Russell Gleason

Russell Gleason
Born (1907-02-06)February 6, 1907
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Died December 26, 1945(1945-12-26) (aged 38)
New York, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1929–1944
Spouse(s) Cynthia Lindsay (?-1945) (his death)
Children Michael Lindsay
Parent(s) James Gleason
Lucille Gleason

Russell Gleason (February 6, 1907 – December 26, 1945) was an American actor who began his career at the very beginning of the talking film era.

Born into an acting family, one of his earliest roles was in the 1930 classic film, All Quiet on the Western Front. While still in the middle of successful acting career, Gleason joined the U.S. Army in late 1943, during World War II. While awaiting deployment to Europe in December 1945, Gleason fell to his death from a hotel window.

Early life

Gleason was born to actors James Gleason and Lucille Gleason in Portland, Oregon on February 6, 1907.[1] As a child, Gleason would appear on stage in some of the theatrical productions put on by his parents.


Gleason's first foray into film was when he was 21, with a leading role in 1929's The Shady Lady, directed by Edward H. Griffith.[2] The following year he would have a critical success in his role of Private Mueller in the Oscar-winning film, All Quiet on the Western Front.[1] His short career would only span 15 years, during which time he would appear in over 50 feature films, mostly in featured or starring roles.[3] He would appear with both of his parents in the film series surrounding The Higgins Family, of which nine films were made from 1938 to 1941. The Gleasons would appear in seven of those films, the last one being Grandpa Goes to Town in 1940 (the last two "Higgins" films were made with other actors).[4] He would also appear in "The Jones Family" series, produced by 20th Century Fox.

After making his last film, The Adventures of Mark Twain, which finished production in September 1942, he would join the Army. His final four pictures would all be released in 1944, after he was already in the service.

Personal life and death

Gleason was married to Cynthia Lindsay, an actress who would later write a biography of Boris Karloff, who was a close friend of the Gleasons.

On December 26, 1945, Gleason was in New York City awaiting deployment to Europe with his regiment when he fell to his death out of a fourth story window in the Hotel Sutton, which the army had commandeered to house the troops. Reports varied, some saying the fall was accidental, while others stating it was a suicide. [1]


(Per AFI database)[3]

Gleason and Mary Beth Hughes in the 1939 film. The Covered Trailer


  1. 1 2 3 "Russell Gleason". Find a Grave. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  2. "The Shady Lady: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  3. 1 2 "Russell Gleason". American Film Institute. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  4. "The Higgins Family: Notes". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on October 23, 2014. Retrieved October 22, 2014.

External links

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