Connie Russell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Connie Russell
Russell, Garroway, Haskell, 1951.
Russell with Dave Garroway and Jack Haskell at WMAQ Radio in 1951.
Born(1923-05-09)May 9, 1923
New York City, USA
DiedDecember 18, 1990(1990-12-18) (aged 67)
Los Angeles, California
Years active1937-1956
Spouse(s)Mike Zimring (?-1990) (her death) (3 children)[1]
Connie Russell with daughter Austine (1951)

Connie Russell (May 9, 1923 – December 18, 1990) was an American singer and movie actress. Born in New York City, she appeared in seven films from the 1930s through the 1950s. She was far better known as a singer than as an actress, as her singing career was quite extensive.

Early years[edit]

Russell was the daughter of Tommy and Nina Russell, a vaudeville team. Her grandparents were also entertainers, performing as Glenroy and Russell. She attended Lawrence High School in Cedarhurst, Long Island,[2] and the Professional Children's School in New York City.[3]

Personal appearances[edit]

While she was still a teenager, Russell performed at venues such as the Starlight Club at New York's Waldorf-Astoria, the 500 Club in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Famous Door, and the Paramount Theater in New York City.[4] In late December, 1952, she appeared, along with Danny Thomas, Lou Wills, Jr., and Ray Sinatra and his orchestra, at the opening night gala of the Copa Room at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.


By the time she was 16, Russell had signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[2] Her film debut came in Cruisin' Down the River (1953).[5] (Another source says that her "first socko movie appearance was in Lady Be Good" in 1941.)[3] She played a lead role in the 1956 movie Nightmare.


On radio, Russell was the featured female singer on Let Yourself Go on CBS (1944-1945).[6] She also appeared frequently on the syndicated Naval Air Reserve Show.[6]:475 In 1947, she became a network staff singer on NBC, joining Manor House Summer Party for an eight-week stint as the program's featured singer.[7]


On television, she was a regular singer on Club Embassy,[8] Garroway at Large (1949-1951)[9]:379 and on The Buick-Berle Show on NBC (1953-1955).[9] She also had success on Eddie Cantor's TV program when he liked her so well in a guest appearance that he signed her to a contract.[10]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Corby, Jane (December 6, 1940). "Her Mother, Grandmother 'Took' Broadway, So Why Shouldn't Connie Russell Be a Hit?". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. p. 6. Retrieved May 16, 2016 – via open access
  3. ^ a b Briggs, Colin (December 7, 2006). "Jane Frazee, Betty Jane Rhodes, Connie Russell, Frances Langford, Ginny Simms". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Connie Russell Awed By Former Teachers". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. November 17, 1940. p. 45. Retrieved May 16, 2016 – via open access
  5. ^ "'Cruisin' Down the River,' Musical, Opens Collegian Sunday". Ames Daily Tribune. Iowa, Ames. September 26, 1953. p. 8. Retrieved May 16, 2016 – via open access
  6. ^ a b Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, 2nd Edition. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4. P. 393.
  7. ^ "Connie Russell Gets Farell's NBC Slot". Billboard. July 12, 1947. p. 11. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  8. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2009). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Random House Publishing Group. p. 263. ISBN 9780307483201.
  9. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7. Pp. 145-146.
  10. ^ "Songstress Connie Russell Finding Rough Going on TV". Valley Morning Star. Texas, Harlingen. January 31, 1954. p. 12. Retrieved May 16, 2016 – via open access

External links[edit]