Russell Wayne Harvard (born April 16, 1981) is an American actor. He made his feature film debut in Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood (2007), playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis as his adopted grown son, H.W. Plainview. In the 2010 biopic The Hammer, he portrayed deaf NCAA championship wrestler and UFC mixed martial arts fighter Matt Hamill. Harvard also won acclaim Off Broadway in 2012 as Billy, the deaf son in an intellectual, though dysfunctional, hearing British family, in Tribes by Nina Raine. For his interpretation, he won a 2012 Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance and nominations for Drama League, Outer Critics Circle andLucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor.
Born in Pasadena, Texas, into a third-generation deaf family, Harvard is the younger of three deaf sons of Kay (Youngblood) and Henry Harvard. Both his parents and his paternal grandmother are also deaf. In the early 1980s, the Harvards moved to Austin, Texas so that their elder son Renny could enroll at their alma mater, Texas School for the Deaf (TSD).
After graduating from TSD in 1999, Harvard began his studies at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. At various times during his college education he took a hiatus to work as a teacher's assistant for preschoolers at the Alaska State School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Anchorage, Alaska. (His mother later joined him, working for the American Red Cross.) While there he contemplated a career as a teacher of theater, and in 2008 he returned as Artist in Residence. At Gallaudet he maintained a high GPA and completed his bachelor degree in Theatre Arts, graduating in 2008.
Biography from Wikipedia