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Russell Birdwell

Russell Birdwell

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Also Known As: Russell J. Birdwell Died:
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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Best known for her portrayal of sin-obsessed and possibly closeted lesbian Deputy Cherisha Kimball on the comedy improv show "Reno 911!" (Comedy Central, 2003-09), Mary Birdsong not only works on screen and stage but also writes, directs, produces, does voiceover work and sings in rock bands. She is primarily known for her acting roles, however, which include not just sketch comedy work, but the feature films "Reno 911!: Miami" (2007) as well as "Adventureland" (2009) and "The Descendants" (2011). In 2012, she returned to the small screen with regular appearances on "Crash & Bernstein" (Disney XD, 2012-). Though born in Tallahassee, Birdsong was raised by her divorced mother in Long Beach Island, New Jersey along with two sisters. After graduating from New York University with a degree in drama and a Stella Adler Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting, she originally aspired to work on Broadway but felt out of place in the milieu and turned to comedy instead, beginning with a stint in Gotham City Improv and working with the sketch comedy group Live on Tape. Following several minor television roles and a part in the low-budget comedy "Above Freezing" (1998), she landed a regular spot on the...

Best known for her portrayal of sin-obsessed and possibly closeted lesbian Deputy Cherisha Kimball on the comedy improv show "Reno 911!" (Comedy Central, 2003-09), Mary Birdsong not only works on screen and stage but also writes, directs, produces, does voiceover work and sings in rock bands. She is primarily known for her acting roles, however, which include not just sketch comedy work, but the feature films "Reno 911!: Miami" (2007) as well as "Adventureland" (2009) and "The Descendants" (2011). In 2012, she returned to the small screen with regular appearances on "Crash & Bernstein" (Disney XD, 2012-).

Though born in Tallahassee, Birdsong was raised by her divorced mother in Long Beach Island, New Jersey along with two sisters. After graduating from New York University with a degree in drama and a Stella Adler Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting, she originally aspired to work on Broadway but felt out of place in the milieu and turned to comedy instead, beginning with a stint in Gotham City Improv and working with the sketch comedy group Live on Tape. Following several minor television roles and a part in the low-budget comedy "Above Freezing" (1998), she landed a regular spot on the series "Welcome to New York" (CBS, 2000-01) alongside comedian Jim Gaffigan.

She appeared twice on "The Daily Show" (Comedy Central, 1996-) as one of Jon Stewart's roving reporters which prefigured her next regular television role, "Crossballs: The Debate Show" (Comedy Central, 2004). Birdsong then joined the cast of "Reno 911!" in 2005 as Deputy Cherisha Kimball and played the same character in the feature film "Reno 911!: Miami." She began working regularly on stage as well including a run in "Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me" for which she won a Theater World Award in 2007. She also appeared in the Broadway production of "Hairspray," as well as the Off-Broadway comedy "Adult Entertainment."

In addition to her ensemble work, Birdsong wrote and performed in several one-woman shows including "3 Days in the Tub: A Mama Drama," "The Respectable Race," and "Judy Speaks: Gumm's Last Tape." Several of her one-woman shows featured one of her alter-egos, a B-movie star from the 1940s named Janet Lamé, while in "Judy Speaks: Gumm's Last Tape," Birdsong convincingly mimicked Judy Garland. After appearing in the successful "Adventureland," Birdsong broke type to take on a dramatic role in Alexander Payne's "The Descendants" as the friend of a man who learns his comatose wife had been having an affair. Birdsong runs her own production company, Throws Like a Girl, and in 2012 she began appearing regularly on "Crash & Bernstein."

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DIRECTOR:

1.
  The Girl in the Kremlin (1957) Director
2.
  The Come On (1956) Director
3.
  Flying Devils (1933) Director
4.
  Masquerade (1929) Director

CAST: (feature film)

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