James Russo

One of Hollywood's most prolific character actors, James Russo specializes 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.