RUSS TAMBLYN


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Russ Tamblyn was born in Los Angeles in 1934, and by age ten he was appearing in plays and on radio. He got a part as an extra in The Boy with Green Hair in 1948 and the following year was given the lead role in The Kid from Cleveland, where he was billed as "Rusty Tamblyn". He was signed by MGM, and they cast him in any movie that had a part for a teenage male. He had been a gymnast at North Hollywood High School, and in 1954 MGM cast him as the youngest brother Gideon Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and he got to do some acrobatic dancing. Had he been a few years older, he likely would have gone on to star in MGM musicals, but this was the time when big musicals were on the downward slope, and he returned to mostly dramatic roles, including playing Norman Page in Peyton Place (nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for this film), and the title character in George Pal's tom thumb (intentionally in lower-case!). His best role ever came in 1961 when he got to play Riff in West Side Story. Even though he was 26, he was pretty believable as a teenager, although he was somewhat less believable as a dancing gang leader! Tamblyn's career peaked with West Side Story, although he has continued appearing in movies and TV over the years including Django Unchained in 2012. He is the father of Amber Tamblyn, who starred in TV's "Joan of Arcadia" from 2003 to 2005. As of 2020, he is still alive at the age of 85!
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