FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Actor and director Jerry Russell, the father of state Sen. Wendy Davis, died Thursday at a hospital following complications from surgery, the senator announced on her Facebook page. He was 77.
Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth who's considering a run for Texas governor, said her father died peacefully, surrounded by friends and family.
Russell died at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth of complications from abdominal surgery performed last month, said Rick Svatora, a spokesman for the legislator.
"I am heartbroken to report that my father, Jerry Russell, passed away peacefully in the early hours of this morning," Davis wrote. "We, and the community, will forever be grateful for the significant impact he made on our lives. He and his warm, sparkling brown eyes will be deeply missed."
Russell founded and was director emeritus of Stage West Theatre in Fort Worth. His professional career included more than 100 stage roles and directing credits in the past 25 years, according to his biography on the acting troupe's website.
Davis last week delayed any announcement on her political plans to concentrate on her ailing father.
On June 25, she carried out a nearly 13-hour filibuster against an abortion bill. Her delay forced GOP Gov. Rick Perry to call a second special legislative session to pass the ban on most abortions after 20 weeks.