- Sex appeal
- Well-Regarded in Private Life
- Comedic Ability
- Singing Ability (If applicable)
- Dancing Ability (If applicable)
- Risk-taker or Innovator
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The Touching Gail Russell
Gail Russell passed from the scene before I entered first grade. My exposure to her work is very recent, from a chance viewing of "Angel And The Badman", while looking up some of John Wayne's earlier movies on a whim. An actress in 1940's westerns was mainly cardboard cutout eye candy. But a TOTAL departure from that norm was Gail Russell as "Penny" in the 1947 classic "Angel And The Badman". Gail's moving, heartfelt performance had the story revolving around "Penny", effectively making John Wayne's "Quirt" a supporting character. It takes one hell of an actress to do that to John Wayne! The list of actresses who appeal to a man's lust is very, very long. The list of actresses who tug at a man's heart, pulling out his paternal, protective side is very short. Gail Russell is at the top of that list. Gail had an adorable, girl-next-door, down-to-earth, very real quality and beauty that leaves "Beauty Queens" hidden in her shadow. And Gail's gorgeous, big, incredibly expressive eyes are beyond description. Gail Russell is a relatively unknown, and way underrated talent to modern audiences. That needs to change. I will be looking up all of Gail's works and hopefully find some quality DVD transfers to keep.
Enough With the "Tragic" Already!
- Steven Matt
I recently purchased around 9 Gail Russell films that I had never seen. I fell in love with Ms. Russell when I was 10 years old, watching one of her best performances in Angel and the Badman. I was particularly blown away by her performance in The Tattered Dress, which I saw for the first time 12/05/ 14. Alcoholism killed her body but not her spirit or talent. She made 25 films and in my opinion, left the world a very special gift, that we can continue to enjoy year after year. As an actor I often find myself filled with umbrage at the constant references to her oh so "tragic" career on all websites mentioning her. Artists by nature, whether dancers, sculptors, painters or whatever suffer in some form or another if they remain true to their craft. At 60 years of age, I now know beyond any shadow of a doubt that a life well lived overcomes any and all demons that we may be remembered by. I know hundreds of actors who wish they could have a 10th of this beautiful actresses career, including myself. To leave a body of work, that 53 years after her death, is still honored and still moves so many fans, filled with love and compassion for her is quite astounding, when you consider she was so shy and didn't believe in her talent and had her demons so publically aired. This wonderful actress left the world a great gift, that's what we should all remember when we pray for her or watch her or read about her on IMDB. I feel the spirit of her soul when I watch her work and after 50 years, I am still in love with this fabulous actress.
For Gail, conclusion (part, 3)
In closing, I have noticed in very many of Gail's publicity photo's and also in many of her scenes from some of her movies that Gail wears a gold necklace and cross pendant. The number of times I have seen her wear this, coupled with a quote painted and framed and hanging on her wall, and also the same quote somehow on her bathroom mirror (see The Miami News, 10-6-57), leads me to believe that Gail wears this for more than ornamental reasons. Could it be she wears this as an expression of her personal beliefs and maybe as a reminder to herself that God watches over her and everything else? If so, then God must have rewarded Gail very well.
For Gail, (Part 2)
I base this conclusion on Gail's director of her film, The Lawless, Joseph Losey. He says, "...she didn't know a thing. Paramount had her under contract like a horse..." And this in 1950 seven years after her signing the contract with Paramount. It may be that somehow, someway, someone did Gail wrong. I do not know enough of her life to make any personal conclusion on this but perhaps if ever a very detailed bio is written on her , we may all find out. And yet I feel Gail does show some assertiveness, some firmness of mind when she says in one interview that she "...refuses to appear in a swimsuit to this day in private or public..." after doing so in her first role in Henry Aldrich. Yes, she is photograph in shorts and blouses, short skirts, but I find no more swimsuits photos. Another example of her assertiveness is where she would get up and walk out of a room if she felt too personal a question is asked of her. This may also show some class, as well on her part. It is good for Gail that she experiences some popularity and renown in her own lifetime as she talks about receiving a lot of fan mail in her Oct. 1956 comeback interview (see Miami News). What may add to the regret and sorrow of Gail's early loss could be the fact that she was never suicidal like some other movie stars of her and even our time. Rather, she tried very hard to break free of her addiction. Also, she is never on drugs or barbiturates of any kind. She also seems to be very far from the type of person who was very lax in her morals with adulterous affairs. No where does she appear nude; as mentioned she would not lower her standards for a second time in a 2 piece. Unlike others, Gail has no ambition for acting. When interviewed after the Uninvited, an interviewer felt that Gail wished she never even heard of Hollywood. And to director Losey she says, "...I never kidded myself. I can't act."
