Details of Musical Comedian Mark Russell’s Cause of Death
Prostate cancer was announced as musical comedian and political satirist Mark Russell’s cause of death. He died Thursday (March 30, 2023 ) at his home in Washington, D.C.
Joseph Marcus Ruslander was born on August 23, 1932, in Buffalo, New York. He graduated from Canisius High School in Buffalo.
His family briefly moved to Florida, then to Washington, D.C., where Mark enrolled at George Washington University, but stayed for only one month before joining the Marines.
For more than 50 years, h used his piano and his wit for political humor. Russell was an institution in Washington D.C.
Beginning in the early 1960s, Russell was a regular entertainer at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. He did his first PBS show in 1975.
From 1979 to 1984, Russell was a correspondent on the NBC reality television show Real People. During the summer of 1977, he made brief appearances on all six episodes of the short-lived Starland Vocal Band Show (CBS). The Starland Vocal Band Show (TV Series 1977– ).
His humor was well known for having skewered Democrats and Republicans as well as third-party, independent politicians, and other prominent political figures.
For several years, on the Sunday before Labor Day, Mark made annual appearances on Meet the Press. In 1994, he found himself unexpectedly allied with the rap band 2 Live Crew when the band was sued for copyright infringement for their parody of the song “Oh, Pretty Woman”.
Mark Russell’s Cause of Death is Known
Details of Mark Russell’s cause of death were disclosed after his death at the age of 90. Russell died of prostate cancer at his home in Washington.
In a statement, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) called Mark a “once-in-a-generation mind” who “had the ability to make us laugh when we needed it the most.”
Dingell described Russell as a “special man and friend”. “He had his finger on the pulse of the country and helped keep life in perspective with his wit,” Dingell added.
In addition to his wife, Alison Russell, Mark is survived by a brother, his children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
In 2010, he announced his retirement from public performances. He made his last public performance in July 2010 in Chautauqua, NY.
Mark continued to write political humor for various venues and published jokes on his own website. By 2013, he began to tour and perform publicly again.
Russell’s final performance was on October 30, 2016, at the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The legendary comedian was portrayed by Mark McKinney in a 1996 episode of Saturday Night Live.
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