Elizabeth "Betsy" Russell (born September 6, 1963) is an American actress, best known for roles in Private School and Tomboy as well as the Saw franchise.
Betsy Russel was born in San Diego, California, the daughter of Constance and Richard Lion Russell, a stock analyst. Three of her four grandparents were Jewish. Her maternal grandfather was journalist and educator Max Lerner. Russell wanted to be an actress since the age of 8 and started acting in school plays. While in high school, she appeared in a Pepsi commercial that was taped locally. After graduating from Mission Bay High School in 1981, she moved to Los Angeles and began taking acting classes before landing her first role. She did a masters program in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica and is a certified hypnotist and life coach, also from the University of Santa Monica.
In 1982, Russell landed her first role in the science fiction series The Powers of Matthew Star. That same year, she acted in T.J. Hooker and Family Ties as well as Let's Do It!, which was her first role in a feature film. In 1983, Russell's breakout role came as Jordan Leigh-Jenson in the sex comedy, Private School. While shooting the film Avenging Angel, she was offered to audition for the 1985 film Silverado, but turned it down. Instead, she went on to star in a series of B movies in the 1980s, including Tomboy and Cheerleader Camp. Russell also appeared on TV series such as The A-Team, Murder, She Wrote, 1st & Ten and an episode of Superboy, which was a reunion with her Tomboy co-star Gerard Christopher.
After a brief retirement from acting, Russell appeared in a small role in Saw III as Jill Tuck, the ex-wife of the infamous Jigsaw Killer. She went on to star in the sequels, Saw IV, Saw V, Saw VI and Saw 3D, where Jill became one of the primary characters of the series. She played a role in the 2010 film Chain Letter, the SyFy film Mandrake and My Trip Back to the Dark Side.
In August 1988, Russell was engaged to actor Vincent Van Patten, son of Dick Van Patten. They were married nine months later on May 27, 1989 in North Hollywood. Their wedding reception was at Patten's father Sherman Oaks home, which was attended by Alan Alda, Carl Reiner, Valerie Perrine, Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, Wayne Gretzky and Janet Jones, Hugh Hefner and Kimberley Conrad. They divorced in 2001 and have two children: Richard Van Patten, born in March 1993, and Vincent Van Patten, Jr., born on September 3, 1995. Russell was also once engaged to Mark Burg, producer of the Saw film series. She holds a master's degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica.
|1982||Let's Do It!||Kittie|
|1983||Private School||Jordan Leigh-Jenson|
|1985||Avenging Angel||Molly "Angel" Stewart|
|Tomboy||Tomasina 'Tomboy' Boyd|
|Out of Control||Chrissie Baret|
|1988||Cheerleader Camp||Alison Wentworth|
|1989||Roxanne: The Prize Pulitzer||Liza Pulitzer|
|Trapper County War||Lacey Luddigger|
|1992||Delta Heat||Vicky Forbes|
|2006||Saw III||Jill Tuck|
|2007||Saw IV||Jill Tuck|
|2008||Saw V||Jill Tuck|
|2009||Saw VI||Jill Tuck|
|Chain Letter||Sergeant Hamill|
|2010||Saw 3D||Jill Tuck|
|2014||My Trip Back to the Dark Side||Destiny|
|Knock 'em Dead||Louanne the Maid / Laurie Grant|
|2017||Born and Missing||Dr. Taylor|
|1982||The Powers of Matthew Star||Dawn|
|1984-1986||The A-Team||Adrian Prescott / Tina|
|1986-1987||1st & Ten||Christy|
|1986||Murder, She Wrote||Doris Robinson|
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