Russell Simpson

1877 - 1959

His grim, beady-eyed, sharp-nosed, weatherbeaten face was always familiar despite the small roles he appeared in. Every once in a while character actor Russell Simpson would stand out in a small scene, but his main purpose seemed to be adding rustic authenticity to his westerns or small-town dramas. Born on June 17, 1880 in San Francisco, California, Simpson was involved in the Alaska gold rush as a teenager before settling upon an acting career. A member of a number of touring companies, he eventually made it to Broadway. His silent film debut in The Virginian (1914) was unbilled, but he went on to appear in occasional leads and top support roles in many others, with such roles as Trampas in the remake of The Virginian (1923) and President Andrew Jackson in The Frontiersman (1927) highlighting his silent era. Simpson's parts grew smaller with the advent of sound and his gents grew increasingly grizzled, stubborn and cranky. In the late 1930s he became a stock player in director John F

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