Contents 1 Background 2 The Best Years of Our Lives 3 Later years 4 Filmography 5 References 6 External links


Background[edit] Harold Russell and Cathy O'Donnell in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Harold Russell was born in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada and moved to Massachusetts with his family in 1921,[3] after his father's death in 1920.[4] In 1941, he was so profoundly affected by the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor that he enlisted in the United States Army on the following day. While he was an Army instructor, and training with the U.S. 13th Airborne Division at Camp Mackall, North Carolina, on June 6, 1944, a defective fuse detonated an explosive he was handling while making a training film.[5] As a result, he lost both hands and was given two hooks to serve as hands. After his recovery, and while attending Boston University as a full-time student, Russell was featured in an Army film called Diary of a Sergeant about rehabilitating war veterans.


The Best Years of Our Lives[edit] When film director William Wyler saw the film on Russell, he cast him in The Best Years of Our Lives with Fredric March and Dana Andrews. Russell played the role of Homer Parrish, a United States Navy sailor who lost both hands during the war. For his role as Parrish, Russell won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1947. Earlier in the ceremony, he was awarded an honorary Oscar for "bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans." The special award had been created because the Board of Governors very much wanted to salute Russell, a non-professional actor, but assumed he had little chance for a competitive win. It was the only time in Oscar history that the Academy has awarded two Oscars for the same performance. Upon completion of the film, Wyler told Russell to return to school since there "weren't many roles for actors without hands." Russell returned to Boston University and graduated with a business degree in 1949. Russell authored two autobiographies, Victory in My Hands (1949) and The Best Years of My Life (1981).


Later years[edit] Russell appeared in only two other films after his debut, Inside Moves in 1980 and Dogtown in 1997. He also appeared in an episode of Trapper John, M.D. in 1981 and a two-part episode of the television series China Beach in 1989. Russell became active in AMVETS, serving three terms as National Commander. As such, he wrote to President Truman in 1951, supporting his decision to dismiss General MacArthur. In his letter, Russell wrote: "The issue is whether the ultimate civil authority of the United States can tolerate actions in contempt of constitutional lines of authority. Any lessening of civil power over military power must inevitably lead away from democracy." From the early 1960s to the late 1980s, Russell served as the Chairman of the President's Commission on Employment of the Handicapped, an unpaid position. In 1992, Russell needed money for his wife's medical expenses. In a controversial decision, he consigned his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor to Herman Darvick Autograph Auctions, and on August 6, 1992, in New York City, the Oscar sold to a private collector for $60,500. Russell defended his action, saying, "I don't know why anybody would be critical. My wife's health is much more important than sentimental reasons. The movie will be here, even if Oscar isn't."[6] The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has required all Oscar recipients since 1950 to sign an agreement forbidding them from selling their award;[7] as a pre-1950 winner, Russell was exempt from this provision. Russell died of a heart attack on January 29, 2002, 15 days after his 88th birthday, and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Wayland, Massachusetts.[6]


Filmography[edit] Year Film Role Notes 1946 The Best Years of Our Lives Homer Parrish Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Honorary Academy Award Golden Globes - Special Award for Non-professional acting 1980 Inside Moves Wings 1981 Trapper John, M.D. Leo Hopkins TV episode - "The Days of Wine and Leo" aka: "Harold Russell Story" 1989 China Beach Uncle Conal TV episodes - "The World, Pts. 1 & 2" 1997 Dogtown Blessed William (Last appearance)


References[edit] ^ Cameron Rollins, Beth. "Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics". Nova Scotia Genealogy.  ^ Cameron Rollins, Beth. "1930 US Census". Ancestry .com.  ^ [1] ^ Cameron Rollins, Beth. "Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics". Nova Scotia Genealogy.  ^ Severo, Richard (February 1, 2002). "Harold Russell Dies at 88; Veteran and Oscar Winner". The New York Times.  ^ a b Bergan, Ronald (2002-02-06). "Harold Russell; Brave actor whose artificial hands helped him win two Oscars". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-02-05.  ^ Rothman, Heathcliff (2006-02-16). "I'd Really Like to Thank My Pal at the Auction House". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 


