James Russo is an American actor best known for his roles in such feature films as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Beverly Hills Cop, The Cotton Club, Once Upon a Time in America and Extremities, among many others.
He also had a supporting role in Quentin Tarantino's 2012 film Django Unchained.
He is best known to television audiences for his recurring role as Anthony "Red" Cervelli, Savino's right-hand man, in the period drama Vegas.
A Manhattan-born character player who attended New York University, Russo wrote and starred in a prize-winning short film called The Candy Store while attending college.
His first big film break was as a convenience store robber in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982).
He has played a number of villains over the years, memorably portraying a number of gritty psychopaths and gangsters, among other undesirables.
Russo is not a name or commodity, yet an intense and dependable "tough guy" performer. One only needs to be reminded of his sadistic sexual animal role in Extremities on stage (in which he won a 1983 Theatre World) and in film (in which he terrorized Farrah Fawcett), to recall how chillingly effective he can be.
Other decent roles in films include Kevin Costner's The Postman (1997) and Open Range (2003), plus Beverly Hills Cop (1984), We're No Angels (1989), Donnie Brasco (1996), No Way Home (1996), and a number of lowbudget crimers.
On stage, he has Welcome to Andromeda, Deathwatch, Marat/Sade and the aforementioned Extremities to his credit.
Russo appeared opposite Johnny Depp in Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate (1999) and portrayed mobster Victor Mura in TV's short-lived Falcone the following year. He also offered a penetrating cameo as Frank Sinatra in Stealing Sinatra (2003).