Russell Collins

Russell Collins (born Russell Henry Collins, October 11, 1897 – November 14, 1965) was an American actor whose 43-year career included hundreds of performances on stage, in feature films, and on television.

Russell Collins
Collins in 1958
Russell H. Collins

(1897-10-11)October 11, 1897
DiedNovember 14, 1965(1965-11-14) (aged 68)
Years active1922 - 1965

Early life

Born in 1897 in Indianapolis, Indiana, Russell Collins was the middle child of Emma (née Hughes) and Martin F. Collins' five children. He had a younger brother and sister, Raymond and Maxina, as well as an older brother and sister, Oren and Irene.[1][2] By 1910, Russell's father had become disabled and jobless, so his mother supported him and the rest of the family by working as a seamstress from their home.[2] Emma's responsibilities for the family were so predominant, in fact, that she is identified in the 1910 United States Census as "Head" of the Collins' household.[2]

As a student in the Drama School at Carnegie Tech, Collins "first learned his trade in the days immediately following World War I."[3] He also attended Indiana University and Northwestern University.[4]


Collins had roles in a few early Group Theatre productions with Success Story being his Broadway debut.[5] Probably his most noted Broadway role was as the star of the 1935 musical play Johnny Johnson. He enjoyed a long career on Broadway, although by the late 1940s, he began to perform increasingly in Hollywood films and on television, where he appeared in teleplay dramas, as well as on Westerns, sitcoms, and on an array of other weekly series. He remained in high demand as a character actor and worked on television to shortly before his death. His 1957 appearance in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "The Night the World Ended" was a typical TV role.

He played Doc in the 1950 London production of Mr. Roberts at the Coliseum Theatre with Tyrone Power as Mr. Roberts and Jackie Cooper as Ensign Pulver.


He died of a heart attack on November 14, 1965, in West Hollywood, California. His gravesite is located in the Elsinore Valley Cemetery at Lake Elsinore, California.[6]

Selected Broadway roles


Year Title Role Notes
1943Seeds of Freedom
1949ShockproofFrederick Bauer
1949The Walking HillsBibbs
1950The Sleeping CityMedical ExaminerUncredited
1953NiagaraMr. Qua
1953Destination GobiLt. Cmdr. Hobart Wyatt
1953Monte Carlo BabyMax
1953Miss Sadie ThompsonDr. Robert MacPhail
1955Bad Day at Black RockMr. Hastings
1955Canyon CrossroadsDr. Andrew Rand
1955Soldier of FortuneIcky
1955The Last FrontierCaptain Phil Clarke
1957Raintree CountyNiles Foster
1957The Enemy BelowDoctor
1958The MatchmakerJoe Scanlon
1958God's Little Acrewatchman
1959The Rabbit TrapHughie Colt
1964Fail-SafeGordon Knapp
1965Those CallowaysNat Perkins
1965When the Boys Meet the GirlsMr. Stokes


  1. "Twelfth Census of the United States: 1900", enumeration date June 14, 1900, Center Township 5th Precinct, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; Bureau of the Census, United States Department of Commerce and Labor, Washington, D.C. Digital image of original census page available at FamilySearch, a free online genealogical database provided as a public service by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  2. "The Thirteenth Census of the United States: 1910", enumeration date April 25, 1910, Center Township "Part of Precinct" [of Indianapolis], Marion County, Indiana. FamilySearch. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  3. Cohen, Harold V. (19 November 1965). "Notes and Comment". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh. p. 17. Retrieved December 11, 2017 via
  4. "Actor Russell Collins Back Home In 'Iceman'". The Indianapolis Star. Indiana, Indianapolis. 7 May 1947. p. 27. Retrieved December 11, 2017 via
  5. "Russell Collins". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  6. "Russell Collins", online memorial 16 with biographical profile and photographs originally created by Janice Klafehn November 6, 2006, at Find a Grave, a subsidiary of, Lehi, Utah. Retrieved August 23, 2017.

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