Who is Gianni Russo?

Who is Gianni Russo? 

Who is Gianni Russo? He is an American-Italian actor and musician who dominated the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s film business. He has starred in blockbusters such as The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Laserblast, The Freshman, The Family Man, Slide Out, and Out For Justice

His portrayal of Carlo Rizzi in The Godfather is the most well-known. He’s also written songs such as It Was A Very Good Year, My Kind Of Girl, Something, and others. Gianni Russo has also written a book titled Hollywood Godfather: My Life in the Movies and The Mob, which he published.

The Godfather

Gianni Russo – a Bio


Russo is an entrepreneur and actor. He was born on December 12, 1943, in Manhattan. Gianni, who played Carlo Rizzi in the Godfather 1972 blockbuster, made a hit. This position provided him with a wide range of employment prospects. Following that, he got numerous TV and film roles. 

At the time, Russo was also a brand ambassador for a vodka firm. He subsequently began writing songs. Then, to pay homage to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, he released a Reflections CD. 

Russo also had a restaurant in Las Vegas called Gianni Russo’s State Street, but it closed down in 1988.

In 1988, he shot a man who stabbed him with a broken bottle inside his restaurant. In addition, Russo established his wine label, Gianni Russo Wines. In 2019, he released his book, Hollywood Godfather: My Life in the Movies and the Mob, in which he recounted several events from his film career.

Gianni Russo is a gorgeous actor who enjoys a luxurious lifestyle. His skin tone is light, and he has grey hair and grey eyes. At the age of 60, he got his first tattoo. He is from Manhattan, New York, and completed his education there. 

He never revealed his parents’ identities, but he frequently made accusations linked to the Gambino Mafia Family. Gianni Russo’s height is average. He is 5 feet (60 inches) tall and weighs 143.17 pounds (65 kilograms).


Is Gianni Russo still looking for love? Russo has always been candid about his personal life, but he has never revealed whether he is married. However, he has a long history of working with women in the sector. 

He made the bold assertion that he was dating Marilyn Monroe, with whom he had lost his virginity. He had romances with Dionne Warwick and Liza Minnelli in addition to Monroe. 

Gianni Russo married no woman but is said to have 11 children. 

What is Russo’s net worth? Russo has a net worth of $79 million. He was a multi-talented artist as well as a businessman. Russo was a singer and actor who appeared in several films. In addition, he had his restaurant, which closed in 1988. He has also served as a brand ambassador for a vodka firm.

Gianni Russo
Source: imdb.com

Interesting Facts About Gianni Russo You Didn’t Know

Gianni Russo is an actor who is half-Italian and half-American.

Some actors are born to play wisecracking characters. Gianni Russo’s young entry into acting is a perfect example. The Italian-American actor, who grew up on Staten Island, alleges his uncle worked for the Gambino crime organization as a gunman. As a child, Russo contracted polio, preventing him from following his father’s footsteps as a longshoreman. 

Instead, before being cast as Carlo Rizzi in “The Godfather,” he tried various business options. Some say he secured the part by serving as a go-between for Paramount Pictures and Mafia boss Joe Colombo Sr., who had halted filming in New York. 

Russo also appears in a flashback segment in the sequel. Following that, he appeared in a slide of TV and film roles, most of them centered on organized crime figures. 

The Freshman, in which he reunited with Marlon Brando, as well as Seabiscuit and Any Given Sunday, are among his most notable films. He’s also involved in TV shows such as Prison Break and Pacific Palisades. In addition, Russo dated Dionne Warwick for a long time and claimed affairs with Marilyn Monroe and Zsa Zsa Gabor. 

He was the owner of Gianni Russo’s State Street in Las Vegas for many years. In 2004, he released his album, Reflections.

Russo was born and raised in Manhattan and Staten Island. After taking the role of the Rizzi character in a brief flashback scene at the end of The Godfather Part II, Russo acted in more than 46 films. 

The films include; Goodnight, My Love (1972), Lepke (1975, as Albert Anastasia), Laserblast (1978), Chances Are (1989), The Freshman (1990), Side Out (1990), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Any Given Sunday (1999) and Another You (1991).

Russo claims that he started a  career in organized crime, working as an errand boy and mob associate for Frank Costello as an adolescent but later abandoned organized crime’s dangerous and volatile lifestyle.

At the start of his acting career, Russo owned a Las Vegas restaurant called Gianni Russo’s State Street at 2570 State Street on the Las Vegas Strip. He defeated 23 federal criminal indictments on various alleged organized crime associations charges.

In 1988, Gianni Russo killed a man inside a  nightclub in Las Vegas. He tried to stop a man from confronting a waitress, and the angry man injured him with a broken bottle. Russo shot him in the head. The man was 30 years old and from Cuba. 

Russo was acquitted because it was ruled a justifiable homicide by the Nevada District Attorney’s Office.

Gianni Russo singing episodes are also popular. In 2004, he released a CD called Reflections featuring Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Russo also owns a wine brand, Gianni Russo Wines, which debuted in 2009. In 2019, he published his memoir, Russo of Hollywood.

Al Pacino, Jill Clayburgh, and Gianni Russo
Al Pacino, Jill Clayburgh, and Gianni Russo at an event for The Godfather (1972). Source: imdb.com

Key Takeaways

Who is Gianni Russo? Gianni Russo was born in New York on December 12, 1943. He is a well-known actor of The Godfather (1972), The Godfather Part II (1974), Any Given Sunday (1999), The Family Man (2000), and Laserblast are among his best films (1978). However, reflection is his most successful record. 

He appeared in the television programs Pacific Palisades and Riptide. In his best-selling book, Hollywood Godfather- My Life in the Movies and the Mob. Gianni Russo’s children are born from different mothers. He has 11 children from 10 women. He did not get a marriage contract with any of the women.

In 1988, a Medellin Cartel criminal harassed a woman at State Street, a Las Vegas bar and casino owned by Gianni Russo, a famous actor in Francis Ford Coppola’s legendary Mafia film The Godfather. The Colombian smashed a bottle of Cristal in Russo’s face when he interfered. 

Russo, who was legally carrying a gun, pulled it out and fired two rounds into the man’s head. 

Russo still had to cope with a contract put out on his life by Pablo Escobar, even though the killing was declared a justifiable homicide. The hit didn’t go on when the cocaine lord discovered Russo was an actor in the renowned film Escobar’s favorite.