I an not sure if anyone has given any biographical information on Harold
Russell, the actor with the disability in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES.
A Cambridge, Massachusetts native, Harold Russell was working on an army film
in 1944 when an explosive he was holding detonated accidentally,
injuring his hands so severely that they had to be amputated.
Russell was fitted with artificial hands and enrolled at Boston University's
College of Business Administration (from which he graduated in 1949). At
the same time, he went on to make an army film about the rehabilitation
of veterans. Sam Goldwyn spotted Russell in the film and asked him to
play Homer PARRISH in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. He won a Best
Supporting Actor Oscar for the role in 1946.
He has also appeared in two other films--1982's INSIDE MOVES and a new film
I know nothing about, DOGTOWN. His performance in YEARS was a real
inspiration to returning servicemen and their families. It is still a
touching performance in one of the decade's finest films.
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