Monday, January 14, 2008

January 14: Harold Russell (1914-2002)

Harold Russell, with two Oscars
Boy, you ought to see me open a bottle of beer.

--"Homer Parrish," as played by Harold Russell
Born on this date in 1914 in Nova Scotia, Harold Russell, pictured at right with the two Oscars he won in 1947 for a single role, in Best Years of Our Lives. Though he was Canadian-born and raised, he was living in the US and working as a meatcutter when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941; he joined the Army the very next day. While making a training film in 1944, a defective fuse blew up and both hands had to be amputated. He used hooks thereafter, with a grace that, by all accounts, dispelled dubious onlookers' concerns.

Russell appeared in an Army documentary about rehabilitation, Diary of a Sergeant, while he was a student at Boston University. He was spotted by director William Wyler, and cast to play a disabled veteran in The Best Years of Our Lives. He won two Oscars for the role: one a "special" Oscar for "bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans," and one for Best Supporting Actor, as voted by the Academy. After the hubbub surrounding his Oscar wins, Russell returned to Boston University and finished a degree in business.

Russell published an autobiography, Victory in my Hands (1949). For many years he was National Commander of the American Veterans (AMVETS), and chaired the President's Commission on the Employment of the Handicapped.


Anonymous said...

Great film then & now--portrays difficulties veterans have in rejoining civilian life. Harold had a great sense of humor and loved to tell how he got the "special Oscar" because the Hollywood establishment assumed he wouldn't get the professional one. But his acting was superb, so he earned those votes...

Anonymous said...

That is one of my favorite movies ever, ever, ever, and Russell did an amazing job. No trained actor could have done better, and an actor who was not also an amputee couldn't have done it at all. There is a delicacy to his performance, and the performance of the girl who played his fiancé, that offsets the polish of everybody else in the movie and makes the whole a very real and true work of collaborative art, not the usual heartlessly, calculatingly manipulative dreck.

Michael Leddy said...

I'm always amazed when people in cultural studies and film studies diss this movie as sentimental and trite. I think it's exactly the opposite, and I'm glad to find other people who see it that way. The scene between Homer and Wilma in Homer's bedroom (and consider how daring that kind of scene is for the mid-40s) is one of the most moving scenes I know. I can only imagine the emotional impact this film had for its first audiences.

Anonymous said...

While surfing on the Net I found your blog, I stopped at it to have a rest and I explored it. There is interesting stuff displayed. Now I continue my surfing…
Make a stop at my blog, if you wish. Ciao.

Anonymous said...

I like your blog. Thank you. They are really great . Ermunterung ++ .
Some new style Puma Speed is in fashion this year.
chaussure puma is Puma shoes in french . Many Franzose like seach “chaussure sport” by the internet when they need buy the Puma Shoes Or nike max shoes. The information age is really convenient .

By the way ,the nike max ltd is really good NIKE air shoes ,don’t forget buy the puma mens shoes and nike air max ltd by the internet when you need them . Do you know Nike Air Shoes is a best Air Shoes . another kinds of Nike shoes is better . For example , Nike Air Rift is good and Cheap Nike Shoes .the nike shox shoes is fitting to running.

Spring is coming, Do you think this season is not for Ugg Boots? maybe yes .but this season is best time that can buy the cheap ugg boots. Many sellers are selling discounted. Do not miss . Please view my fc2 blog and hair straighteners blog.
.thank you .

I like orange converse shoes ,I like to buy the cheap converse shoes by the internet shop . the puma shoes and the adidas shoes (or addidas shoes) are more on internet shop .i can buy the cheap nike shoes and cheap puma shoes online. It’s really convenient.
Many persons more like Puma basket shoes than nike air rift shoes . the Puma Cat shoes is a kind of Cheap Puma Shoes .
If you want to buy the Cheap Nike Air shoes ,you can buy them online. They are same as the Nike Air shoes authorized shop. Very high-caliber Air shoes and puma cat shoes . the cheap puma shoes as same as other.

polo shirts

ralph lauren polo shirts
chaussure puma

chaussure sport

chaussures puma

puma CAT

ed hardy clothing

ed hardy clothes

ed hardy womens

ed hardy sunglasses

ugg boots

cheap ugg boots

Anonymous said...

cheap wedding gowns
discount bridal gowns
China wedding dresses
discount designer wedding dresses
China wedding online store
plus size wedding dresses
cheap informal wedding dresses
junior bridesmaid dresses
cheap bridesmaid dresses
maternity bridesmaid dresses
discount flower girl gowns
cheap prom dresses
party dresses
evening dresses
mother of the bride dresses
special occasion dresses
cheap quinceanera dresses
hot red wedding dresses

Anonymous said...

Replica Handbags
Fake Handbags
Knockoff Handbags

Replica Louis Vuitton Handbags
Replica Gucci Handbags
Replica Chanel Handbags
Prada Handbags
Replica Fendi Handbags
Replica Dolce Gabbana Handbags
Replica Chloe Handbags
Replica Jimmy Choo Handbags
Replica Thomas Wylde Handbags
Replica MiuMiu Handbags

Replica Balenciaga Handbags
Replica Coach Handbags
Replica Lancel Handbags
Replica Hermes Handbags
Replica Marc Jacobs Handbags
Replica Anya Hindmarch Handbags
Replica YSL Handbags
Replica Mulberry Handbags
Replica Givenchy Handbags
Replica Valentino Handbags
Replica Versace Handbags
Replica Cartier Handbags
Replica Marni Handbags
Replica Bottega Veneta Handbags
Replica Loewe Handbags
Replica Kooba Handbags

Replica Bally Handbags
Replica Burberry Handbags
Replica Christian Dior Handbags
Replica Juicy Couture Handbags
Replica Ferragamo Handbags
Replica Celine Handbags

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

nike air max 90
nike air max 95
nike air max tn
nike air rift
nike shox r4
nike air max 360
nike shox nz
puma mens shoes
puma shoes
puma speed
nike shoes
nike air
nike air shoes
puma cat
air max trainers
mens nike air max
nike shoes air max
nike shoes shox
air shoes
nike shoe cart
puma future
cheap puma
sports shoes
nike air rifts
nike air rift trainer
nike air
nike rift
nike rift shoes
cheap nike air rifts
bape shoes
jeans shop
diesel jeans
levis jeans