William Russell: American actor, director, producer and screenwriter (1884 - 1929) | Biography, Filmography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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William Russell
American actor, director, producer and screenwriter

William Russell

William Russell
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actor, director, producer and screenwriter
A.K.A. William Francis Lerche
Was Actor Film actor Film director Screenwriter Stage actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 12 April 1884, The Bronx, USA
Death 18 February 1929, Los Angeles, USA (aged 44 years)
Star sign Aries
Siblings: Albert Russell (director)
Spouse: Helen FergusonCharlotte Burton
The details (from wikipedia)


William Russell (April 12, 1884 – February 18, 1929), born William Francis Lerche, was an American actor, director, producer and screenwriter. He appeared in over two hundred silent era motion pictures between 1910 and 1929, directing five of them in 1916 and producing two through his own production company in 1918 and 1925.

Early life and career

Born in the Bronx borough of New York City, Russell began his acting career on the stage when he was eight years old. He appeared with such notables as Ethel Barrymore, Chauncey Olcott, Blanche Bates, Maude Adams and others.

His career came to a stop at age 16, however, when he became an invalid. Through rigorous physical therapy, he became well again six years later. He then became an amateur boxing champion.

Motion pictures

Russell began his screen career in New York with the Biograph Company, where he worked for nine months before signing with the Thanhouser Company. He was also part of the company of players for the American Film Manufacturing Company and their Flying "A" Studios in Santa Barbara.

In 1917, he and actress Charlotte Burton were married. They divorced in 1921. He and actress Helen Ferguson were married on June 21, 1925, at the Wilshire Boulevard Congregational Church, after a six-year romance.

William Russell died at age 44 from pneumonia at Hollywood Hospital in Los Angeles. He is entombed in the Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Love, at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale. His brother, director Albert Russell, died two weeks later from pneumonia.

Selected filmography

Pride and the Man (1917)
Louise Lovely and William Russell in a scene still for the 1920 Fox production The Twins of Suffering Creek.


  • The Railroad Builder (1911)
  • The Colonel and the King (1911)
  • The Higher Law (1911)
  • David Copperfield (1911) as Ham Peggotty (in part two)
  • Put Yourself in His Place (1912) as Squire Raby
  • The Little Girl Next Door (1912) as The Other Father
  • The Star of Bethlehem (1912)
  • Some Fools There Were (1913)
  • For Her Boy's Sake (1913)
  • Curfew Shall Not Ring Tonight (1913)
  • Some Fools There Were (1913) as Second Unsuspecting Bachelor
  • The Caged Bird (1913) as The Farmer
  • For Her Boy's Sake (1913)
  • The Dilemma (1914)
  • The Straight Road (1914)
  • Under the Gaslight (1914) as Ray Trafford
  • The Dancing Girl (1915) as John Christison
  • The Diamond from the Sky (1915) as Blair Stanley
  • The Garden of Lies (1915)
  • Sequel to the Diamond from the Sky (1916) as Arthur
  • The Thoroughbred (1916) as Kelso Hamilton
  • The Smugglers of Santa Cruz (1916)
  • The Craving (1916) as Foster Calhoun
  • The Bruiser (1916) as "Big Bill" Brawley
  • Soul Mates (1916) as Lowell Sherman
  • The Highest Bid (1916) as Oliver Strong
  • The Strength of Donald McKenzie (1916) as Donald McKenzie
  • The Man Who Would Not Die (1916) as Clyde Kingsley/Ward Kingsley
  • The Torch Bearer (1916) as John Huntley-Knox
  • The Love Hermit (1916) as Tom Weston
  • The Twinkler (1916) as Bob Stephany
  • My Fighting Gentleman (1917) as Frank Carlisle
  • Pride and the Man (1917) as Jack Hastings
  • All the World to Nothing (1918)
  • Hobbs in a Hurry (1918)
  • Up Romance Road (1918)
  • Hearts or Diamonds? (1918) as Larry Hanrahan
  • Brass Buttons (1919)
  • Six Feet Four (1919)
  • This Hero Stuff (1919)
  • Some Liar (1919)
  • The Lincoln Highwayman (1919) as Jimmy Clunder
  • Where the West Begins (1919)
  • Twins of Suffering Creek (1920) as Bill Lark
  • A Self-Made Man (1922)
  • Mixed Faces (1922)
  • The Men of Zanzibar (1922)
  • Boston Blackie (1923) as Boston Blackie
  • Anna Christie (1923) as Matt Burke
  • Man's Size (1923)
  • Good-By Girls! (1923)
  • The Beloved Brute (1924)
  • On Thin Ice (1925)
  • The Way of a Girl (1925) as Brand
  • My Neighbor's Wife (1925) as Eric von Greed
  • Big Pal (1925)
  • Before Midnight (1925)
  • The Still Alarm (1926)
  • The Blue Eagle (1926) as "Big Tim" Ryan
  • Wings of the Storm (1926)
  • The Desired Woman (1927) as Captain Maxwell
  • The Girl from Chicago (1927) as Big Steve Drummond
  • Brass Knuckles (1927) as 'Brass Knuckles' Lamont
  • State Street Sadie (1928) as the Bat
  • Woman Wise (1928)
  • Danger Patrol (1928)
  • The Head of the Family (1928)
  • Girls Gone Wild (1929) as Dan Brown


  • Soul Mates (1916)
  • The Highest Bid (1916)
  • The Strength of Donald McKenzie (1916)
  • The Man Who Would Not Die (1916)
  • The Torch Bearer (1916)


  • Hearts or Diamonds? (1918)
  • Big Pal (1925)


  • Pride and the Man (1917)
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 04 May 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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