Entertainment lawyer Irwin Russell had a clutch of high-powered clients, including former Disney chief Michael Eisner, Muppets creator Jim Henson and producer David Wolper during the course of an illustrious career. He died at 87 this week in Los Angeles.
AP report that Mr. Russell, who died Friday in Los Angeles of leukemia, was a key player in the 1984 takeover and subsequent expansion of the Walt Disney Co. In a statement, Eisner, former CEO and chairman of Disney, called Mr. Russell “a brilliant lawyer, an insightful executive,” and praised him for being able to put together a one-page deal – “something unheard of in American business.” Mr. Russell assembled deals for such TV mainstays as Baywatch, Candid Camera, Hee Haw, and the Muppets. Other clients included Dr. Seuss, Robert Preston, Carol Burnett, and Christina Crawford, whom Mr. Russell represented in proceedings against her mother, Joan Crawford.