Reality TV star Chumlee is one of the main actors in the reality TV show Pawn Stars. With his distinctive sense of humor and his heart of gold, he has made himself popular with the fans. Although the latter has been quoted as not so good quality in business, Chumlee has established himself as a successful businessman who runs a joke store and a popular candy store in Las Vegas.
In addition to his appearances in Pawn Stars, he also has other acting successes to his credit. He made his directorial debut in 2013 with a short documentary film entitled “Driven”: The Story of Tanner Godfrey, which he also edited and produced. To learn more about the life of the American entrepreneur and if he is really dead, turn the page.
Who is Chumlee?
Chumlee was born on September 8, 1982, in Henderson, Nevada, as Austin Lee Russell. He was born into a family of five, and details about his parents are not available, except that his father died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 54. Chumlee has two siblings, a brother named Sage and a sister named Terra. As Chumlee grew up, he became best friends with his current co-star at Pawn Stars, Corey “Big Boss” Harrison.
After making a great friendship with Corey, he met his family, and his father gave him the alias “Chumlee” (after a walrus sidekick named Chumley from the Tennessee Tuxedo cartoon series) when he was twelve years old. At the age of 21, he then became part of their family business: a Las Vegas-based pawn shop called Gold and Silver. From then on he built an illustrious career as a businessman and also as a TV personality.
ALSO READ: The Untold Truth of Lynette Nusbacher and Her Male To Female Transformation
What Is He Famous For?
In 2004, Chumlee took a difficult step that eventually became a decisive step in his career by becoming an employee at the Gold and Silver Pawnshop of Corey Harrison’s late grandfather Richard Benjamin Harrison and his father Rick Harrison. Although the 24-hour family business has been in existence since 1989, it gained general attention in July 2009 when it became the subject of History Channel’s reality show Pawn Stars.
Pawn Stars is a reality TV show filmed at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas and produced by Leftfield Pictures. The series, currently in its 17th season, shows how Richard Benjamin Harrison’s family evaluates, buys, and sells antique items from historical times on a daily basis. The first episode premiered on July 19, 2009, and has been running on History Channel and A+E Networks ever since. The main characters include Rick Harrison, Corey Harrison, Chumlee, and Richard Benjamin Harrison, who died in 2018.
The show’s portrayal of their day-to-day business operations made it more popular, as did its cast members, making it the highest-rated show on television. Chumlee, whose work in the store includes customer service, testing, and article loading, has become a fan favorite of the show. Although he is sometimes ridiculed for his incompetence at work, he has proven his competence in several other areas. These include video games, pinball machines, sneakers, and gas-powered toy cars.
After Austin Russell achieved great popularity on the show, he founded a novelty company where he sells personalized items such as T-shirts. In 2010, he then became a partner with his co-star, Rick Harrison, when he acquired half of the company for $155,000. He later diversified into the confectionery business when he opened Chumlee Candy in May 2017 in the Boulevard Shop next to the popular gold and silver pawn store.
In addition to his appearances in Pawn Stars, Chumlee has also appeared in Bob Dylan: Like a Rolling Stone, Counting Cars, iCarly, Pop Star, America Restoration, Pawnography, Top Gear USA, among other shows.
What We Know About His Relationship/Married Life
Before he made the alliance with his current wife Olivia Rademann, Chumlee had a very public relations relationship with Tanya Hyjazi, a cook at the Stack Restaurant and Bar in Las Vegas. The couple dated from 2013 to early 2016, when the actor had legal problems. He even sponsored their breast implants as they made headlines on many news channels during their time together.
When he had legal problems, he met with Olivia Rademann, who runs an eyelash business and is also a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. And although they had known each other for years, the relationship did not get serious until May 2018, when Chumlee proposed to the Instagram model with a one-and-a-half-carat diamond ring at the Royal Hawaiian Waikiki, Hawaii.
He celebrated his engagement in August 2018 with his brother and Olivia’s family at the Andiamo Italian Steakhouse in Las Vegas. Later in March 2019, the businessman hosted a pre-wedding party at the Detroit Ballroom in the D-Hotel, Las Vegas, which was attended by several prominent personalities including Rick and Corey Harrison. Two months later, the handsome couple made the union at a private wedding in Hawaii. They are happily married because Chumlee hopes to one day create a business empire for sweets and eyelashes together with his wife Olivia.
Why Was Chumlee Arrested?
Chumlee had a run-in with the law in March 2016 when he was under investigation for sexual assault. This included a raid on his home where several firearms, some of which are registered in his name, were found next to hard substances such as marijuana, crystal meth, and evidence of possible cocaine use.
He was later arrested by the police, but the next day he was granted bail. The famous entrepreneur, who was accused of several crimes, pleaded guilty to the charges. He eventually escaped from prison and was given three years of probation and counseling.
ALSO READ: Philip Daniel Bolden Biography, Age, Family, Where Is He Now?
How True Are The Death Rumors?
Chumlee was twice the victim of a death prank. In May 2013, the website Internet Chronicle wrote in one of its articles that the reality TV star had died. The news was a shock to many who began to pay tribute to him. The website claimed that he died from a marijuana overdose.
Similarly, in early 2014, another entertainment website, eBuzzd, claimed that Chumlee died of a heart attack. They also claimed that his death was triggered by his incessant habit of losing weight, which did not fit in well with his body system. However, Chumlee unmasked the rumor by posting “May we live long, rich forever” on his Twitter handle on March 12, 2014.
That same day, Rick Harrison also tweeted that his co-star was still alive and well, which then put an end to the swirling rumor. At the time of writing, Chumlee is alive and kicking. He is still featured in Pawn Stars and has taken drastic measures regarding his body weight, which has dropped from 344 lbs to 230 lbs. He underwent gastric cuff surgery in February 2018, and he is currently following a healthy diet plan as he has hired a fitness trainer to help him convert between 10 and 20 pounds of fat into muscle.