and Hobbies

Russ Tamblyn married English-American actress Venetia Stevenson on Valentine’s Day in 1956; however, their marriage was short-lived, as they divorced on 1 April the following year. He then went on to marry showgirl Sheila Elizabeth Kempton on 7 May 1960 in Las Vegas, Nevada; after almost two decades of marriage, they went their separate ways, and divorced on 18 December 1979.

Since 1981, he has been married to actress and folk singer Bonnie Tamblyn, nee Murray. On 14 May 1983, they welcomed a daughter they named Amber Tamblyn, who is now an actress, writer and director, known for her work on “Joan Of Arcadia”, “The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants”, and “127 Hours”. After the birth of Amber, Russ discovered that he had a daughter with artist and spiritualist Elizabeth Anne Vigil; her name is China Fayne Tamblyn, and she was born in the 1960s. She’s an artist and heavy metal welder.

In his spare time, Russ Tamblyn enjoys drawing, painting, and creating collages – his artworks have been exhibited at the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art and the Los Angeles County Art Museum. His current residence is in Santa Monica, California.

Martha Clifford
Martha Cliffordhttps://medium.com/@MarthaClifford
As an Author at Net Worth Post, I guide a dedicated team in the art of revealing the stories behind the world's most influential personalities. Fueled by a relentless curiosity and a knack for uncovering hidden stories, I immerse myself in the intricacies of our subjects' lives, weaving together accurate data and compelling narratives. My involvement spans the entire editorial process, from the seed of research to the final flourish of publication, ensuring that every article not only educates but also captivates and motivates our audience. At Net Worth Post, we are committed to providing thorough investigations into the net worth and life achievements of innovators across diverse sectors such as technology, culture, and social entrepreneurship. My method merges meticulous research with eloquent storytelling, designed to bridge the gap between our readers and the remarkable individuals who redefine our tomorrow. Through spotlighting their journeys to success, the hurdles they've surmounted, and their contributions to society, we aim to give our readers a deep and inspiring insight into the luminaries who are paving the way for progress and ingenuity in the modern era.


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