PROFILE
Name:
Betsy Russell
Birth Date:
San Diego, California, USA
Birth Place:
September 6, 1963
Height:
5' 5" (1.65 m)
BIOGRAPHY
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Betsy Russell_171114
Jill Tuck of Saw

Background:

First coming to prominence after her appearance on “Private School” (1983), American actress Betsy Russell returned to limelight following a brief retirement from acting with the role of Jill Tuck on the “Saw” film series (2006's “Saw III, ” 2007's “Saw IV,” 2008's “Saw V,” 2009's “Saw VI” and 2010's “Saw 3D: The Final Chapter”). In 2010, she won the Eyegore Award.

Russell and ex-husband actor Vincent Van Patten share two children (Richard Van Patten and Vincent Van Patten, Jr.). She was once engaged to producer Mark Burg.               

Mother of 2

Childhood and Family:

Betsy Russell was born Elizabeth Russell on September 6, 1963, in San Diego, California, to Richard Russell, is a stock analyst, and Constance (née Lerner). Her maternal grandfather was famous journalist and educator Max Lerner. She has three sisters and one brother. She attended Mission Bay High School and graduated in 1981. Betsy, who knew that she wanted to become an actress since age eight, then moved to Los Angeles to fulfill her childhood ambition. Prior to gaining her first role, she took waitressing jobs in L.A. Betsy holds a master's degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

On May 27, 1989, Betsy married her actor fiance Vincent Van Patten, son of Dick Van Patten, in North Hollywood. She gave birth to her first child, a son Richard Van Patten, in March 1993. Her second child, Vincent Van Patten, Jr. , was born on September 3, 1995. Betsy and Vincent divorced in 2001.

Private School

Career:

At 16, Betsy Russell landed a gig on a Pepsi commercial in her hometown of San Diego, California. It was not long before she decided to leave San Diego for Los Angeles to pursue acting professionally. Her first role was in 1982's “Let's Do It!”, a comedy film starring Greg Bradford, Britt Helfer and Victoria Wells. The same year, she had guest starring roles on the television series “The Powers of Matthew Star” (as Dawn), “ T.J. Hooker” (as teenager) and “Family Ties” (as girl).

Russell's first breakout role came in 1983 when she was cast as Jordan Leigh-Jenson on the sex comedy flick “Private School,” opposite Phoebe Cates and Matthew Modine. She went on to appear in several B-movies in the 1980s including “”Tomboy” (1985) and  “Cheerleader Camp” (1987). She also appeared in TV series like “The A-Team” (1984, 1986), “Murder, She Wrote” (1986), “1st & Ten: The Championship” (1986-1987) and “Superboy” (1988),  for which she reunited with her “Tomboy” co-star Gerard Christopher.

After giving up acting in 1993 to raise her two boys, Russell made a triumphant comeback with an appearance on one of the biggest horror franchises in the history of film, “Saw III”, where she was cast as John Kramer's former wife, Jill Tuck. Released on October 27, 2006, the film was a financial success with an opening gross to $33.6 million and collecting $80.2 million in the United States and Canada. She continued to reprise her role on the installments “Saw IV” (2007), “Saw V” (2008), “Saw VI” (2009) and “Saw 3D: The Final Chapter” (2010).  

Russell also had roles on other films such as “Chain Letter” (2009), “Mandrake” (2010, TV), “Lose Yourself” (2012, video) and “Non-Stop” (TV, 2013).

In 2014, Russell appeared on the comedy/thriller movie “Knock 'em Dead,” opposite Daniel Bernhardt, Rae Dawn Chong and Candice Coke. The film received a limited theatrical release in the USA on June 1, 2014.

Russell will star as Destiny in the upcoming drama film “My Trip Back to the Dark Side” (2014), directed by Shane Stanley. Her co-stars in the film include Jason Pace, Sean Kanan, Courtney Gains, Sean Young, Alisa Reyes, Marlon Young, and Ron Masak.        

Awards:

Eyegore: 2010  Show Less

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