James Russo

Active - 1981 - Present  |   Born - Apr 23, 1953 in New York City, NY  |   Genres - Thriller, Crime, Action, Drama, Comedy

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Manhattan-born character actor and former professional gravedigger James Russo has been showing up in hard-bitten film supporting roles since 1981, and has worked alongside some of Hollywood's most prolific actors, including Al Pacino, Kevin Costner, River Phoenix, and Johnny Depp. In the otherwise teen-oriented Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Russo brought a welcome gust of reality as a nasty robber. His more infamous gangster roles have included portrayals of the infamous Bugsy in 1982's Once Upon a Time in America as well as Vince Hood in 1984's The Cotton Club. Even in such Westerns as 1994's Bad Girls, Russo could be counted upon to show up as a villain. While he never achieved the type of mainstream recognition that other more fortunate supporting players have been known to receive, he nonetheless is reliable and well reputed within the industry. After fumbling with a variety of ill-conceived mid-'90s crime films (Urban Justice, No Way Home, and Condition Red, to name a few), Russo gained some well-earned critical acclaim for his role as -- what else? -- a street-wizened gangster in Donnie Brasco (1997). The same year, Russo found himself opposite Kevin Costner in The Postman. In 2003, Costner would call upon Russo's talents for a small role in Open Range. Shortly afterward, Russo began filming director William Webb's Target, in which he would co-star opposite Stephen Baldwin and Yorgo Constantine.

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