James Vincent Russo (born April 23, 1953) is an American film and television actor. He has appeared in over 90 films in three decades.
Life and CareerEdit
Russo was born in New York City, New York. A graduate of New York University (NYU), he wrote and starred in the prize-winning short film, The Candy Store. Before his first break in acting, he drove for a cab company and was also a gravedigger. He was raised in Flushing, Queens, New York and spent his formative years on 156th street.
Russo's first role in his acting career was in the 1981 made-for-television movie Chicago Story. He would then go on to star in many hit films of the 1980s. His big break (but small role) came in the 1982 classic comedy film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, as a convenience store robber. In 1984, he appeared in Beverly Hills Cop as Mikey Tandino, a friend of Axel Foley who is murdered. Also in 1984, he starred in The Cotton Club, and played small-time hood Bugsy in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America. Russo's other big role was as a brutal rapist in the 1986 drama Extremities, opposite Farrah Fawcett. He also starred in the 1988 drama-suspense-thriller film Freeway.
Russo's film roles in the 1990s include State of Grace (1990), A Kiss Before Dying (1991) and My Own Private Idaho (also 1991). Russo also had roles in the 1994 Western Bad Girls, the 1997 hit films The Postman, and Donnie Brasco. In 2009 he had a small role in Michael Mann's Public Enemies as a member of John Dillinger's gang.
In 2003, Russo was reunited with his co-star from The Postman, Kevin Costner, in the Western film Open Range. He has also made guest appearances in many TV dramas and movies, including The Equalizer, Miami Vice, CSI, CSI: Miami and Las Vegas.
In the summer of 2009, Russo starred in the psychological thriller 7E along with Brendan Sexton III, John Savage and Natasha Lyonne. The film has yet to be released. Russo had a supporting role in Quentin Tarantino's 2012 film Django Unchained.
He also appeared on Bastille's music video for "Of The Night".