Austin Lee Russell, an American business owner, television personality, and actor, rose to fame as Chumlee, a member of the main cast in History Channel’s reality TV series, ‘Pawn Stars’. Born and raised in Nevada, he grew up alongside Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison, whose father and grandfather established the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in 1989. Chumlee joined the pawnshop at the age of 21, and a few years later, in July 2009, ‘Pawn Stars’ premiered, propelling him and the Harrison family to international stardom. Chumlee primarily works behind the counter, where he performs tasks such as item checks, loading, and writing customer tickets. Although the show portrays him as less intelligent and competent in his role, he has demonstrated occasional brilliance. Beyond ‘Pawn Stars’, Chumlee has ventured into various businesses, including a novelty item company and a candy shop.
Life and Career of Austin ‘Chumlee’ Russell
Chumlee joined the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop when he was 21 years old, marking the beginning of his journey with the iconic pawnshop. The shop gained initial recognition after the Comedy Central show “Insomniac with Dave Attell” featured it. Rick Harrison tirelessly pitched the idea for a full-fledged series to different production companies and networks following the success of that episode. The History Channel picked up the concept, eventually leading to the debut of “Pawn Stars” in 2009. Chumlee had worked there for five years at the time.
Currently, Chumlee delights viewers with his comedic antics from behind the pawnshop counter. The show offers a glimpse into the day-to-day operations of the 24-hour Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, located in Las Vegas. Chumlee demonstrates his negotiation skills by successfully persuading a local Maserati shop to sell him a $100,000 car for only $85,000, showcasing his prowess as a haggler. As of now, “Pawn Stars” holds the position of the most popular show on The History Channel.
Chumlee has gained immense popularity as a cast member and fan favorite on “Pawn Stars.” Of course, we like the Pawn Stars watch, but it has a journey beyond Pawn Stars. First, you should watch Pawn Stars to see if you like Chumlee or not. If you did, you can move on and find out more about his life outside of the pawn shop.
Salary Per Episode
During each episode of Pawn Stars, Chumlee earns a salary of $25,000.
Problems With Law
According to an article from the Associated Press (via USA Today) on March 11, 2016, Austin Lee Russell, better known as Chumlee from “Pawn Stars,” faced legal trouble when authorities found controlled substances and illegal items at his home in Southwest Las Vegas. The discovery occurred during a search conducted as part of an investigation into a sexual assault allegation involving the reality TV star.
Chumlee was booked by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police on 19 drug charges and a weapons charge. Meanwhile, the investigation into the sexual assault complaint remained open. After paying a $62,000 bail, he was released. In May of 2016, during his court appearance, Russell accepted a plea deal in which he was guilty solely to the felony weapons charge. As long as he completed three years of probation, the other charges would be reduced to misdemeanors. Notably, no sexual assault charges were ever officially filed.
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Sports, video games, skateboarding, and the Pokémon Trading Card Game bring him joy. Musical preferences lean towards punk rock and rap, while his preferred TV shows include “Boardwalk Empire,” “Sons of Anarchy,” and “Breaking Bad.”
Aside from his Maserati, Chumlee possesses an impressive fleet of cars that includes a Rolls-Royce Phantom, Range Rover, Cadillac Escalade, and a customized 1964 Impala SS. Among his favorites is a 1986 Buick Regal, equipped with hydraulic lifts on both the front and back.
Chumlee embarked on a journey towards a healthier lifestyle when his weight peaked at 345 pounds. Opting for gastric sleeve surgery to reduce his stomach capacity to just six ounces, he dedicated himself to a rigorous six-day-a-week workout routine and embraced a healthier diet. He incorporated more juice and vegetables while giving up red meat, resulting in a remarkable weight loss of 110 pounds. The motivation behind this transformation was the untimely death of his father at 54 due to pancreatic cancer.
Chumlee, a triumphant TV personality and businessman, has obtained his wealth through sheer determination and relentless effort. He began from nothing, devoid of any inherited wealth. Despite encountering obstacles like incarceration, he has fostered a prosperous network and established businesses, including a merchandise line and a candy store. In his personal life, he experienced divorce but has since remarried.