Real Housewives Russell Armstrong Remembered as a Good Friend

(left) Russell Armstrong (the one with th e moustache) looks at the camera at a senior dinner party Randy Edwards (in yellow)held for his friends. (right) Armstrong at the same dinner party.
(left) Russell Armstrong (the one with the moustache) looks at the camera at a senior dinner party Randy Edwards held for his friends. (right) Armstrong at the same dinner party with Edwards (in yellow).

Last week, Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong, hanged himself. Some say his actions were a result of what was about to be aired in the next season of RHBH. Bravo, which airs the series, is now apparently re-editing its latest season because the impeding divorce between the Armstrongs was a major plot point.

Until yesterday, I didn’t know that Armstrong grew up here. Follow the jump and read the note sent to me by his friend Randy Edwards.

Russell “Rusty” Armstrong was my best friend. He lived in Carrollton until he was 15 and then in Dallas where he attended Richardson High School and graduated from in 1982. Because Rusty went to junior high at Dewitt Perry and his freshman year at Newman Smith in Carrollton, he made a lot of friends there. When he went to Richardson, he made a lot of friends there. It was because of our continued REALLY close friendship growing up that he kept in contact with everyone in Carollton. So much so some people thought he did graduate from Smith. It was this friendship that brought me in contact with a bunch of kids from Richardson High School and form friendships with them. Some I remained friends with at Texas Tech and beyond. Which brings me to my point. You could not find one person that knew him at either high school that didn’t think the way he was portrayed was like the complete opposite of who he was and who the tabloid-driven media keeps dragging him down the road. None of his close friends would say he was a perfect person either. He was an engaging, funny, hard worker who loved his kids and loved his wife. He would send me pictures of the kids. I would open it and there would be, like, 200 pictures. I talked to Russ three times in the last two weeks. I know two other people who talked to him. One of them did every day. I knew he was heart broke and said, “They are all piling on.” There is a website dedicated to everything bad about Russell Armstrong. It is in-depth and took someone a lot of time and a lot of money. No one person had the time to do that. Who would benefit? TMZ? Bravo? There is a heart-broke family here in Dallas and a bunch of heart-broke friends, me being one of them. … I am proud to be from Texas and the city of Dallas. My friend Russ was from Dallas, Texas. His name has been wronged. –Randy Edwards


  • Randy, your writing deeply touched me. I do not know Russell and yet he was the one who always caught my attention during the show. He seemed as though he was not really happy or content and that he did not “need” all of the glitz and glamor? I remember thinking there is something going on and he’s having to smile and get through it? What a tragedy. I too sense that his name has been wronged. My heart goes out to his family and friends. Gone too soon, may you rest in peace Russell Armstrong.
    Suzanne_55 South Carolina

  • Debi

    You’re a good friend Randy. Rest in peace, Rusty.

  • Laurie Armstrong Kelsoe

    Randy…you have always exemplified the true meaning of what a genuine friend really is and should be to my brother, Russell Armstrong. What a blessing you are to all that know you and call you friend…thank you. Your article moved me to tears, as I for the first time since Russell’s death, actually knew who I was reading about…my loving protective big brother, Russell…”duddy” as I called him when we were little and I couldn’t pronounce my “r’s”,not the monster Bravo & much of the media have portrayed him as. My heart is broken knowing you are gone, Russell…I miss you so. May you rest in peace, knowing you are genuinely loved and honored by those that that truly knew the wonderful person you were.

  • Big Bud Goode

    We need to realize that reality shows are not. They are totally scripted and edited as a narrative to satisfy the weak-minded in our society. They are about as real as The Dick Van Dyke Show or CSI. He should never have agreed to do it for an idiot woman, and I think it is all terribly terribly sad.

  • ld

    Did he graduate from RHS in ’82?

  • Lisa Carter Young

    I was so glad to find something positive written about Rusty so people would understand what and who he was to the people that really knew him. There are no words to relay how disgusted I am by what is being said in the media.

  • Patti Thomas

    I never connected the reality star’s husband to someone’s brother that we knew back in our innocent days at RHS. I too am disgusted at what the media and BRAVO are doing to publicize his character. They have a way of twisting things to show in a light that will benefit them the most! Everyone should respect his family and the fond memories they have of him. Nothing else matters.

  • It takes a greater person to step up and speak well of someone others are trying to pick, pry, and pull apart. Randy, bravo for your courage. I don’t remember Russell in high school, but my sister did. In this artificial society, we are forced to believe in things that aren’t true. Whatever happens in the future, you stood up for what you believe in, and those who call you “friend” are better for it. It sounds like those who called Russell “friend” were better for the experience as well.

  • yvonne

    I was so excited tonight to see tonight that Bravao did address the unfortunate death of Russell Armstrong. they had been in limbo about trying to decide about showing the show or not. I wrote many many people from Andy Cohen at Bravo..Jamie Poewsiscjk at Time Magazine and encouraged them to write Bravo and tell them, (since I couldn’t reach them) that I felt they should run the show and so a Suicide Prevention Hotline at the beginning or end of the show and Low and behold they did tonight and hopefully will do every week.. so Randy.. thanks for your letter that sparred me to write them.. I am so happy and if we save one life it will be wonderful..if you have an idea write everyone till something finally get done. Krista and Dmagazine.. thanks for running Randy’s letter and now more people are aware of signs to look for and we know that Russell was a good guy with depression and that’s a disease..

  • Aiden armstrong

    Randy i know ive told this before but thank you for putting out some truth about dad instead of all the lies weve all had to deal with the past few months the more truthful things are out the better for dad will always be loved and missed – aiden

  • Janet

    I would like to extend my sincere condolences to Russell’s family and friends. Taylor disgusts me.

  • WhoDat

    Taylor’s gross and so is Russell. So some guy who’s Russell’s BFF comes forward and says he wasn’t so bad and it’s law?? Nope. Not buying. His ex wife, on camera, admitted he hit her. Both of these fame/money whores have reaped what they have sown. Sad, but true.

  • m rosen

    Many, many, un-named people know Russell was a good human. Could tell he was being intimidated, ridiculed and mistreated by a manipulative woman. To those who actually have been abused she is obvious. She is aggressive and brutal in both her mannerisms and wording. She is a liar.
    I feel for Russell and even not knowing him was heart broken when he gave up and let them win.
    He is missed.