This World War II veteran won an unprecedented two Academy Awards for his role as Homer Parrish.
Harold Russell. Harold Russell won an unprecedented two Academy Awards for his role as Homer Parrish, the first for Best Supporting Actor and the second in recognition for what Russell had contributed in ‘bringing aid and comfort to disabled veterans through the medium of motion pictures.’ Russell was himself a disabled veteran having lost both his hands while serving as a demolitions sergeant in the 17th Airborne Division. While convalescing at Walter Reed Army Hospital, he agreed to appear in the Army film Diary of a Sergeant, which was seen by Hollywood director William Wyler. This led to Russell being cast in the role of returning vet Homer Parrish in Wyler’s 1946 film The Best Years of Our Lives. He has written two autobiographies: Victory in my Hands (1947) and The Best Years of My Life (1981).
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