James Vincent Russo (born April 23, 1953)[1] is an American film and television actor. He has appeared in over 150 films in three decades.

James Russo
James Vincent Russo

(1953-04-23) April 23, 1953 (age 69)
Alma materNew York University
Years active1977–present
SpouseBettina Russo (1995-2020 Divorced)

Early lifeEdit

Russo was born in New York City, New York, to an Italian father and German mother.[2] A graduate of the High School of Art and Design and 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, worked as a construction worker and a gravedigger.[2] He was raised in Flushing, New York and spent his formative years on 156th street.[citation needed]


Russo's first role in his acting career was in the 1981 made-for-television film Chicago Story. He then went on to star in many hit films of the 1980s.

His big break (but small role) came in the 1982 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.[3] That same year 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.[2] He 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),[4] and My Own Private Idaho (1991).[5] Russo also had roles in the 1994 Western Bad Girls,[6] the 1997 films The Postman,[7] and Donnie Brasco.[8] In 2009 he had a small role in Michael Mann's Public Enemies as a member of John Dillinger's gang.[9]

In 2003, Russo was reunited with his co-star from The Postman, Kevin Costner, in the Western film Open Range.[10] He made guest appearances in many TV dramas and films, including The Equalizer, Miami Vice, CSI, CSI: Miami, and Las Vegas.

In the summer of 2009, Russo starred in the psychological thriller 7E with Brendan Sexton III, John Savage and Natasha Lyonne. The film was released on December 10, 2013.[11] Russo had a supporting role in Quentin Tarantino's 2012 film Django Unchained.[12]

In 2011, Russo provided video game voice talent for Rage and provided additional voice work for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

He appeared on Bastille's music video for "Of the Night".[13]



Year Title Role Notes
1982 A Stranger Is Watching Ronald Thompson
Fast Times at Ridgemont High Robber
Vortex Anthony Demmer
1983 Exposed Nick
1984 Once Upon a Time in America Bugsy
Beverly Hills Cop Mikey Tandino
The Cotton Club Vince Hood
1986 Extremities Joe
1987 China Girl Alby
1988 The Blue Iguana Reno
Freeway Frank Quinn
1989 The Belt Vittorio De Simone
The Vineyard Teddy
We're No Angels Bobby
1990 State of Grace DeMarco Uncredited
1991 A Kiss Before Dying Dan Corelli
My Own Private Idaho Richard Waters
Cold Heaven Daniel Corvin
Intimate Stranger Nick Ciccini TV film
1992 In the Shadow of a Killer Charlie Van TV film
Illicit Behavior Bill Tanner
1993 Desperate Rescue: The Cathy Mahone Story Don Feeney TV film
Trauma Capt. Travis
Da Vinci's War Mintz
Double Deception Jon Kane TV film
Dangerous Game Francis Burns
1994 Bad Girls Kid Jarrett
1995 The Secretary Ted Burke TV film
Panther Rodgers
Condition Red Dan Cappelli
The Set Up Kliff
1996 Livers Ain't Cheap a.k.a. The Real Thing Rupert Little
No Way Home Tommy
American Strays Eddie
Small Time Jerry
1997 Donnie Brasco Paulie
Laws of Deception Gino Carlucci
The Girl Gets Moe a.k.a. Love to Kill Brannagin
Under Oath Warren Erickson
The Postman Idaho
1998 Heist Nick the Stick
My Husband's Secret Life Sal Bianculli TV film
Butter a.k.a. Never 2 Big Juke Box Danny
Fait Accompli a.k.a. Voodoo Dawn Luc
Charades a.k.a. Felons Max Targenville
Detour Ziggy Rotella
1999 BitterSweet Joe Massa
Jimmy Zip Otis Campbell
The Ninth Gate Bernie
Diamonds Damian Uncredited
2000 Sonic Impact Agent Nick Halton
The Unscarred Mickey Vernon
Deep Core Darryl Simmons
Paper Bullets John Rourke
Hidden War Matt Forman
Bad Guys John Tykor
2001 Pendulum Edward Mills
Double Deception a.k.a. 24 Hours to Die Snake
2002 Shattered Lies Smiler
The House Next Door Carl Schmidt
Redemption Capt. Grill
My Daughter's Tears Mr. Quinn
2003 Stealing Sinatra Frank Sinatra
A Good Night to Die Roy
Paris Leon King
The Box Frank Miles
Open Range Marshal Poole
2004 Target Donovan
2005 One Among Us Ryan Brannigan (the Ex-Cop)
Come as You Are Benny
Confessions of a Pit Fighter Sharkey
2006 All In Dr. Pennington
Broken Trail Captain Billy Fender TV film
Satanic Eddie
Shut Up and Shoot! David Sanchez
Blackwater Valley Exorcism The Bishop
Cut Off Gonzo
2007 Chill Detective Defazio
Blue Lake Massacre Sheriff Jack
Machine Butch
The Pink Conspiracy Cox
The Hit Mr. Santucci
On the Doll Janitor
2008 Little Red Devil Mr. Trundell
Dark World Charlie
Kings of the Evening Ramsey
Stiletto Engelhart
Deadwater Commander Combs
Born of Earth Tom Reeser
Shoot First and Pray You Live (Because Luck Has Nothing to Do with It) Bob McGurk
Break The Father
2009 Charlie Valentine Rocco
Never Surrender Jimmy
Public Enemies Walter Dietrich
Dreams and Shadows John Brunette
Taken by Force
2010 One in the Gun Jimmy
Dark Woods Sheriff Demming
Boy Wonder Larry Childs
Love Sick Diaries Lorenzo De'mon
2011 Good God Bad Dog Peter Elias
Miss Bala Jimmy
The Dragon Warrior Claudius
Yellow Rock Max Dietrich
2012 Django Unchained Dicky Speck
Revan Stone
2013 Samuel Bleak Charles Bleak
Five Thirteen Agent Acevedo
Chavez Cage of Glory Tony
7E Sam
2014 Perfect Sisters Steve Bowman
Strike One Paul Fairfield
The Bag Man Original screenplay
2015 Voiceless Pastor Gil
Black Mass Agent Scott Gariola Uncredited
An American Hero
2016 Vigilante Diaries Mr. Hanover
2017 Living Among Us Aaron
2018 Desolate Duke Stone
2019 Badland Fred Quaid
2020 A Soldier's Revenge Walsh
2021 Flag Day Lead Biker


