Chumlee Russell Biography

Austin Lee Russell, better known by his stage name Chumlee, is a well-known American business owner, television personality, and actor. He rose to fame as a member of the main cast on History Channel’s reality TV series ‘Pawn Stars’. Growing up in Nevada alongside Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison, Chumlee began working at the famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop at the age of 21. Since the show’s premiere in 2009, Chumlee has become an international sensation, often portrayed as the lovable and slightly dim-witted member of the team. However, he has proven his brilliance on numerous occasions. In addition to his work on ‘Pawn Stars’, Chumlee has ventured into various business endeavors, including a novelty items company and a candy shop.

Quick Facts

  • Girlfriend: Tanya Hyjazi
  • Also Known As: Austin Lee Russell
  • Age: 41 Years, 41 Year Old Males
  • Siblings: Sage Russell, Terra Russell
  • Born Country: United States
  • Height: 5’9″ (175 cm), 5’9″ Males
  • U.S. State: Nevada


The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop was established by the late Richard “Old Man” Harrison and his son Rick Harrison in 1989. Corey is Rick’s son and Richard’s grandson. Chumlee joined his friend’s family business at the age of 21. Five years later, on July 19, 2009, ‘Pawn Stars’ began airing on the History Channel and gradually became one of the most popular reality shows in the world. The show is currently airing its 16th season.

Job at the Pawnshop

At the pawnshop, Chumlee primarily serves behind the counter. His job revolves around checking the items, loading them, and writing the tickets for items bought by the customers. He is depicted in the show as someone who is not that smart or good at his job, often serving as the comic foil for others. This has led to him being referred to as the “village idiot”. However, Chumlee can be brilliant at times, especially while doing business involving the things he knows about.

Breakout Character and Business Ventures

It did not take him long to become the breakout character of the show. The fans love him, and he has accumulated over two hundred thousand followers on Instagram. His merchandise sells more than any other cast members’. This has prompted him to launch his company, which makes various types of novelty items, including t-shirts that he himself has designed. The company also schedules dates for his personal appearances. In 2010, Rick Harrison purchased half of Chumlee’s stake in the company from him, which has made it easier for the shop to deal with the orders for his merchandise.

In May 2017, Chumlee launched a candy shop, Chumlee’s Candy on the Boulevard, which is located right across the street from the pawnshop.

Acting Career

As an actor, he has been featured in several projects. He appeared as himself in the 2013 romance drama ‘Pop Star’. That year, he played the host in the ‘Pawn Stars’ segment of the video short ‘Bob Dylan: Like a Rolling Stone’. Chumlee also made appearances in two episodes of History Channel’s game show ‘Pawnography’.

Legal Issues

In March 2016, during a police raid following sexual assault allegations, several types of drugs and a firearm were discovered in Russell’s house. On a later raid, 11 more legally-owned firearms were found by the police along with evidence of possible cocaine use. He was subsequently arrested. He eventually pleaded guilty to all charges against him to avoid jail.

Family & Personal Life

Born on September 8, 1982, in Henderson, Nevada, Russell has two siblings, brother Sage, and sister Terra. He and Corey are childhood friends. When he was 12 years old, the father of one of his friends remarked that he resembled Chumley, the walrus sidekick from the animated TV series ‘Tennessee Tuxedo’, because of his large face and chin. This stuck, and Russell has been called Chumlee since then. According to his Instagram posts, he is part Scottish. It has also been alluded that he is of part Mexican and Native American descent, but these claims have not yet been verified.

Russell has known Instagram model and UNLV student Olivia Rademann for a while. They began dating in early 2016. In May 2018, they got engaged at the Royal Hawaiian Waikiki with a one-and-a-half carat diamond ring that he gave her. In August, they celebrated their engagement by hosting a party at the Andiamo Italian Steakhouse in Las Vegas. In March 2019, the couple organised a pre-wedding celebration party at the Detroit Ballroom inside the D Las Vegas.

Following the death of his father at the age of 54 due to pancreatic cancer, Russell brought about drastic changes in his lifestyle. By September 2013, he had managed to lose 75 lb. In 2018, he lost 38 pounds before a gastric sleeve surgery due to a pre-operation diet. Since the operation, he has lost over 100 lb. He currently has a trainer and wants to “get rid of about 10-20 pounds of fat and build more muscle”.


Chumlee is an avid collector of shoes.

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