Monday, October 03, 2005

Nipsey Russell RIP

I just found out tonight that Nipsey Russell, who (among other things) played the Tin Man in the film version of The Wiz, died earlier today. I managed to get an obituary up on my website's news page pretty quickly. Laura even managed to snag a screen grab from the DVD for me (would you believe there was no picture of Russell as the Tin Man on Google's image search?). I really enjoyed Russell's portrayal. He was very obviously enjoying himself and putting a lot of effort into the role, and it paid off. He did a wonderful job with the ballad "What Would I Do If I Could Feel," then moments later jazzed it up with "Slide Some Oil to Me." He, along with Michael Jackson (yes, that one) and the late Ted Ross as, respectively, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion, saved The Wiz from being completely sunk by the wooden performance of Diana Ross as Dorothy. I also saw Nipsey Russell on numerous game shows as a kid, and always enjoyed his wit and genuine joy at being able to do something he loved. He will be missed.

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