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Harold Russell
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Actor
    (January 14, 1914-January 29, 2002)
    Acted in 'Inside Moves' and `Dogtown.'
    Won the 1946 Best Supporting Actor Oscar (`The Best Years of Our Lives')
    He won an Oscar playing a soldier who lost his hands in combat, although he lost his hands in a training accident.
    He auctioned off his Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
    He joined the U.S. Army on Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, as an instructor in the parachute corps.
    He lost both hands while demonstrating how to assemble explosives when a defective blasting cap ignited in the hand grenade he was using.
    Director William Wyler first noticed him in a documentary chronicling the rehabilitation of a permanently injured soldier.
    After seeing the documentary, Wyler decided to change a character in ‘The Best Years Of Our Lives’ from a spastic to a double amputee.
    In addition to the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, he was also given an Honorary Oscar for ‘for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans.’
    He is the only actor ever to win two Oscars for the same role.
    He served three terms as the National Commander of the AMVETS.
    He wrote two autobiographies, 'Victory in My Hands (1949)' and 'The Best Years of My Life (1981).'
    He ran a non-profit organization that specialized in finding jobs for people with disabilities.
    He sold his acting Oscar because he needed money to pay his wife’s medical bills, but said nothing could induce him to sell the Honorary Oscar because it would be disrespectful to his fellow veterans.

Credit: Professor Moriarty


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