Gail is really not TOO long before my time. I was to be ten less than five weeks after she is found late Sat. night on Aug. 27, 1961. I first see Gail on TCM five, six years ago on the Uninvited. I was quickly intrigued, captivated, drawn, can I say smitten by her personality, her gentle acting and adorable and darling pretty face. For five years I would on occasion have Gail pop into my head and would research her some on that purveyor of abundant knowledge, the internet. I couldn't find any books on her in the library. Then a month or so ago Angel and the Badman was on and I begin to research Gail again. This time I am led on and on with one link after another getting my attention with new info on Gail until I have a folder now of dozens of sites on Gail on my favorites. With my research I have developed a few insights on Gail which I feel can be reasonable deductions. Feel free to refute me it you like. For example, maybe unlike with some actor's and actresses then and now who may first have been models or had previous theater experience and then entered movies and so may have first learned how to become extroverted, outgoing, and assertive Gail, being yanked out of attending school for commercial art and so being more like an average high school student, remained shy and introverted with low self confidence when she is thrust into the Hollywood lifestyle of the 1940's. Plainly, Gail somehow must not have had the type of character needed to cope with the ins and outs of that business. Maybe Gail could have used a person always on the set she could totally trust and rely on, a person who would have had been Gail's eyes, ears, assertiveness, and know-how of the business, an adult chaperone, a big brother. It seems that John Wayne may have been the closes to this. But he could have only done this when they co-starred together. (my word limit is up. Will finish this on another occasion).
I Remember Gail Russell
- Steven Ochoa
There was never anyone,ever,quite like her. Gail Russell,the lovely actress from Paramount Studios during the 1940"s with the eyes of sapphire blue eyes, and the raven black hair that curled softly passed her shoulders. Gail always spoke in a low,soft whisper. It was as if she were afraid of the sound of her own voice. In a strange way,she was. So many things in life did frighten her. When you first met her,you would be taken aback at her natural beauty. It was the same feeling a person gets when they see a lovely rose,a rainbow after a winter storm,or a beautiful sunset at the end of the day. Gail had that effect on you. There have been many actresses as lovely as Gail Russell in the history of Hollywood,but there has never been one more beautiful. Sincerely,Steven Ochoa,AKA theuninvited1944
A lost beauty
How in the world did we allow Hollywood to destroy a talent as rare as Gail Russell's. She was the most enchanting star of the 40's at Paramount. I recently have been watching her films and buying as many as I can find. She was a talent to be treasured. Her performances in ANGEL AND THE BADMAN, THE LAWLESS and a Western from the 50's, SEVEN MEN FROM NOW are some of the finest in feature films. Someone please do a book on her.
I have always loved Gail Russell. Seeing her movies are a treat. Sometimes I watch "Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour" "Lady in the Dark" "The Uninvited" "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay" and "Our Hearts Were Growing Up" and not see a trace of the nervouness or fright that she suspossedly felt. I think what she herself said was true..."It happened too fast" and she was not prepared for it. As a result her life took a terrible turn and Hollywood wrote her off. But her talent and beauty live on forever in those and the other films she made. I hope one day someone writes a good book about her. Her story is fascinating and needs to be told.
angel and the badman
- Janice McFadden
even though i have only seen her in one movie. every time that movie comes on i can't wait for it to come. there no dought in my mind she was a good actress and would have award winning one.
