Veteran actor Nipsey Russell died of cancer in a New York City Hospital on Sunday (02OCT05). He was 80.

The Atlanta, Georgia-born star passed away at Lenox Hill Hospital, his longtime manager JOSEPH RAPP confirmed.

Russell, who was best known for playing the TIN MAN opposite Diana Ross and Michael Jackson in cult classic The Wiz, launched his television career in the 1961 TV series CAR 54, WHERE ARE YOU?.

Before starting his acting career, Russell served with the US Army in Europe during World War II.