Russell Simpson (actor)

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Russell Simpson
Russell Simpson in The Grapes of Wrath trailer.jpg
Simpson in The Grapes of Wrath.
Born (1880-06-17)June 17, 1880
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Died December 12, 1959(1959-12-12) (aged 79)
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
Years active 1914–1959
Spouse(s) Gertrude Aller (1910–1959) (his death) 1 child
Children Russell Jr.
Roberta (b. 1918)

Russell McCaskill Simpson (June 17, 1880 – December 12, 1959) was an American character actor.


Born in San Francisco, California, Simpson is best known for his work in the films of John Ford and, in particular, for his portrayal of Pa Joad in The Grapes of Wrath in 1940.

Simpson reportedly prospected for gold in Alaska in his youth, but by 1909 had gone into the theatre. He appeared in at least two plays on Broadway between 1909 and 1912, and made his motion picture debut in Cecil B. DeMille's 1914 original film version of The Virginian in a bit part. By 1923, when the film was remade, Simpson had progressed to playing the lead villain.

Gaunt, lanky, and rustic-sounding, Simpson was a familiar character actor for almost forty-five years, particularly as a member of the John Ford Stock Company. He worked up to 1959, the year of his death. His final film was The Horse Soldiers, his tenth film for Ford. He died in Woodland Hills, California.

He was survived by his wife Gertrude. They had two children, Russell Jr. and Roberta.[1]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Census for 1920, Los Angeles, California, Sheet 10B

External links[edit]