Prominent entertainment lawyer Irwin Russell dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A family representative says prominent entertainment lawyer Irwin Russell, whose clients included such industry heavyweights as Michael Eisner, Jim Henson and David Wolper, has died at age 87.

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 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.”

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 Russell represented in proceedings against her mother, Joan Crawford.

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