Happy birthday to Leon Russom, born December 6, 1941.
Leon Russom is the Emmy Award-nominated actor from Little Rock, Arkansas who portrayed the Commander in Chief, named Bill, in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Four years later, he appeared as Vice Admiral Toddman in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Die is Cast”.
Russom’s first television work was on the soap opera Guiding Light in 1969 and went on to become a regular on the soap opera Love is a Many Splendored Thing (1972–1973). Other early TV work included appearances on Mission: Impossible (in an episode with Lawrence Montaigne) and Get Christie Love! (with Marc Alaimo). In addition, he appeared in the 1972 film The Trial of the Catonsville Nine with William Schallert and the 1974 TV movie The Migrants co-starring David Clennon and Ed Lauter. He became a regular on the soap opera Another World, playing Willis Frame, from 1976 through 1980. Leon starred in the 1990 TV movie Project: Tin Men with Beau Billingslea and Joseph Culp.
In 1986, Russom appeared on Spenser: For Hire, starring a pre-DS9 Avery Brooks. During the 1988-89 season, Russom was a regular on the series TV 101. His film credits during this time included supporting roles in 1985’s Silver Bullet (in which he co-starred with Terry O’Quinn, Bill Smitrovich, and Lawrence Tierney) and 1988’s The Rescue (starring Edward Laurence Albert and James Cromwell) and Fresh Horses (with Molly Hagan). During the 1990s, he made appearances in such films as The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993, with Ron Perlman), Double Dragon (1994, with Michael Berryman, Andy Dick, and Julia Nickson), Reasons of the Heart (1996, co-starring Terry Farrell), The Phantom (1996, with Samantha Eggar, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Bill Smitrovich), and The Big Lebowski (1998, with Jack Kehler and David Huddleston). More recent film credits include Men of Honor (2000) and Behind Enemy Lines (2001).
Russom earned an Emmy Award nomination as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Special for his role in the 1991 TV movie Long Road Home (also featuring Jack Shearer). He has starred in numerous other TV movies, including 1992’s Crash Landing with Bruce McGill, 1993’s The Disappearance of Nora with Stephen Collins and Stan Ivar, 1994’s Midnight Runaround with Christopher McDonald, John Fleck, Dick Miller, and Tim de Zarn, the 1995 Alien Nation special Body and Soul, starring Gary Graham, Eric Pierpoint, Michele Scarabelli, Tiny Ron, and Glenn Morshower, 1997’s Childhood Sweetheart?, co-starring Barbara Babcock, Michael Reilly Burke, Ronny Cox, Stephanie Erb, Ed Lauter, and Warren Munson, and 1999’s Witness Protection, with William Sadler, Jim Metzler, Daniel Zacapa, and Shannon Cochran.
As for his guest appearances on episodic television, Russom played Detective Miles in the pilot episode of The X-Files in 1993 (which co-starred Cliff DeYoung) and reprised that role in the 2000 episode “Requiem” (with Brian Thompson). His also had guest spots such shows as Matlock (a two-parter with Robert Curtis-Brown), L.A. Law (starring Corbin Bernsen and Larry Drake), Seinfeld (with Jason Alexander and Richard Herd), NYPD Blue (with Gordon Clapp, Sharon Lawrence, Jack Kehler, Glenn Morshower, and Titus Welliver), Dark Skies (with Mary Kay Adams and Brad Blaisdell), The Magnificent Seven (working with Andrew Kavovit and Ron Perlman), Diagnosis Murder (with Joanna Cassidy, Ann Gillespie, Scarlett Pomers, and Richard Riehle), The Practice (two episodes, one featuring Bill Cobbs and another co-starring Gregory Itzin, Caroline Kava and George D. Wallace), The West Wing (with Thomas Kopache), NCIS (with Tim Kelleher and Barbara Tarbuck), J.J. Abrams’ Alias (with Art Chudabala), Smith (starring Virginia Madsen), and Cold Case (with William Lucking, Conor O’Farrell, and Nicolas Coster). More recently, Russom appeared in an episode of Boston Legal, the hit ABC series starring William Shatner and Rene Auberjonois.
In addition, Russom currently had a recurring role as the evil General Jonathan Krantz (“Notepad Man”), head of “the Company” on the hit FOX show Prison Break. His co-stars included Robert Knepper, Wade Andrew Williams, Reggie Lee, and Raphael Sbarge.
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