1. His first roles were as a child in television series, including a lead role in the Western series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters .
2. In 1984, for his performance in Silkwood , Russell was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.
3. During the 1980s, he was cast in several films by director John Carpenter, including anti-hero roles such as army hero-turned-robber Snake Plissken in the futuristic action film Escape from New York and its 1996 sequel Escape from L.A., Antarctic helicopter pilot R.J. MacReady in the horror film The Thing , all of which have since become cult films.
4. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for the television film Elvis , also directed by Carpenter.
5. In 1993, he starred as Wyatt Earp in the western film Tombstone, and in 1994, Russell had a starring role in the military science fiction film Stargate.
6. In the mid-2000s, his portrayal of U.S. Olímpico treinador de hóquei Herb Brooks em Miracle ganhou elogios de críticos.
7. In 2015, Russell starred in the western films Bone Tomahawk and The Hateful Eight.
8. Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Russell é o filho do ator Bing Russell Russell. He has three sisters, Jill, Jamie and Jody.
9. In 1969, he graduated from Thousand Oaks High School in southern California.
10. On April 24, 1963, Russell guest starred in the ABC series Our Man Higgins, starring Stanley Holloway as an English butler in an American family.
11. He played Peter Hall in the 1963 episode “Everybody Knows You Left Me” on the NBC medical drama about psychiatry The Eleventh Hour.
12. Later in 1963, he landed the lead role as Jaimie in the ABC Western series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters .
13. Russell played a similar role as a kid named Packy Kerlin in the 1964 episode “Blue Heaven” of the western series Gunsmoke.
14. He also appeared in five episodes of Daniel Boone in various roles.
15. In 1966, Russell played a 14-year-old Indian boy, Grey Smoke, adopted by the Texas Rangers in the episode “Meanwhile, Back at the Reservation” of the NBC western series Laredo.
16. In the story line, he works for an outlaw gang, but the Rangers take him under their wing and the boy proves helpful when gunslingers try to occupy Laredo, Texas.
17. It was on the set of Family Band where Russell met his future partner Goldie Hawn.
18. Later, he, Jay C. Flippen and Tom Tryon appeared in the episode “Charade of Justice” of the NBC western series The Road West starring Barry Sullivan.
19. Later, he guest-starred in an episode of Room 222 as an idealistic high school student who assumed the costumed identity of Paul Revere to warn of the dangers of pollution.