Year Title Role Notes
1985 The Equalizer Police Detective Episode: "China Rain"
Miami Vice Frank Sacco Episode: "The Prodigal Son"
1987 Crime Story Nat Martino Episode: "Ground Zero"
1988 Friday the 13th: The Series Janos Korda Episode: "Symphony in B-Sharp"
1991 Gabriel's Fire Charles Crowley Episode: "Belly of the Beast"
1997 C-16: FBI Frank Saretti Episode: "Eight Pounds of Pressure"
2000 Falcone Victor Mura Episode: "Pilot"
2004 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Sinclair Episode: "Getting Off"
Without a Trace Michael Krauss Episode: "Lost and Found"
2005 Joan of Arcadia James Karon Episode: "Trial and Error"
2006 Las Vegas Warren Pemberton Episode: "The Story of Owe"
2006–2008 CSI: Miami Joey Salucci 2 episodes
2008 The Capture of the Green River Killer Jeb Dallas 2-part miniseries
2009 Numb3rs John Curtis Episode: "12:01 AM"
Dark Blue Robert Franzine Episode: "Pilot"
2012–2013 Vegas Anthony 'Red' Cervelli 15 episodes
2014–2015 Chicago Fire Papa Lullo 3 episodes

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2011 Rage Voice Talent
Star Wars: The Old Republic Additional Voices Grouped under "Additional Voices provided by"


Year Title Role
1982 Extremities Raul

Music videosEdit

Year Title Artist
2013 Of the Night Bastille


Year Association Award Nominated work Result
1983 Theatre World Award Extremities[14] Won
2004 San Diego Film Festival Best Actor The Box[15] Won


  1. ^ "James Russo". AllMovie. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Staff, People (September 22, 1986). "James Russo Makes a Big Splash Stalking Farrah in Extremities, but as a Talker He's All Wet". People. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  3. ^ Pirnia, Garin (December 5, 2014). "6 Ways Beverly Hills Cop Changed Comedy Forever". Esquire. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  4. ^ Cedrone, Lou (April 26, 1991). "Pucker up for murder 'Kiss Before Dying' packs potent punch". The Evening Sun. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  5. ^ Kehr, Dave (October 18, 1991). "`MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO` PUTS FILMMAKING IN A GREAT STATE". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  6. ^ Rainer, Peter (April 22, 1994). "Movie Reviews : 'Bad Girls': A High-Fashion Western". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  7. ^ Johnson, Malcolm (December 24, 1997). "CREDIT DUE: `THE POSTMAN' DELIVERS". Hartford Courant. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  8. ^ Maslin, Janet (February 28, 1997). "Al Pacino as Gangster, A Guy Who's Not Wise". The New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  9. ^ Sragow, Michael (July 1, 2009). "DEPP AND HIS INNER OUTLAW". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  10. ^ McCarthy, Todd (August 10, 2003). "Open Range". Variety. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  11. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (November 4, 2013). "Exclusive: Trailer For Thriller '7E' Starring Brendan Sexton III, James Russo & Natasha Lyonne". IndieWire. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  12. ^ Sneider, Jeff (November 9, 2011). "Thesps line up for 'Django Unchained'". Variety. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  13. ^ Trendell, Andrew (October 9, 2013). "Bastille to re-release Bad Blood with new tracks and new single". Gigwise. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  14. ^ James Russo - Awards Archived October 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine at Internet Broadway Database
  15. ^ "Award Winners". August 28, 2010. Archived from the original on August 28, 2010. Retrieved September 23, 2019.

External linksEdit