External links[edit] Harold Russell on IMDb Harold Russell at Find a Grave v t e Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor 1936–1950 Walter Brennan (1936) Joseph Schildkraut (1937) Walter Brennan (1938) Thomas Mitchell (1939) Walter Brennan (1940) Donald Crisp (1941) Van Heflin (1942) Charles Coburn (1943) Barry Fitzgerald (1944) James Dunn (1945) Harold Russell (1946) Edmund Gwenn (1947) Walter Huston (1948) Dean Jagger (1949) George Sanders (1950) 1951–1975 Karl Malden (1951) Anthony Quinn (1952) Frank Sinatra (1953) Edmond O'Brien (1954) Jack Lemmon (1955) Anthony Quinn (1956) Red Buttons (1957) Burl Ives (1958) Hugh Griffith (1959) Peter Ustinov (1960) George Chakiris (1961) Ed Begley (1962) Melvyn Douglas (1963) Peter Ustinov (1964) Martin Balsam (1965) Walter Matthau (1966) George Kennedy (1967) Jack Albertson (1968) Gig Young (1969) John Mills (1970) Ben Johnson (1971) Joel Grey (1972) John Houseman (1973) Robert De Niro (1974) George Burns (1975) 1976–2000 Jason Robards (1976) Jason Robards (1977) Christopher Walken (1978) Melvyn Douglas (1979) Timothy Hutton (1980) John Gielgud (1981) Louis Gossett Jr. (1982) Jack Nicholson (1983) Haing S. Ngor (1984) Don Ameche (1985) Michael Caine (1986) Sean Connery (1987) Kevin Kline (1988) Denzel Washington (1989) Joe Pesci (1990) Jack Palance (1991) Gene Hackman (1992) Tommy Lee Jones (1993) Martin Landau (1994) Kevin Spacey (1995) Cuba Gooding Jr. (1996) Robin Williams (1997) James Coburn (1998) Michael Caine (1999) Benicio del Toro (2000) 2001–present Jim Broadbent (2001) Chris Cooper (2002) Tim Robbins (2003) Morgan Freeman (2004) George Clooney (2005) Alan Arkin (2006) Javier Bardem (2007) Heath Ledger (2008) Christoph Waltz (2009) Christian Bale (2010) Christopher Plummer (2011) Christoph Waltz (2012) Jared Leto (2013) J. K. Simmons (2014) Mark Rylance (2015) Mahershala Ali (2016) v t e Academy Honorary Award 1928–1950 Warner Bros. / Charlie Chaplin (1928) Walt Disney (1932) Shirley Temple (1934) D. W. Griffith (1935) The March of Time / W. Howard Greene and Harold Rosson (1936) Edgar Bergen / W. Howard Greene / Museum of Modern Art Film Library / Mack Sennett (1937) J. Arthur Ball / Walt Disney / Deanna Durbin and Mickey Rooney / Gordon Jennings, Jan Domela, Devereaux Jennings, Irmin Roberts, Art Smith, Farciot Edouart, Loyal Griggs, Loren L. Ryder, Harry D. Mills, Louis Mesenkop, Walter Oberst / Oliver T. Marsh and Allen Davey / Harry Warner (1938) Douglas Fairbanks / Judy Garland / William Cameron Menzies / Motion Picture Relief Fund (Jean Hersholt, Ralph Morgan, Ralph Block, Conrad Nagel)/ Technicolor Company (1939) Bob Hope / Nathan Levinson (1940) Walt Disney, William Garity, John N. A. Hawkins, and the RCA Manufacturing Company / Leopold Stokowski and his associates / Rey Scott / British Ministry of Information (1941) Charles Boyer / Noël Coward / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1942) George Pal (1943) Bob Hope / Margaret O'Brien (1944) Republic Studio, Daniel J. Bloomberg, and the Republic Studio Sound Department / Walter Wanger / The House I Live In / Peggy Ann Garner (1945) Harold Russell / Laurence Olivier / Ernst Lubitsch / Claude Jarman Jr. (1946) James Baskett / Thomas Armat, William Nicholas Selig, Albert E. Smith, and George Kirke Spoor / Bill and Coo / Shoeshine (1947) Walter Wanger / Monsieur Vincent / Sid Grauman / Adolph Zukor (1948) Jean Hersholt / Fred Astaire / Cecil B. DeMille / The Bicycle Thief (1949) Louis B. Mayer / George Murphy / The Walls of Malapaga (1950) 1951–1975 Gene Kelly / Rashomon (1951) Merian C. Cooper / Bob Hope / Harold Lloyd / George Mitchell / Joseph M. Schenck / Forbidden Games (1952) 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation / Bell & Howell Company / Joseph Breen / Pete Smith (1953) Bausch & Lomb Optical Company / Danny Kaye / Kemp Niver / Greta Garbo / Jon Whiteley / Vincent Winter / Gate of Hell (1954) Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1955) Eddie Cantor (1956) Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers / Gilbert M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson / Charles Brackett / B. B. Kahane (1957) Maurice Chevalier (1958) Buster Keaton / Lee de Forest (1959) Gary Cooper / Stan Laurel / Hayley Mills (1960) William L. Hendricks / Fred L. Metzler / Jerome Robbins (1961) William J. Tuttle (1964) Bob Hope (1965) Yakima Canutt / Y. Frank Freeman (1966) Arthur Freed (1967) John Chambers / Onna White (1968) Cary Grant (1969) Lillian Gish / Orson Welles (1970) Charlie Chaplin (1971) Charles S. Boren / Edward G. Robinson (1972) Henri Langlois / Groucho Marx (1973) Howard Hawks / Jean Renoir (1974) Mary Pickford (1975) 1976–2000 Margaret Booth (1977) Walter Lantz / Laurence Olivier / King Vidor / Museum of Modern Art Department of Film (1978) Hal Elias / Alec Guinness (1979) Henry Fonda (1980) Barbara Stanwyck (1981) Mickey Rooney (1982) Hal Roach (1983) James Stewart / National Endowment for the Arts (1984) Paul Newman / Alex North (1985) Ralph Bellamy (1986) Eastman Kodak Company / National Film Board of Canada (1988) Akira Kurosawa (1989) Sophia Loren / Myrna Loy (1990) Satyajit Ray (1991) Federico Fellini (1992) Deborah Kerr (1993) Michelangelo Antonioni (1994) Kirk Douglas / Chuck Jones (1995) Michael Kidd (1996) Stanley Donen (1997) Elia Kazan (1998) Andrzej Wajda (1999) Jack Cardiff / Ernest Lehman (2000) 2001–present Sidney Poitier / Robert Redford (2001) Peter O'Toole (2002) Blake Edwards (2003) Sidney Lumet (2004) Robert Altman (2005) Ennio Morricone (2006) Robert F. Boyle (2007) Lauren Bacall / Roger Corman / Gordon Willis (2009) Kevin Brownlow / Jean-Luc Godard / Eli Wallach (2010) James Earl Jones / Dick Smith (2011) D. A. Pennebaker / Hal Needham / George Stevens Jr. (2012) Angela Lansbury / Steve Martin / Piero Tosi (2013) Jean-Claude Carrière / Hayao Miyazaki / Maureen O'Hara (2014) Spike Lee / Gena Rowlands (2015) Jackie Chan / Lynn Stalmaster / Anne V. Coates / Frederick Wiseman (2016) Charles Burnett / Owen Roizman / Donald Sutherland / Agnès Varda (2017) Authority control WorldCat Identities VIAF: 55458221 LCCN: n80156023 ISNI: 0000 0000 5542 0142 GND: 126877718 Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Harold_Russell&oldid=814226604" Categories: 1914 births2002 deathsAmerican male film actorsBest Supporting Actor Academy Award winnersAcademy Honorary Award recipientsAmerican military personnel of World War IICanadian emigrants to the United StatesCanadian people of Scottish descentCanadian male film actorsCanadian male television actorsPeople from North Sydney, Nova ScotiaAmerican amputeesCanadian amputeesBoston University alumniUnited States Army soldiers20th-century American male actorsPeople without handsHidden categories: Articles with hCardsFind a Grave template with ID same as WikidataWikipedia articles with VIAF identifiersWikipedia articles with LCCN identifiersWikipedia articles with ISNI identifiersWikipedia articles with GND identifiersArticles containing video clips


