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Russ Tamblyn

Russ Tamblyn might as well face it...he will be a Jet "till his last dying day." Indelibly linked to the "womb to tomb" role of Riff, the knife-wielding, rocket-tempered, Edward Villella-styled gang leader of the streetwise Jets in the musical film masterpiece West Side Story (1961), it's not a bad way to be remembered! Russ was actually 27 when ... See full bio »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Known For

Drive Doc
Django Unchained
Django Unchained Son of a Gunfighter
West Side Story
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers


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Hide Hide Show Show Actor: Movie (63 credits)
 2015 Chatty Catties
 2014 Hits
 2011/I Drive
 1998 Little Miss Magic
Brenden Moran
 1995 Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold
Gas Attendent
 1995 Rebellious
Old Guy
 1995 Starstruck
Wheeler / Homeless Man
 1994 Cabin Boy
 1993 Little Devils: The Birth
Doc Clapton
 1990 The Bloody Monks
 1990 Aftershock
Hank Franklin
 1988 B.O.R.N.
 1988 Necromancer
Charles DeLonge
 1987 Commando Squad
 1982 Human Highway
Fred Kelly
 1976 Black Heat
 1974 Win, Place or Steal
 1971 The Female Bunch
 1971 The Last Movie
Member of Billy's Gang
 1969 Scream Free!
 1969 Satan's Sadists
 1966 The War of the Gargantuas
Dr. Paul Stewart (as Rasu Tanburin)
 1964 The Long Ships
 1963 Follow the Boys
Lt. (j.g.) Wadsworth 'Smitty' Smith
 1962 How the West Was Won
Confederate deserter
 1960 Cimarron
William Hardy / The Cherokee Kid
 1958 High School Confidential!
Tony Baker / Mike Wilson
 1957 Don't Go Near the Water
Ens. Tyson
 1956 The Young Guns
Tully Rice
 1956 The Fastest Gun Alive
Eric Doolittle
 1956 The Last Hunt
Jimmy O'Brien
 1955 Hit the Deck
Danny Xavier Smith
 1955 Many Rivers to Cross
 1954 Deep in My Heart
Lazar Berrison, Jr. (uncredited)
 1953 Take the High Ground!
Paul Jamison
 1952 The Winning Team
Willie Alexander (as Rusty Tamblyn)
 1952 Retreat, Hell!
Jimmy W. McDermid (as Rusty Tamblyn)
 1951 Cave of Outlaws
Young Peter (uncredited)
 1951 As Young as You Feel
Willie McKinley (as Rusty Tamblyn)
 1951 Father's Little Dividend
Tommy Banks (as Rusty Tamblyn)
 1950 Father of the Bride
Tommy Banks (as Rusty Tamblyn)
 1950 The Vicious Years
Tino (as Rusty Tamblyn)
 1950 Captain Carey, U.S.A.
Pietro (as Rusty Tamblyn)
 1950 Gun Crazy
Bart Tare (age 14) (as Rusty Tamblyn)
 1949 Samson and Delilah
Saul (as Russell Tamblyn)
 1949 Reign of Terror
Pierre's Oldest Son (uncredited)
 1949 The Kid from Cleveland
Johnny Barrows (as Rusty Tamblyn)
 1948 The Boy with Green Hair
Classmate (uncredited)
Show Show Actor: TV (26 credits)
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Show Show Actor: Short (1 credit)
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Show Show Soundtrack: Documentary (1 credit)
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Show Show Self: TV (21 credits)
Show Show Self: Video (3 credits)
Show Show Self: Documentary (2 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (9 credits)

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Personal Details

Publicity Listings:

2 Interviews | See more »

Official Sites:

Alternate Names:

Russell Tamblyn | Rusty Tamblyn | Rasu Tanburin


5' 9" (1.75 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[on his performance as "Riff" in West Side Story (1961)] Life is so strange. "West Side Story" was one of the high points of my career. Yet, when I first saw it, I was really disappointed in how I came off. Since then, Fred Astaire has told me how much he admired my dancing in it. Now I see it very differently.


Has always claimed that his biggest professional disappointment was not getting the title role in the post-Broadway tour of "Barnum". The part went to Tony Orlando, instead. See more »


Has often played odd, slightly off-kilter characters

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