Claim to Fame
Brown - Dark
Full Name at Birth
A. Russell Andrews
Profile Bio Text
Russell Andrews is an actor, producer and the founding member of StageWalkers Productions, a multi award winning Los Angeles based stage company. As both artistic director and managing producer Andrews and company have received over 20 LA Theatre award nominations with wins that include 2 NAACP Theatre Awards and 2 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards (L.A.'s version of the Tony Award) for his work with Pulitzer Prize winning author August Wilson's Piano Lesson, Jitney and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom in which Russell received his first NAACP Theatre Award for Best Actor. Born in Huntsville, Texas, Russell grew up in Houston where after a very celebrated athletic career in high school, he received a scholarship to Blinn College and later went on to attend the University of Houston and Texas Southern University where he majored in sociology. After several jobs ranging from drug store manager to furniture mover, to a longer than anticipated stay as a prison guard at the Texas Dept. of Corrections, he found his way to the "boards" and never looked back. An alumnus of Houston's Ross Sterling High School (Houston)and Northwest Academy he began his acting career in Houston at The Ensemble Theatre and after the National/International tours of Thomas Meloncon's The Diary of Black Men, graduated to the city's largest venue, The Alley Theatre. After breakthrough performances as 'Willie' in the stage version of David Felshuh's drama Miss Evers' Boys and 'Levee' in August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Russell moved to Washington, D.C. to study Shakespeare at The Folger Shakespeare Library's Folger Theatre and landed the role of Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew. Andrews later relocated to New York City where his first role was at the famed Playwrights Horizons as Superboy in Marion McClinton's Police Boys. He continued to study, gain national recognition and become a regular face on the regional theatre and Off-Broadway circuit. Mr. Andrews has performed around the U.S. and across the Atlantic where on the London Stages "intense" and "passionate" were commonly associated with his work. Russell entered the August Wilson camp in 1990 when he was cast as Jeremy Furlough in Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone at Houston's Alley Theatre. That production starred the late Roscoe Lee Browne and New York veteran actor/director Saundra McClain and was also the beginning of a lifetime relationship with Wilson as well as friend and mentor Claude Purdy. In 1993 Mr. Andrews was called back to The Alley Theatre, again by Purdy, to play the role of 'Levee' opposite Broadway star Theresa Merritt reprising her role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. That performance solidified Russell's place in Wilson's stable of actors and as a result led to the request by Wilson for him to reprise the role at the 20th Anniversary of The Penumbra Theatre Company in St. Paul, Minnesota. In other productions Mr. Andrews played Red Carter in Mr. Wilson's Seven Guitars at The Pittsburgh Public Theater and Baltimore's Center Stage (theater). Also at The Public Theatre as an August Wilson 'hired gun' Russell was one of the handpicked actors chosen in 1996 to develop the much anticipated re-write of Mr. Wilson's 70's drama, Jitney. In 1999 Mr. Andrews was called upon to create and develop the role of Mister in the world premier of Wilson's King Hedley II at The Pittsburgh Public Theater and in subsequent runs at The Seattle Repertory Theatre in Washington state and The Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, Mass. In the midst of King Hedley's 2000 pre-Broadway tour Mr. Andrews was asked to return to Jitney in NYC. The production played off-Broadway to sold out houses at New York's Second Stage Theatre and Union Square Theatre and after 8 months in New York the play moved overseas to The Royal National Theatre in London, England. As 'Youngblood' in Jitney, Andrews, along with Wilson and the stellar cast that starred and Roger Robinson, Keith Randolph Smith and multiple Tony Nominee, Dr. Stephen McKinley Henderson, were the recipients of the 2002 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play performed at The Royal National Theatre in London and directed by award-winning director Marion McClinton. His move to Los Angeles added memorable Film credits that most recently include roles as The Pastor in the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton and Earl in Arun Vir's drama Reset. Other credits include The In-Laws (with Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks), The Punisher (with John Travolta and Tom Jane) and Hanelle Culpepper's award-winning short, A Single Rose. Selected television credits include guest star and recurring roles in Harry's Law, The Defenders, The Nine, Boston Legal, CSI:Miami, Bernie Mac and Numb3rs. A jazz enthusiast and self-proclaimed "common man's gourmet chef",Russell lives in Los Angeles with his wife, writer Katrina Andrews and their two children, Anya and Kai. Written by: Stagewalkers, P.R.
Couple Profile Source
Houston’s Ross Sterling High School, Northwest Academy, Houston
University of Houston and Texas Southern University where he majored in sociology, Blinn College
Talent Agency (e.g. Modelling)
Rebel Entertainment Partners, Matthew Jackson, Agent, Jenny Delaney Management, Inc., ABRAMS ARTISTS AGENCY (Commercials)
TV commercial for Southwest (2003), TV commercial for Chrysler (2003)
Huntsville, Texas, United States
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