Our sources say Armstrong hanged himself. He was found hanging in his bedroom on Mulholland Drive.
We're told L.A. City Fire Department arrived at his home and pronounced him dead at 8:16 PM Monday. Sources say a roommate found Russell and called 911.
We're told authorities have not found a suicide note.
Taylor filed for divorce last month, after she claimed Russell physically abused her. We're told authorities informed her of Russell's death last night.
He was 47 years old.
Story developing ...
8:13 AM: Bravo and the cast of "Real Housewives" were unaware of Russell's death. Kyle Richards was distraught when she saw the TMZ post, and Lisa Vanderpump was speechless.
9:29 AM: A rep for Bravo tells TMZ, “All of us at Bravo are deeply saddened by this tragic news. Our sympathy and thoughts are with the Armstrong family at this difficult time."
9:35 AM: Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... no drugs or alcohol were found in the bedroom where Russell died. He was fully clothed when his body was discovered.
Distraught Over Divorce and
'Tremendous Financial Problems'
"Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Russell Armstrong was at his wits end over his impending divorce from Taylor in the days leading to his death -- and he was inundated with debt.
Russell's lawyer Ronald Richards tells TMZ, Russell had been staying at a friend's house on Mulholland Drive in L.A. -- the same house where authorities found his body hanging last night.
Richards tells us, "I feel bad because his credit cards weren't working ... He had tremendous financial problems."
Richards adds, "He was also extremely bummed out about the divorce with Taylor. As far as a will, even if he does have a will, they don't have any assets, so I'm not sure what there would be left to leave. I am extremely saddened ... I had no idea he was depressed."
As we previously reported, Russell -- an investor who made his money in the 90s during the dot com boom -- filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2005, claiming he had less than $50,000 in assets ... and debt somewhere between $1 and $10 million.
Russell Armstrong's Lawyer
I Never Saw This Coming
Russell Armstrong's lawyer tells TMZ, he was blindsided by the sudden death of the "Real Housewives" star -- claiming, he spoke to Russell just days before his suicide ... and he seemed ok.
According to Ronald Richards -- Russell was a loving family man ... who spent every dwindling dollar he had to finance his estranged wife's lifestyle.
Ronald also has a theory about the effect of reality shows on marriage ... one that may explain Russell's inner torment -- watch the clip to check it out.
In a Hair-allel Universe
Celebs change up their hair almost every day -- but this time, we're doing it for them!
Jennifer Lopez, Emma Watson, Amanda Seyfried, even Pauly D and more, see what they'd look like if they picked up some hair-dye -- and let us know which hair color you like best.
Tara Reid & Hubby
"Surprise! We're Married" Pics
Wanna see what a one-hour engagement looks like? Check out Tara Reid's wedding photos -- snapped as she tied the knot ... right after she got engaged to boyfriend Zack Kehayov.
Tara and Kehayov tied the knot Saturday on the Greek isle of Santorini. We're told the wedding took place on the roof of the luxury Mystique Resort, overlooking the ocean.
No one seemed more surprised by the wedding than the bride ... who tweeted, "I love being a wife" -- about 60 minutes after tweeting she just got engaged.
Madonna Spotted on Birthday
With Kids and Young Boyfriend
Madonna gets another year older today -- but her boyfriends just keep getting younger!
The Queen of Pop, who is celebrating her 53rd birthday,, was spotted at Heathrow Airport in London earlier today with new 24-year-old dancer boyfriend Brahim Zaibat and her four children: Lourdes, Rocco, David and Mercy, who are all getting so big!
Madge and her crew were returning from a trip to the Hamptons, where she was seen packing on the PDA with Brahim on the beach.
Check out how she's changed through the years below:
We only expect more shocks in the future!
'Dark Knight' Mystery Machine
The BADASS Close-Up Pics
It's the big secret on the "Dark Knight Rises" set -- a giant armored jet thing spotted careening around the streets of Pittsburgh -- but so far, no one's seen it up close in nerdgasmic detail ... UNTIL NOW.
TMZ obtained the recent pictures of what appear to be Batman's updated Batwing for the new movie -- and if you look closely ... you can even see a Batman dummy through the windshield.
Check out the video below to see the new maybe-Batwing in action.
This celebrity's face has been magically melted -- can you guess who the lucky owner is?
Halle Berry's Birthday
The Beachin' Party
Halle Berry celebrated her 45th in her birthday swimsuit.
The gorgeous actress was seen with daughter Nahla, hot boyfriend Olivier Martinez and a group of friends on the beach in Malibu over the weekend, where she showed off her amazing beach body in a peach bikini.
Berry was definitely having a ball at the bash, taking part in a wheelbarrow race and, at one point, was even seen getting thrown into the water by one of her female friends!
WaveRunnin' with the Stars!
Nothing says summer like a 200+ horsepower engine thrusting you through the the fresh ocean air -- check out which stars have takin' to the high seas on their own personal watercraft!
One-Piece vs. Two-Piece
THE BIKINI SHOWDOWN
Some of Hollywood's hottest bodies always make it to the beach in a one-piece, while others like to let it all hang out and go two-pieces.
Vote on your favorite bathing beauty to find out if less really is more.