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Bing Russell
Biographical information
Full Name:
Occupation: Actor, Baseball Club Owner
Years active:
Gender: Male
Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian Human
Born: May 5, 1926

Brattleboro, Vermont, USA

Died: April 8, 2003 (aged 76)

Thousand Oaks, California

Place of Death:
Family/Relatives: 4 Children (Including Kurt Russell)
Spouse(s): Louise Julia Crone (married 1946-2003)
Series: Bonanza
No. of appearances: 57
First Appeared in:
Last Episode Appearance:
Character played: Deputy Clem Foster

Bing Russell (May 5, 1926 - April 8, 2003) was an American actor and baseball club owner. He was the father of Golden Globe-nominated actor Kurt Russell and grandfather of ex-major league baseball player Matt Franco.

Personal life[]

Russell was born Neil Oliver Russell in Brattleboro, Vermont, the son of Ruth Stewart (née Vogel) and Warren Oliver Russell. He always wanted to become an actor and studied drama at Brattleboro Middletown High School. As a boy, he was dubbed an unofficial mascot of the New York Yankees, becoming good friends with the likes of Lefty Gomez and Joe DiMaggio.[1] Also, Lou Gehrig, who was already weakened by illness, gave him the last bat he used to hit a home run before his retirement.

Russell made his debut in the film Cavalry Patrol, and had some uncredited roles in his early career.


Best known as Deputy Clem Foster on Bonanza (1959) and Robert in The Magnificent Seven (1960), he guest starred in episodes of many television series.

In 1963, he was cast as John Quigley, a Chicago mobster, in the episode "Five Tickets to Hell" of Jack Webb's CBS anthology series, GE True. In the story line, Quigley travels to Chihuahua, Mexico, where he robs the mint of $500,000 and kills seven men in the commission of the crime. Police Lieutenant Juan Garcia (Carlos Romero) tracks down Quigley and his three accomplices. Barbara Luna also appears in the episode.

Russell played Vernon Presley to his son Kurt's Elvis Presley in the 1979 television movie, Elvis.

Russell owned the Portland Mavericks, the only independent team in the Class A Northwest League. Russell kept a 30-man roster because he believed that some of the players deserved to have one last season. His motto was fun. He created a park that kept all corporate sponsorship outside the gates, hired the first female general manager, Lanny Moss in professional baseball, and named the first Asian American GM/Manager. His team set a record for the highest attendance in minor league history and went on to win the pennant that year.[citation needed] Ex-major leaguers and never-weres who could not stop playing the game flocked to his June try-outs, which were always open to anyone who showed up. The team and archival footage of Russell were featured in the 2014 documentary The Battered Bastards of Baseball.

Russell died from complications of cancer on April 8, 2003 in Thousand Oaks, California.



Year Episode Credited as
Director Producer Writer Actor Role
1961 The Honor of Cochise Yes Major Reynolds
1962 The Long Night Yes Poindexter
1963 Half a Rogue Yes Deputy Clem Foster
1963 The Hayburner Yes Clem Foster
1963 Mirror of a Man Yes Clem Foster
1963 Thunder Man Yes Clem Foster
1963 Rain from Heaven Yes Clem Foster
1964 Square Deal Sam Yes Clem Foster
1965 The Other Son Yes Sheriff Walker (uncredited)
1966 Horse of a Different Hue Yes Clem Foster
1966 To Bloom for Thee Yes Clem Foster
1966 The Oath Yes Clem Foster
1967 Justice Yes Clem Foster
1967 Joe Cartwright, Detective Yes Clem Foster
1967 The Deed and the Dilemma Yes Clem Foster
1967 A Man Without Land Yes Clem Foster
1967 Napoleon's Children Yes Clem Foster
1968 The Wormwood Cup Yes Clem Foster