Longtime entertainment lawyer Irwin Russell, whose clients included
Russell, a New York native, is best known for working to get Eisner installed as chief executive of the
"Irwin Russell was a brilliant lawyer, an insightful executive, an eloquent writer and, in all things, a true gentleman," Eisner, who headed Disney until 2005, said in a statement. Russell represented the executive for 40 years.
"He was able to write -- and get all parties to agree to -- a one-page deal, something unheard of in American business. Ethics, doing it right and being fair were embedded in his DNA. This is a deep loss for all of us," Eisner said.
Russell received an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of the
The attorney moved to Los Angeles in 1971, when he became executive vice president of the Wolper Organization Inc., the company of film and television producer David Wolper.
Other Russell clients included Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), "The Music Man" actor Robert Preston and Christina Crawford, the daughter of actress Joan Crawford.
In representing Henson, Russell stuck the deal that brought the puppeteer's Muppets characters to "Sesame Street."
"He was a good friend and I'm happy that we were able to keep in touch all these years," actress Carol Burnett said in a statement. "I'll miss him and our frequent conversations. He was a gentleman through and through."
Russell is survived by his wife, Suzanne.