James Russo

Actor, Director, Screenwriter
One of Hollywood's most prolific character actors, James Russo specialized in playing thugs, gangsters and villains in everything from straight-to-video thrillers to major studio films. Following small but memorable ... Read more »
Born: 04/23/1953 in Queens, New York, USA


Actor (89)

Code of Honor 2016 (Movie)

Vincent Romano (Actor)

Voiceless 2016 (Movie)

Pastor Gil (Actor)

Chicago Fire 2014 - 2015 (Tv Show)


Cut Off 2014 (Movie)

Gonzo (Actor)

Dark World 2014 (Movie)


One Among Us 2014 (Movie)


Perfect Sisters 2014 (Movie)

Steve Bowman (Actor)

Shoot First and Pray You Live 2014 (Movie)

McGurk (Actor)

Shut Up and Shoot! 2014 (Movie)


The Box 2014 (Movie)


The Bronx Bull 2014 (Movie)

Rocky Graziano (Actor)

The Garage 2014 (Movie)


American Justice 2013 (Movie)


Chavez Cage of Glory 2013 (Movie)

Tony (Actor)

Samuel Bleak 2013 (Movie)


Vegas 2012 - 2013 (Tv Show)


Django Unchained 2012 (Movie)

Dicky Speck (Actor)

Miss Bala 2012 (Movie)

Jimmy (Actor)

Boy Wonder 2011 (Movie)

Larry Childs (Actor)

Hawaii Five-O 2010 (Tv Show)


One in the Gun 2010 (Movie)


Kings of the Evening 2009 (Movie)

Ramsey (Actor)

Numb3rs 2009 (Tv Show)


Public Enemies 2009 (Movie)

Walter Dietrich (Actor)

Black Ops 2008 (Movie)

Commander Combs (Actor)

CSI: Miami 2006, 2008 (Tv Show)


Stiletto 2008 (Movie)

Engleheart (Actor)

The Pink Conspiracy 2008 (Movie)

Cox (Actor)

All In 2006 (Movie)

Dr. Pennington (Actor)

On the Doll 2006 (Movie)

Janitor (Actor)

Joan of Arcadia 2005 (Tv Show)


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 2004 (Tv Show)


Confessions of a Pit Fighter 2004 (Movie)

Sharkey (Actor)

Stealing Sinatra 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)


Without A Trace 2004 (Tv Show)


Open Range 2003 (Movie)

Sheriff Poole (Actor)

Paris 2003 (Movie)

Leon King (Actor)

Pendulum 2001 (Movie)

Edward Mills (Actor)

Falcone 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)


The Ninth Gate 2000 (Movie)

Bernie (Actor)

Bittersweet 1999 (Movie)


Deep Core 1999 (Movie)

Daryl Simmons (Actor)

Detour 1999 (Movie)

Ziggy (Actor)

Jimmy Zip 1999 (Movie)

Otis Campbell (Actor)

Laws of Deception 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)


Sonic Impact 1999 (Movie)


Under Oath 1999 (Movie)


C-16 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)


Dellaventura 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)


Felons 1998 (Movie)


No Way Home 1998 (Movie)

Tommy (Actor)

The Girl Gets Moe 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)


Donnie Brasco 1997 (Movie)

Paulie (Actor)

Small Time 1997 (Movie)

Jerry (Actor)

The Postman 1997 (Movie)

Idaho (Actor)

American Strays 1996 (Movie)

Harv (Actor)

The Secretary 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)


Condition Red 1995 (Movie)

Dan Cappelli (Actor)

Panther 1995 (Movie)

Rodgers (Actor)

Bad Girls 1994 (Movie)

Kid Jarrett (Actor)

Livers Ain't Cheap 1994 (Movie)

Rupert (Actor)

Dangerous Game 1993 (Movie)

Francis Burns (Actor)

Desperate Rescue: The Cathy Mahone Story 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)


Cold Heaven 1992 (Movie)

Daniel Corvin (Actor)

DaVinci's War 1992 (Movie)

Mintz (Actor)

Trauma 1992 (Movie)


A Kiss Before Dying 1991 (Movie)

Dan Corelli (Actor)

Illicit Behavior 1991 (Movie)

Tanner (Actor)

My Own Private Idaho 1991 (Movie)

Richard Waters (Actor)

La Cintura 1989 (Movie)

Vittorio (Actor)

We're No Angels 1989 (Movie)

Bobby (Actor)

Freeway 1988 (Movie)

Frank Quinn (Actor)

The Blue Iguana 1988 (Movie)

Reno (Actor)

China Girl 1987 (Movie)

Alberto "Alby" Monte (Actor)

Extremities 1986 (Movie)

Joe (Actor)

Beverly Hills Cop 1984 (Movie)

Mikey Tandino (Actor)

Once Upon A Time In America 1984 (Movie)

Bugsy (Actor)

The Cotton Club 1984 (Movie)

Vince Hood (Actor)

Exposed 1983 (Movie)

Nick (Actor)

Fast Times At Ridgemont High 1982 (Movie)

Robber (Actor)

Vortex 1981 (Movie)

Anthony Demmer (Actor)

A Stranger Is Watching 1980 (Movie)

Ronald Thompson (Actor)

Broken Trail (TV Show)


Double Deception (TV Show)


In the Shadow of a Killer (TV Show)


Intimate Stranger (TV Show)


My Husband's Secret Life (TV Show)


Redemption (Movie)


The Set Up (TV Show)

Writer (2)

The Box 2014 (Movie)


Motel 2013 (Movie)

(original draft) (Screenplay)
Producer (1)

The Box 2014 (Movie)



One of Hollywood's most prolific character actors, James Russo specialized in playing thugs, gangsters and villains in everything from straight-to-video thrillers to major studio films. Following small but memorable turns in movies like "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982), Russo gained notoriety in the Eddie Murphy action-comedy, "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984), and the adaptation of the off-Broadway play "Extremities" (1986) opposite Farrah Fawcett. Following character parts in "My Own Private Idaho" (1991) and "Bad Girls, he gained well-deserved critical acclaim for his role as the vicious, street-wizened gangster Paulie in the award-winning film "Donnie Brasco" (1997) starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp, while increasingly making more appearances on popular TV shows like "Without a Trace" (CBS, 2002-09) and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000-15). After joining Kevin Costner for "Open Range" (2003) and Robert Duvall for "Broken Trail" (AMC, 2006), Russo reunited with Depp in the epic gangster movie "Public Enemies" (2009), in which he had a small but pivotal role in the movie's jarring opening sequence. While Russo did not gain the mainstream recognition that other supporting players received, his reputation as a dependable tough guy performer was well known within the industry for the duration of his long and venerable career.


New York University

New York , New York
asked to leave when found not to have a high school diploma



Featured opposite Jamie Foxx in "Django Unchained," a Western drama set in Mississippi; film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino


Again acted with Depp in crime drama "Public Enemies"


Portrayed Frank Sinatra in "Stealing Sinatra"


Feature writing debut, "The Box"


Appeared opposite Depp in Roman Polanski's "The Ninth Gate"


Cast in featured role as a mobster on CBS drama "Falcone," adapted from the same source material as "Donnie Brasco"


Co-starred Al Pacino and Johnny Depp in "Donnie Brasco," and Kevin Costner in "The Postman"


Co-starred with Harvey Keitel and Madonna in "Dangerous Game"


Co-starred with Deborah Harry in Showtime movie "Intimate Stranger"


Reprised stage role in the film version of "Extremities" opposite Farrah Fawcett


Breakthrough theater role, Raul in "Extremities"


Made film acting debut in "A Stranger Is Watching"