Sunday, August 1, 2021
82.2 F
Fort Worth

Jerry Russell, founder of Stage West, father to Sen. Davis, dies

🕐 2 min read

Betty Dillard

bdillard@bizpress.net

Jerry Russell, the founder of Fort Worth’s Stage West and father of state Sen. Wendy Davis, died Sept. 5 at a local hospital after complications from abdominal surgery. He was 77. Davis posted her father’s death on her Facebook page. She had planned to announce whether she would run for Texas governor in 2014 but postponed those plans while Russell was hospitalized the past few weeks.

“He was surrounded by his children and his wife, our stepmom, Suzi [McLaughlin],” Davis wrote. “During his time in the hospital, there was never moment that one of us wasn’t by his side. We, and the community, will forever be grateful for the significant impact he made on our lives. He and his warm, sparkling brown eyes will be deeply missed. My family and I thank you for surrounding us with your prayers and comfort during this time.”

Davis says her father died peacefully surrounded by family and she’s “heartbroken” at the loss. 

Russell, a renowned actor, director and mentor, was in the third week of directing the current show at Stage West, Thank You, Jeeves, when he became ill. Russell’s last appearance onstage was in the one-man show Clarence Darrow in April.  Russell started his theater company, originally named Stage Door Deli, in a Fort Worth sandwich shop in 1978. He retired from the company in 2003 and again in 2012 but remained a driving force at the theater and within the North Texas arts community. Among his favorite roles were George in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the Stage Manager in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and the Grave Digger in Hamlet. Russell performed with Stage West, Casa Manana, Dallas Theater Center and Contemporary Theatre of Dallas. Funeral arrangements are pending  

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Related Articles

Our Digital Sponsors

Latest Articles

Not ready to subscribe?

Try a few articles on us.

Enter your email address and we will give you access to three articles a month, to give us a try. You also get an opportunity to receive our newsletter with stories of the day.

Get our email updates

Stay up-to-date with the issues, companies and people that matter most to business in the Fort Worth.

  • Restaurants
  • Technology
  • and more!

FWBP Morning Brief

FWBP 5@5

Weekend Newsletter

  • Banking & Finance
  • Culture
  • Real Estate