Russell Arms

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Russell Arms
Russell Arms Your Hit Parade 1956.JPG
Arms in 1956
BornRussell Lee Arms
(1920-02-03)February 3, 1920
Berkeley, California, U.S.
DiedFebruary 13, 2012(2012-02-13) (aged 92)
Hamilton, Illinois, U.S.
OccupationActor, singer
Years active1942–1985
Spouse(s)Mary Lynne Arms (19??–2012; his death)
Barbara J. McGinnis (1966–1974; divorced)

Russell Lee Arms[1] (February 3, 1920 – February 13, 2012) was an American actor and singer.


Arms was born on February 3, 1920[2] in Berkeley, California,[3] gaining acting experience via the Pasadena Playhouse. He began his career on radio, including working at WNEW in New York City.[4]

He moved up to minor screen roles during World War II as a contract player with Warner Bros. In his screen debut, he played Richard, the son of the Stanleys, in 1942's The Man Who Came to Dinner. He later worked as a freelance performer, mostly in Westerns. Subsequently, he appeared in supporting roles in both feature films and television. In 1953 he played the role of Chester Finley, a piano instructor and hopeful suitor to Doris Day, in the film By the Light of the Silvery Moon.

From 1952 to 1957, he was best known as a vocalist on Your Hit Parade, an NBC television series that reviewed the popular songs of the day and on which a regular cast of vocalists would perform the top seven songs of the week. Arms and Eileen Wilson (who starred on the show from 1950 to 1952) were the only surviving lead performers from the show until Arms' death in 2012. He authored an autobiography in 2005, My Hit Parade ... and a Few Misses. During his career as a singer, he was also well known for his 1957 hit single, "Cinco Robles (Five Oaks)", which entered the charts on January 12, 1957 and stayed there for 15 weeks, peaking at No. 22. In 1957, he released the album Where Can A Wanderer Go, on the Era label. The same year he was a singer on The Hidden Treasure Show, "the first nationwide quiz show in which home viewers win the money...".[5] The syndicated program was sponsored by Disabled American Veterans.[5]

On television dramas, Arms made three guest appearances on Perry Mason, including the role of Attorney Everett Dorrell in the 1960 episode "The Case of the Credulous Quarry", and as Roger Correll in the 1963 episode "The Case of the Greek Goddess". In 1961 he appeared too in the episode "Bad Sheriff" on the long-running series Gunsmoke, portraying a crooked lawman who tries to keep the money seized by stagecoach robbers.[6] For the next two decades he continued to act periodically in other television series, including the NBC drama Gibbsville in 1976.

A 1958 newspaper story about Arms noted, "Although Arms started in show business as an actor, he became a singer 'by accident,' and now he can't get anyone to believe he can act. 'I'm now in the process of proving them wrong,' he said."[7]

Military years[edit]

He was a graduate of the Signal Corps OCS program out of Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey (1941–46) and again at Ft. Monmouth (1951–53).[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Arms and his second wife, Mary Lynne, resided in Palm Springs, California for many years. They then moved to Hamilton, Illinois, where Arms died on February 13, 2012,[8] aged 92.[3]

Partial discography[edit]

  • The Touch (1954 - Epic 5-9079)[9]
  • Cinco Robles (1957 - Era 1026)[10]
  • Evangeline (1957 - Era 1033)[11]


  1. ^ " - People Search". Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  2. ^ Arms was born in 1920, not 1922, as per paid Intelius search
  3. ^ a b "Passings: Russell Arms, David Kelly, Philip Kellogg". Los Angeles Times. February 16, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
  4. ^ "TV Key Mailbag". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 4, 1954. p. 15. Retrieved April 21, 2015 – via open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ a b "80 Outlets Get Vet 'Treasure' Home Quizzer". Billboard. March 16, 1957. p. 9. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Bad Sheriff", Gunsmoke, S06E17, January 7, 1961; TV Guide, a subsidiary of CBS Interactive, Inc. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  7. ^ "Russell Arms Wants to Show He Can Act". Idaho State Journal. November 16, 1958. p. 6. Retrieved April 21, 2015 – via open access publication – free to read
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-24. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
  9. ^ "Reviews of New Pop Records". Billboard. November 6, 1954. p. 40. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Recent Pop Releases: Coming Up Strong". Billboard. February 9, 1957. p. 46. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Reviews of New Pop Records". Billboard. April 13, 1957. p. 82. Retrieved 18 May 2015.

External links[edit]