A retro look back at the former child and teen stars that were previously featured on the pages of Teen Stars Online.

Brandon Tyler Russell

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Brandon Tyler Russell
Brandon Tyler Russell

Brandon Tyler Russell, his mother’s favorite Christmas gift, was born on December 25, 1995, in Lake Forest, Illinois. Whereas nurses typically wrap newborns in a blanket before handing them back, Russell arrived in a red stocking. Six months later, he booked his first of many print auditions – Evenflo Dual Face Carriers.

At age three, Russell began repeating lines from films and TV. Red Lobster had a few red faces when the toddler entered the restaurant and shouted, “Show me the money, because I like black people!” Russell spent the next few months with a barrage of requests to his mother: “How do I get in the T.V.?” and “I wanna be in the T.V.” For his fourth birthday, mom gave Russell a special gift – a talent agent.

Russell booked his first of two dozen commercials three months later. For “Donley’s Wild West Town,” he enjoyed shooting cap guns and assumed that this amusement park visit was just a fun, non-working venture. Russell also strutted catwalks including Jayne Seymour’s 2003 Carson Pirie Scott product line promotion in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Due to Russell’s height, Seymour matched the small seven-year-old with a five-year-old girl.

Russell shot his favorite commercial at age nine. In the “Orange Communications” spot (U.K. version of AT&T;), the excited young “Star Wars” fan worked with Anthony Daniels (C3PO) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca). Mayhew and Russell have since run into each other several times.

Later that same year, Russell’s first audition for a short film led to a poignant starring role. The bully theme of the Northwestern University production “Sweet Vengeance” mirrored Russell’s life at school. Russell established himself as an anti-bullying advocate and began participating in online and live events targeting the problem. In 2009’s “The Exemption of Hunter Reilly,” Russell’s widowed mother ignores her bullied son’s plight. The tragic finale has drawn numerous tears. Prepping for the film included three weeks of stage combat training in addition to learning how to stunt-fall safely. Brandon was nominated for a Young Artist Award in 2010 for the role.

Russell and his mother commuted between Illinois and Los Angeles until July ’08. The combination of agent suggestions and their choice of manager refusing interviews with anyone not living in L.A. helped them decide to relocate to his current home in the San Fernando Valley.

Russell earned his first TV credit in mid-2009 with “Disney’s Three Minute Game Show” testing tweens and teens on their knowledge of Disney film/TV trivia. Russell victoriously competed against other actors including close friend Camila Forero (“Gary Unmarried”).

In August 2009, Russell booked his first feature film, Tricoast Iowa Productions’ “Smitty.” Directed by David Mickey Evans (“The Sandlot”) and starring screen legend Peter Fonda, alongside Academy Award winners Mira Sorvino and Lou Gossett, Jr., the film centers around Russell and his relationships with family and a special dog.

He followed up that feature with “Wiener Dog Nationals” (2013), “The Martial Arts Kid” (2015), and that same year Beverly Hills Christmas was released in the year Brandon turned 20 ending our look at his child and teen star years. Other credits included spots on the TV series Instant Mom (2015) “And “Hotel P” (2014), he also filmed the shorts “A Terrible Fate”, “Transcendence” and “Jody’s Bra” (2013).

Brandon has moved into older roles with ease with roles on Grey’s Anatomy in 2017, playing Jerry in the feature “This Is Our Christmas” and more recently “Rumors” (2021 and announced roles in “The Final Exam” and the feature “Smile.”

During those early years, Brandon was said to enjoy studying all aspects of feature films, from credits to discerning why each received its MPAA rating. Then when not watching/studying movies, he enjoyed video games (especially “Resident Evil” Parts IV and V), tennis, football, baseball, and skateboarding.

Brandon was without a doubt one of the most popular teen stars discussed on Teen Stars Online at those times with a large active fan base that was thrilled when he joined and interacted with the fans often.


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Gossip Girl

He was gorgeous at that age, and he still is I might add. cx


Teen Stars Online loves Brandon. 🙂


What a fun and decent guy as a teen with fans over at Teen Stars Online, I still follow his career.

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