Home Celebrity Marilyn Nault: NBA Legend Bill Russell’s third wife

Marilyn Nault: NBA Legend Bill Russell’s third wife

Marilyn Nault: NBA Legend Bill Russell's third wife
Image source

Marilyn Nault is widely recognized for her relationship with the renowned basketball player Bill Russell. Despite her husband’s fame in the sports world, not much information about Marilyn has been made public. The two maintained a private lifestyle during their marriage and were kept out of the spotlight.

Bill Russell, a legendary American professional basketball player who played in the NBA, passed away on July 31st, 2022. His death sparked renewed interest in his life and relationships; one of which was with Marilyn Nault whom he married. Bill’s legacy will live on through the memories shared by those who knew him best and loved him most.

Marilyn Nault Early life

The jewelry salesperson was born in Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas, United States on January 15th, 1960. She is the daughter of Quentin and Helen Nault and has four brothers; Phil, Eric, James, and Kyle. Growing up she was surrounded by her siblings as they were all brought up together in one household.

Marilyn Nault: NBA Legend Bill Russell's third wife
Image source

The loss of her father in 1987 was a great tragedy for the family, as he had owned a jewelry store in Kansas. Even more sadly, one of her brothers passed away several years after her death in 2020.

Nault was brought up in a devoutly religious family, with her parents adhering to the Catholic belief system. She went to a Catholic high school located in Kansas and decided against pursuing higher education, instead opting for employment after graduating from high school.


After completing her high school education, Nault relocated to Seattle and followed in her father’s footsteps by taking a job as a jewelry salesperson. It was through this position that she met the love of her life, Bill Russell; they first crossed paths at one of the jewelry stores where Nault worked in the city.

Nault had a multifaceted professional career prior to her relationship with Bill Russell; she worked as a jewelry salesperson and also served as his secretary, providing assistance in accounting. After they began dating and eventually married, Nault decided to focus solely on being a housewife instead of continuing her work outside the home.

Marilyn Nault’s Marriage

Marilyn and William Felton Russell first crossed paths at a jewelry store where Marilyn was employed. Despite the immediate connection, their relationship did not take off right away; instead, they cultivated a strong friendship over several years before eventually tying the knot. William is renowned for his two-decade-long career with the Boston Celtics in the NBA as an outstanding basketball player.

Marilyn Nault: NBA Legend Bill Russell's third wife
Image source

After Bill’s remarriage, he and Nault developed a close bond as she assisted him with various tasks. Her impressive skill at dominoes further drew them together, and eventually, their relationship grew into something more. In 1996 they tied the knot, cementing their newfound romance.

Marilyn Nault and Bill Russell enjoyed a private marriage, rarely participating in public events. When they did appear together, it was usually at basketball games or dinner engagements. Despite their preference for privacy, the couple still managed to travel extensively around the world during their time together.

Russell and Nault enjoyed a blissful life together, as described by their daughter Karen. The couple had an incredibly strong bond and demonstrated their commitment to each other through Russell’s promise to make Nault laugh every day. Unfortunately, after just over 10 years of marriage, the relationship was tragically cut short when Nault passed away in 2009.


Nault and Bill Russell did not have any biological children together, however, Nault was a stepmother to the three children from Russell’s first marriage; Karen Kenyatta Russell, William Jr., and Jacob. She provided them with love and support as if they were her own.

Bill Russell married Jeanine Russel sometime around 2018, following the death of his third wife, Marilyn Nault. This was his fourth marriage and lasted until he passed away in 2022. Prior to this union with Jeanine and Marilyn Nault, Bill had two other wives.

Russell’s first marriage was to Rose Swisher, his college sweetheart, in 1956. However, the relationship gradually deteriorated over time and they divorced in 1973. Afterward, Russell married former model Dorothy Anstett in 1977; unfortunately, this union also did not last long and ended with a divorce three years later in 1980.

Marilyn Nault’s Net worth and Earnings

Bill Russell’s wife was a very private person, and there is not much information available about her. After getting married to the wealthy basketball player, she quit her job and enjoyed the luxury of living off her estimated $10 million net worth at her death.

What was Marilyn Nault’s cause of death?

The cause of her death was not initially disclosed, leading to surprise and shock as her passing seemed sudden. It later became known that she had been suffering from cancer for some time before finally succumbing to the illness.

Nault was sadly taken from us at the age of 59. A private funeral service was held in her honor in Seattle, and she was laid to rest at Lake View Cemetery located in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.. Our thoughts are with those who were close to her during this difficult time.

ALSO READ: Who is Parker Leverett and Where is He Today?

Who was Bill Russell married to before Marilyn Nault?

Bill Russell was previously wed to Rose Swisher on December 9th, 1956. This union resulted in three children: Jacob Russell, William Russell, and Karen Russell. Subsequently, he married Marilyn Nault and the two remain happily together today.

Rose Swisher and her partner were together for almost 20 years before they decided to part ways in 1973. Sadly, Rose passed away on September 11th, 2014 after a long and fulfilling life full of many memories with her loved ones.

Bill’s second marriage to Dorothy Anstett, born on June 28th, 1947 in Kirkland, Washington was a divisive one due to its interracial nature. This was during a time when America had yet to fully accept such unions and only legalized them in 1967.

How long were Bill Russell and Marilyn Nault married?

Bill Russell and Marilyn Nault Russell were married until 2009 when she sadly passed away. Their union was a strong one that lasted until her untimely death in the same year.

Quick Facts AboutvMarilyn Nault

NameMarilyn Nault
Full nameMarilyn Ruth Nault Russell
Date of birthJanuary 15, 1960
Date of deathJanuary 21, 2009
Age59 (at her death)
Zodiac signCapricorn
Place of birthConcordia, Cloud County, Kansas, U.S.A
Place of BurialLake View Cemetery, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A
Cause of deathCancer
ReligionChristian (Catholic)
Hair ColorDark brown
Eye colorBrown
Marital statusMarried (Bill Russell)
Children3 Stepchildren (Karen, William Jr., and Jacob Russel)
ParentsQuentin and Helen Nault
Siblings4 (James, Kyle, Eric, and Phil Nault)
ProfessionJewelry salesperson