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Russ Tamblyn’s daughter China recalls meeting him at age 17; says it changed the trajectory of her life

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Russ Tamblyn, known for his roles in films like “West Side Story,” recently revealed a surprising family secret that has garnered attention.

The 89-year-old star shared that he was unaware of the existence of his older daughter, China Tamblyn, for the first 17 years of her life.

This revelation came to light when Russ learned that he had fathered a daughter, China, with a woman named Betsy during his time focusing on fine arts in California’s Topanga Canyon. Despite the initial shock, Russ embraced his newfound paternity role and delves deeper into this experience in his memoir, “Dancing on the Edge.”

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China, now 55, expressed how she grew up hearing stories about “Russ the artist and gymnast” but was unaware of his full name or profession. It wasn’t until she was 13 that she discovered her father’s identity and connected the dots by seeing his picture in a library.

The first meeting between Russ, his wife Bonnie, China, and her half-sister Amber was a turning point in China’s life. She described stepping into the Tamblyn living room as entering an art gallery, filled with talented individuals who influenced her artistic journey.

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Amber, on the other hand, expressed her joy at discovering her long-lost sister and how meeting China felt like a dream come true. The two sisters bonded immediately, and Amber looks up to China for inspiration in various aspects of her life.

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As the proud grandfather of three, Russ is delighted to see his children and grandchildren pursuing careers in the arts. Both China and Amber’s children have shown interest and talent in the creative field, showcasing the artistic legacy of their family.

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Amber praised her father’s life achievements not only in his career but also in raising resilient and powerful daughters who have grown up to be successful women, artists, and mothers. Russ Tamblyn’s memoir, “Dancing on the Edge,” is now available for purchase, providing a deeper insight into his fascinating journey in Hollywood.

Multi award-winning journalist.