Lee Russell

Lee Russell is the co-protagonist of the HBO series, Vice Principals.

He is portrayed by Walton Goggins.

Personality and Traits

Russell can be very surreptitious and manipulative, doing whatever it takes to get what he wants. Examples include spreading a rumor that his future wife's boyfriend was gay, and he is also somehow involved in the shooting of vice principal Neal Gamby. Russel at times has displayed psychotic and sadistic tendencies.

Unlike Neil Gamby, Russell's colleague and later friend, Russell seems to have no moral compass, doing anything to obtain his ultimate goal of being principal at North Jackson High School. Russell will submit to cruel if not straight up illegal, tactics to take down he and Gamby's nemesis, Dr. Belinda Brown, the current principal at North Jackson.

Despite his apparent heartlessness, Russell does love his wife Christine dearly, though he shares an intense hatred with his mother-in-law Mi-Cha. However, Christine leaves Russell in the second season after becoming horrified by his constant lies.


At the start of the series, Russell serves as vice principal (hence the series' title) alongside Gamby, his intense enemy. When North Jackson's current principal, Principal Wells, retires to care for his sick wife, Russell and Gamby instantly compete to see who will be promoted. Much to both of their shock, however, a newcomer, Dr. Belinda Brown, is called in to take the job, keeping Russell and Gamby in their current roles. Russell then proposes to Gamby that they form an alliance to take Dr. Brown down, to which Gamby accepts.

Fully forming their alliance, Gamby and Russell seek any information they can do bring down Dr. Brown. Russell reveals that he keeps detailed files on all the faculty at North Jackson High (including Gamby). It is also revealed that Russell lives with his wife and mother-in-law, the latter of whom detests Russell and always berates him.

Gamby and Russell go to Dr. Brown's house to gather intel on her, and, with Russell leading the way, the pair proceed to vandalize her house. Russell takes it a step further, starting a fire that burns the house down.