Correction of Birthdate
- Elena Paperny
The beautiful and talented Gail Russell was born in September of 1924, which actually would have made her 36 at the time of her early death.
A rare great beauty
- Janice Warren-mckay
I do not understand why there have not been a book written about the life and tragic ending of such a beautiful talented young woman and I would also like to add that who ever was the person to advise her to ease her stage fright by drinking alcohol as a cure. How sad to loose such a lovely young lady to such an ugly disease so early in her life. When I first saw Ms. Russell in the movie Angel and the Badman I was enchanted with her beauty and dark eyes and her look of pure wholesomness. Hollywood really lost someone special and that my feelings about the late great GAIL RUSSELL.
There is a great book here
Why has no one written a biography on Gail Russell? Her life was amazing, tragic and fascinating. There is a great story on a great beauty and no one has thought to bring it to the public's attention. Please someone DO A BOOK ON GAIL Bless her beautiful soul and may she find the peace she so wanted on this earth.
a great beauty is missed.
What can one say when you see the waste of a great talent and the distruction of it in it's flower.
An unsung beauty
I am 23 and just finished watching THE UNIVITED on TCM. I had never seen Gail Russell before and am fascinated by her. I am trying to view more of her pictures. Please play them if you have them in your catelogue. Gail was an extraordinary beauty. I just read her tragic bio. and cannot believe her life story has not been made into a book or a film. Can't wait to see her in more films.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND TRAGIC ACTRESS
I never realized just how lovely she was until I viewed BACHELOR'S DAUGHTERS. How did I miss this beauty? And she was a winsome actress with great scope. In reading about her life, I am disturbed as to how Hollywood could have allowed this girl to be so tragically neglected.
A great beauty
Gail Russell was one of Hollywood's most beautiful actresses. How tragic we lost her at such an early age. No one since has had the vulnerable, heart-breaking quality that Gail had. She was a true one-off and watching her old films always warms my heart.
Hollywood"s lost child
- Vin Conserva
A Goddess. A very under rated actress. The camera loved her. She had a quality of etheral beauty as well as sadness. A documentary on her amazing story (discovery, fame and ultimately doom ), would be greatly appreciatted. The quintessential "Hollywood gone wrong tale".
The most beautiful girl in Hollywood
Please play more of her films. She is a much ignored actress and beauty
A talent indeed
- Ken Green
Great actress whom I thought, was not only supporting in her films, but also an overall asset to films of her time. I pray for her soul that her next life is much better than this one had been. She will be missed very much.
Remembered for the Uninvited
This is one of my favorite movies. I would highly recommend that you watch. She gives an excellent performance and is a beautiful actress.
A lost beauty
- Ron Stephenson
One of the truly lovliest actresses of the 40's, this doe-eyed beauty has never received the credit she deserves. Her performances in such films as ANGEL AND THE BADMAN, MOONRISE, THE LAWLESS, NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES, OUR HEARTS WERE YOUNG AND GAY and TATTERED DRESS were all under-rated and stand the test of time. Her vulnerability and soulful countenance brought so much to each film she was in. Aside from being one of the most beautiful women in films she was also a fine talent.
A Tragic Figure.
- Jimmie P.
It never fails to amaze me when I see one of such beauty unable to realize thier true value and worth, both to themselve's and family , and to the world. To lose ones life at 36 from the condition her liver was in would have required a ocean of booze in that short timeframe. She just could'nt see her qualities without the bottle's confidence prop. How sad, she was so very lovely and talented.
When Films Were Special
- Richard Austin Healy
A movie and performance in an era when screen writers knew how to write and actors such as Gail Russell conveyed beauty and talent that was more than just skin deep. And let us remember, filmed in black and white, it is far more entertaining than today's films with all their special effects.
Gail Russell a very pretty girl
- T O
and a good Actress, sad that her life ended the way it did. Very young to have the problems that she had will be missed.