Charles Russell had two careers. In the 1940s, he was a character actor who never quite hit the heights, but the following decade saw him add a W. to his moniker and become something of a hero by defying the blacklist in hiring writers named as Communists during the Red Scare that followed the House UnAmerican Activities investigation into political allegiance in postwar show business. Russell debuted on screen as an uncredited ball player in the 1943 Lupe Velez comedy "Ladies' Day" and landed his first significant role at 20th Century-Fox as Lieutenant Kenneth Bayforth in Lewis Milestone's 1944 war drama, "The Purple Heart." He also impressed as Howard Boulder in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's comedy "The Late George Apley," as Arthur Waldron, Jr. in Lloyd Bacon's musical "Give My Regards to Broadway," and in a rare lead as Ralph Benson in James Tinling's B, "Night Wind." However, it was his work as Harold Dunlap in Lew Landers's 1948 noir "Inner Sanctum" that led Russell to be cast in 1949 as the eponymous detective in the radio show "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar." Replaced after a year by Edmond O'Brien, Russell moved into television as a producer and commissioned scripts from Abraham Polonsky, Walter Bernstein, and Arnold Manoff for the CBS shows "Danger" and "You Are There." In 1959, he launched "The Untouchables" and produced such other landmark series as "Cain's Hundred," "Naked City," and "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," as well as the 1960s second features "The Murder Man" and "The Crimebusters."