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Gianni Russo Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (6)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 12 December 1943New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameLouis Russo

Mini Bio (1)

With a singularly nebulous background, which, by his account, included stints as a Las Vegas nightclub emcee, radio personality and jewelry tycoon, and with comparatively little acting experience, Gianni Russo won the role of Carlo Rizzi in The Godfather (1972) on the basis of his screen test. Since then, Russo has remained busy as an actor, mostly playing assorted "wiseguys" and Mafia types. He appeared again with Marlon Brando in a small role in The Freshman (1990) where Brando parodied his Don Corleone role to good effect.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bob Sorrentino

Trivia (6)

He suffered from polio as a child.
Had a 12-year relationship with singer/actress Dionne Warwick.
When he filmed the reality-TV show Growing Up Gotti (2004), Russo revealed that he was a secret admirer of Victoria Gotti. After he sent her roses, Ms. Gotti's assistant met and screened him for what was to be a surprise meeting with Victoria, and found out about his famous role in The Godfather (1972). Later, Victoria was taken to a restaurant, but she was mortified to see Gianni performing songs from his new CD, and she left.
Appeared in The Godfather (1972), which was the first film to have a sequel that won a Best Picture Oscar. This feat was only accomplished by two other subsequent movies: The Silence of the Lambs (1991) (sequel to Manhunter (1986)), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). Coincidentally, Russo later appeared in Red Dragon (2002), a remake of Manhunter (1986), that used the novel's original title.
After gaining his debut role in The Godfather (1972) , Russo hinted to journalists that he had used real-life Mafia connections to get the part. Author Mario Puzo poured scorn on this claim, saying that if he really had done this, he would have been murdered for revealing the fact.
According to a newspaper report, it was Russo --a native of Staten Island--who led The Godfather (1972) producers to a house on this island borough of New York City that eventually was used to shoot exteriors of the Corleone estate. Reportedly, the owner of the home later re-modeled inside to make it look as much as possible like the interior scenes in the first "Godfather" film.

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