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1925 - 2017
TONY RUSSO Tony Russo a.k.a. Tony Russel passed away March 18, 2017, in Las Vegas. He was born Nov. 23, 1925, in Kenosha, Wis. He was a former film, stage and television actor. He was noted for having worked in the Italian film industry in the mid-60s and for his work as a voice actor where he was founder and president of English language Dubbers association (ELDA) in Italy. Tony had the privilege of turning down the lead role in "A Fistful of Dollars." He developed and interest in acting at an early age and following his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army Air Corps. He took up language, speech and drama at the University of Wisconsin. He won a best supporting actors award for the role of Eddie Fuseli in a production of "Golden Boy" at the university. With that, he asked the Government for a transfer to the Pasadena playhouse which they okayed. He graduated from the playhouse in 1952. After the playhouse, Tony got his big break when the film "War is Hell" won an award out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1961. At that time, he became a big hit in Italy. He worked in Italian adventures, crime dramas and "spaghetti westerns." After eight years in Italy, he went back to Hollywood and became part of the dinner theater circuit, working with actors like John Barrymore, Gene Raymond, Elvis Presley in "King Creole," Robert Fuller, Fabian, Richard Egan, Jackie Coogan, June Wilkenson, Virginia Mayo, Lyle Talbot, Carol Lynley and Kathryn Crosby. His last film was "Vegas Strip Wars" starring Rock Hudson in 1984. He did the Walt Disney sign of Zorro in which there was three different episodes. Tony and his wife, Renee, lived a quiet life playing golf every day and being shareholder members of Stallion Mountain and Black Mountain golf courses, up until three years ago when he took ill and had to stop playing. Among Tony's starring roles are parts of the sci-fi epics, "Wild Wild Planet" in 1965 and its sequel "War of the Planets" film concurrently in 1971. He worked as "Big Red" in the "Hard Ride" and starred in "Soul Hustler" in 1973. Tony will be missed by many. Services will be at 9:20 a.m. Tuesday, March 28, at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 1900 Veterans Memorial Drive, in Boulder City. Everyone is welcome.
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