Tony Russel (Anthony Russo)
BiographyKenosha, Wisconsin, USA
One of several American actors who migrated to Europe in the early 60s when their careers here weren't panning out, Antonio Pietro Russo was born in 1925 in Wisconsin of Italian immigrants. Brought up with a strong religious foundation, he developed an interest in acting at a relatively young age and, following his honorable discharge with the Air Force, took up languages, speech and drama at the University of Michigan. After training at the Pasadena Playhouse, Tony Russel's big break came with a foreign film that was shot outside of L.A. Read more... Festival in 1961 and became a big hit in Italy. So he packed his gear and headed for Europe in September of 1961 with wife and young son in tow to go where the action was. He settled in Rome and for the next six years worked in Italian adventures, crimers and spaghetti westerns. Most of his work was standard stuff in such title-tell-all pictures such as The Spartan Gladiators (1964), Secret of the Sphinx (1964) and Behind the Mask of Zorro (1965). Fluent in Italian (from high school), Tony also found work dubbing voices. Back to Hollywood in 1967, he found scant work on film and TV and went casually on the dinner theater circuit before retiring altogether in the 1980s.