By Scott Brown
Updated October 07, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Best known for breaking into verse on Match Game in the ’70s, Nipsey Russell, who died Oct. 2 of stomach cancer in NYC at age 81, was more than a game-show cutup. A TV presence since the ’50s, he was a regular on Car 54, Where Are You? in the early ’60s and appeared in several films, including the 1978 musical The Wiz as Tin Man. But no one would have accused him of having no heart.

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