November 23, 1925
|Died||March 18, 2017 (aged 91)|
|Occupation||Film, television actor|
Tony Russel (born Anthony Russo; November 23, 1925 – March 18, 2017) was an American film, stage, and television actor. He was noted for having worked extensively in the Italian film industry in the mid-1960s, and for his work as a voice actor where he was the founder and president of the English Language Dubbers Association (ELDA) in Italy. He was one of several American actors who turned down the lead of A Fistful of Dollars.
After making Burt Topper's War is Hell (1963), he went to Italy first appearing in the title role of La leggenda di Fra Diavolo. He then appeared in several sword and sandal and Eurospy films, including Secret of the Sphinx (1964) and Gladiators Seven (1964). Russel played Zorro in Behind the Mask of Zorro (1965); he had originally tested for the role of Walt Disney's Zorro but lost out to Guy Williams. Among Russel's starring roles are parts in the sci-fi epics Wild, Wild Planet (1965) and its sequel, War of the Planets filmed concurrently.
He left Italy for America in 1967, and later appeared in such films as The Hard Ride (1971) and Soul Hustler (1973). In 1969, Russel played the rustler Mike Cassidy in the episode "Drop Out" of the syndicated television series, Death Valley Days, hosted by Robert Taylor, not long before Taylor's own death. In the story line, the rebellious George Leroy Parker, played by Michael Margotta, takes the name Butch Cassidy in honor of his acquaintance. The episode aired the same year as the film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
He died on March 18, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, aged 91.
- Hiawatha (dir. Kurt Neumann, 1952) (uncredited)
- The Silver Chalice (dir. Victor Saville, 1954) as Sicarii (uncredited)
- Jump Into Hell (dir. David Butler, 1955) as Radio Operator (uncredited)
- Anything Goes (dir. Robert Lewis, 1958) as French Sailor (uncredited)
- King Creole (dir. Michael Curtiz, 1958) as Chico (uncredited)
- Don't Give Up the Ship (dir. Norman Taurog, 1959) as Lieutenant, s.g. (uncredited)
- Last Train from Gun Hill (dir. John Sturges, 1959) Pinto (uncredited)
- War Is Hell (dir. Burt Topper, 1961)
- La leggenda di Fra Diavolo (dir. Leopoldo Savona, 1962) as Fra Diavolo
- Il terrore dei mantelli rossi (dir. Mario Costa, 1963) as Paolo
- Gli invincibili sette (dir. Alberto De Martino, 1963) as Leslio
- The Thief of Damascus (dir. Mario Amendola, 1964) as Jesen
- L'ultima carica (dir. Leopoldo Savona, 1964) as Rocco Vardarelli
- Hercules Against the Moon Men (dir. Giacomo Gentilomo, 1964) as Tirteo (English version, voice)
- Secret of the Sphinx (dir. Duccio Tessari, 1964) as Thomas
- Gladiators Seven (dir. Alberto De Martino, 1964) as Keros
- Behind the Mask of Zorro (dir. Ricardo Blasco, 1965) as Patriciao / Alfonso / Zorro
- Three Weeks of Love (dir. William E. Brusseau, 1965) as Bud
- Wild, Wild Planet (dir. Antonio Margheriti, 1966) as Cmdr. Mike Halstead
- War of the Planets (dir. Antonio Margheriti, 1966) as Cmdr. Mike Halstead
- Target Goldseven (dir. Alberto Leonardi, 1966) as Alan Milner
- Viaggio di nozze all'italiana (dir. Mario Amendola, 1966) as Barone Frescobaldi
- The Hard Ride (dir. Burt Topper, 1971) as Big Red
- Un ufficiale non si arrende mai nemmeno di fronte all'evidenza, firmato Colonnello Buttiglione (dir. Mino Guerrini, 1973)
- Soul Hustler (dir. Burt Topper, 1973) as Evin Calder
- The Vegas Strip War (dir. George Englund, 1984, TV movie) as Morgan Steinman
- Barnum, Michael Tony Russel Our Man On Gamma 1 -The Wild Wild Interview Video Watchdog No. 128 Dec/Feb 2007
- "Mary's Guy Williams Fan Site - Guy Williams: The Man Behind the Mask". guywilliams.tv. Archived from the original on 2010-03-05.
- "Drop Out on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. April 25, 1969. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
- "TONY RUSSO's Obituary on Las Vegas Review-Journal". Las Vegas Review-Journal.
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