Actor Nipsey Russell Dies - Actor Nipsey Russell, known as "the poet laureate of television," passed away yesterday afternoon at Lenox Hill Hospital.
Eyewitness News has learned Russell died of cancer, confirmed his longtime manager, Joseph Rapp. He was in his early 80s.
Rapp said Russell was born in 1923, although some reports had him born in 1924. The manager said his age was never clear because Russell did not retain a birth certificate.
Russell achieved his first major role as Officer Anderson in "Car 54, Where Are You?"
He appeared on a string of game shows and variety shows, such as the "Dean Martin Roasts," "Laugh-In," "Jackie Gleason Show," among many others.
Russell delighted audiences with short poems, earning him the nickname "the poet laureate of television." He appeared on "The Tonight Show" and many other very popular talk shows of the day.
While he did not appear in many film roles, he will be remembered for his role of the Tin Man in the 1978 "The Wiz." The movie was a box office failure, but since the movie has been considered a cult classic.
RIP. I wonder who's next? Andy Griffith?