Actor Russell Collins

Russell Collins (born Russell Henry Collins, October 11, 1897 – November 14, 1965) was an American actor whose 43-year career included hundreds of performances on stage, in feature films, and on television.

Early life

Born in 1897 in Indianapolis, Indiana, Russell Collins was the middle child of Emma (née Hughes) and Martin F. Collins’ five children. He had a younger brother and sister, Raymond and Maxina, as well as an older brother and sister, Oren and Irene. By 1910, Russell’s father had become disabled and jobless, so his mother supported him and the rest of the family by working as a seamstress from their home. Emma’s responsibilities for the family were so predominant, in fact, that she is identified in the 1910 United States Census as “Head” of the Collins’ household.

As a student in the Drama School at Carnegie Tech, Collins “first learned his trade in the days immediately following World War I.” He also attended Indiana University and Northwestern University.


Collins had roles in a few early Group Theatre productions with Success Story being his Broadway debut. Probably his most noted Broadway role was as the star of the 1935 musical play Johnny Johnson. He enjoyed a long career on Broadway, although by the late 1940s, he began to perform increasingly in Hollywood films and on television, where he appeared in teleplay dramas, as well as on Westerns, sitcoms, and on an array of other weekly series. He remained in high demand as a character actor and worked on television to shortly before his death. His 1957 appearance in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode “The Night the World Ended” was a typical TV role.

He played Doc in the 1950 London production of Mr. Roberts at the Coliseum Theatre with Tyrone Power as Mr. Roberts and Jackie Cooper as Ensign Pulver.


He died of a heart attack on November 14, 1965, in West Hollywood, California. His gravesite is located in the Elsinore Valley Cemetery at Lake Elsinore, California.

Selected Broadway roles

  • Success Story (1932) as Harry Fisher
  • Both Your Houses (1933) as Peebles
  • Men in White (1933) as Dr. Cunningham
  • Gentlewoman (1934) as Havens
  • Gold Eagle Guy (1934) as a deserter and as Ed Walker
  • Till the Day I Die (1935) as Schlupp
  • Waiting For Lefty (1935) as Fatt and as Fayette and as Reilly
  • Paradise Lost (1935) as homeless man
  • Johnny Johnson (1935) as Johnny Johnson
  • The Star-Wagon (1937) as Hanus Wicks
  • Missouri Legend (1938) as Jim Cummins
  • Here Come the Clowns (1938) as John Dickinson
  • Morning’s at Seven (1939) as Carl Bolton
  • The Moon is Down (1942) as Major Hunter
  • Carousel (1945) as Starkeeper and as Dr. Seldon
  • The Iceman Cometh (1946) as James Cameron
  • The Liar (1950) as Brighelia
  • Sabrina Fair (1953) as Fairchild
  • Sunrise at Campobello (1958) as Louis McHenry Howe (replacement)
  • Romulus (1962) as Achilles
  • Calculated Risk (1962) as Jonathan Travis
  • Filmography

    Year Title Role Notes
    1943 Seeds of Freedom
    1948 Close-Up Beck
    1949 Shockproof Frederick Bauer
    1949 The Walking Hills Bibbs
    1950 The Sleeping City Medical Examiner Uncredited
    1953 Niagara Mr. Qua
    1953 Destination Gobi Lt. Cmdr. Hobart Wyatt
    1953 Monte Carlo Baby Max
    1953 Miss Sadie Thompson Dr. Robert MacPhail
    1955 Bad Day at Black Rock Mr. Hastings
    1955 Canyon Crossroads Dr. Andrew Rand
    1955 Soldier of Fortune Icky
    1955 The Last Frontier Captain Phil Clarke
    1957 Raintree County Niles Foster
    1957 The Enemy Below Doctor
    1958 The Matchmaker Joe Scanlon
    1958 God’s Little Acre watchman
    1959 The Rabbit Trap Hughie Colt
    1964 Fail-Safe Gordon Knapp
    1965 Those Calloways Nat Perkins
    1965 When the Boys Meet the Girls Mr. Stokes

    External Links

    Actor Russell Collins – Wikipedia

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