NEIL R. RUSSELL
as of June 1997
Neil Russell is the executive producer of the Rysher Entertainment
action series "SOLDIER OF FORTUNE, INC."
Neil Russell began his career in the entertainment business in
1972 with Paramount Pictures Corporation. From 1972 to 1978,
except for one year spent at Columbia Pictures, he held a succession
of positions with Paramount finally attaining the position of
District Manager in the firm's motion picture distribution division.
During his time at Paramount, Mr. Russell managed the theatrical
distribution of features such as "The Godfather," "Lady
Sings The Blues," "The Longest Yard" and "Death
In 1978, Mr. Russell was recruited out of motion picture distribution
and into television distribution by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer becoming
Division Manager, first in Chicago, then in Los Angeles. In 1981,
he was named Vice President and moved to New York to head the
company's domestic television sales business. Later that year,
MGM acquired United Artists Corporation and Mr. Russell was named
to head the combined television sales operations as Vice President,
MGM/UA Television Distribution.
During his tenure at MGM/UA, Mr. Russell oversaw all television
sales of the 4000-picture MGM/UA library which included 700 Warner
Bros. pre-1948 pictures ("Casablanca", "African
Queen," etc.), 750 RKO Pictures ("Citizen Kane,"
"King Kong," etc.), the MGM library ("Grand Hotel,"
"Gone With The Wind," "Ben Hur," "The
Wizard Of Oz," etc.), the United Artists library (the Pink
Panther pictures, the James Bond Pictures, "Apocalypse Now,"
etc.) and more than 100 television series.
In 1983, Mr. Russell became Executive Vice President of D.L.
Taffner Ltd. There he oversaw the running of that company's businesses
which included the production and distribution of the television
series "Three's Company" and "Too Close For Comfort"
and the distribution in the United States of programs produced
by London's Thames Television.
In 1984, Mr. Russell, with a group of investors, formed his own
company, Horizon Entertainment to produce for television. In
1985, he merged Horizon with Orbis Communications becoming a
partner in the merged companies and returning to Los Angeles
to head Orbis' west coast operations.
In 1987, Orbis Communications was acquired by Carolco Pictures
Inc., producers of the "Rambo" movies, "Red Heat,"
"Total Recall" and "Terminator II." Upon
joining Carolco, Mr. Russell was named Executive Vice President
and formed and ran a television motion picture production company
for them. That company, Carolco Television Productions, of which
Mr. Russell was President, produced higher budget television
movies which could be exploited as feature films internationally.
At Carolco, Mr. Russell was also responsible for the acquisition
of motion pictures for distribution through Carolco's various
international television and video sales operations. In this
capacity, he bought more than 100 motion pictures, including
"Terminator," "Platoon," "The Last Emperor"
In 1991, Multimedia, Inc., a diversified media company which
owned numerous newspapers, television stations and cable systems
as well as the television programs "The Phil Donahue Show"
and "Sally Jessy Raphael," acquired Carolco Television
Productions, which had grown to include seven production companies,
and renamed it Multimedia Motion Pictures (MMP). Mr. Russell
also joined Multimedia as President of MMP and continued to produce
television motion pictures for Multimedia.
Since Mr. Russell created the company in 1987, it has produced
31 pictures for television, including "Donato And Daughter,"
starring Charles Bronson, "Deadly Matrimony," starring
Brian Dennehy, "Torch Song" starring Raquel Welch and
"Dazzle" based on Judith Krantz's bestseller.
In 1995, Mr. Russell purchased MMP from Multimedia, Inc. and
renamed it Neil Russell Productions (NRP). NRP continues to produce
movies and miniseries for the networks, TNT and HBO as well as
feature films and television series. In addition to co-producing
"SOLDIER OF FORTUNE, INC." with Rysher Entertainment
and Jerry Bruckheimer Films, NRP is handling merchandising and
licensing for "SOLDIER OF FORTUNE, INC." NRP is also
in development with Jerry Bruckheimer Films on a police-action
feature entitled "C.R.U.S.H." for Disney and is developing
a feature for Columbia Pictures entitled "Yes We Can"
with Wendy Finerman Productions.
In 1996, NRP entered into a publishing arrangement with the Pocket
Books division of Simon & Schuster to deliver hardcover books
based on projects under development at the company. The first
of those books, The Day After Roswell, will be released by Pocket
in July with an initial hardcover printing of 100,000.
A graduate of Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa, Mr. Russell,
in addition to various trade memberships, sits on the board of
directors of the Institute of Foreign Policy Analysis in Cambridge,
Massachusetts and is a member of the Naval War College Foundation.
He resides in Orange County, California with his wife and two
sons, where he coaches Little League.