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Damn, Nipsey Russell Died


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PeopleNews

Actor-Comedian Nipsey Russell Dies

Monday Oct 03, 2005 5:00pm EST

CREDIT: PETRE BUZOIANU / CORBIS

Actor-comedian Nipsey Russell died Sunday in New York, according to wire reports.

Russell died of cancer at Lenox Hill Hospital, his longtime manager, Joseph Rapp, tells WABC-TV. He was in his early 80s. (Rapp says Russell was born in 1923, though some reports say he was born in 1924.)

Russell, a veteran entertainer who performed on stage and screen, scored his first major TV role as Officer Anderson in the 1960s TV show Car 54, Where Are You? He also often appeared on shows such as the The Dean Martin Show, the Tonight Show, Laugh-In and Fame. On the variety programs, Russell performed short poems, earning him the nickname "the poet laureate of television."

Russell also played the Tin Man in the 1978 movie musical The Wiz, a remake of The Wizard of Oz.

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