Russell started acting at the age of 12 on various television programs. In the 1960s he was signed to a 10-year contract with Walt Disney, which led to his appearance in many of the Disney films of the era. According to the late Robert Osborne of TCM (via Wikipedia), he became the studio’s top star of the 1970s.
Those Disney appearances did typecast Russell a bit and he would be stuck playing many roles that were somewhat wholesome in nature. He would turn that image around when director John Carpenter (fresh from the surprise blockbuster success of “Halloween”) cast him in the lead role of Elvis Presley in a TV movie called “Elvis!” That television film