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Harold Arthur RussellNorth Sydney, Nova ScotiaCanadaNeedham, MassachusettsEnlargeCanadian-AmericanWorld War IIAcademy AwardsHaing S. NgorEnlargeCathy O'DonnellThe Best Years Of Our LivesNorth Sydney, Nova ScotiaCanadaAttack On Pearl HarborUnited States ArmyU.S. 13th Airborne DivisionCamp MackallArtificial LimbBoston UniversityDiary Of A SergeantWilliam WylerThe Best Years Of Our LivesFredric MarchDana AndrewsUnited States NavyAcademy Award For Best Supporting ActorBoston UniversityInside MovesDogtown (film)Trapper John, M.D.China BeachAMVETSHarry S. TrumanDouglas MacArthurCivil AuthorityAcademy Of Motion Picture Arts And SciencesMyocardial InfarctionWayland, MassachusettsMassachusettsThe Best Years Of Our LivesAcademy Award For Best Supporting ActorHonorary Academy AwardGolden GlobesInside MovesTrapper John, M.D.China BeachDogtown (film)IMDbFind A GraveTemplate:Academy Award Best Supporting ActorTemplate Talk:Academy Award Best Supporting ActorAcademy Award For Best Supporting ActorWalter BrennanJoseph SchildkrautWalter BrennanThomas Mitchell (actor)Walter BrennanDonald CrispVan HeflinCharles CoburnBarry FitzgeraldJames Dunn (actor)Edmund GwennWalter HustonDean JaggerGeorge SandersKarl MaldenAnthony QuinnFrank SinatraEdmond O'BrienJack LemmonAnthony QuinnRed ButtonsBurl IvesHugh GriffithPeter UstinovGeorge ChakirisEd BegleyMelvyn DouglasPeter UstinovMartin BalsamWalter MatthauGeorge KennedyJack AlbertsonGig YoungJohn MillsBen Johnson (actor)Joel GreyJohn HousemanRobert De NiroGeorge BurnsJason RobardsJason RobardsChristopher WalkenMelvyn DouglasTimothy HuttonJohn GielgudLouis Gossett Jr.Jack NicholsonHaing S. 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