Russo at the premiere of Thor in 2011
|Born||Rene Marie Russo
February 17, 1954
Burbank, California, U.S.
|Years active||1972–2005, 2011-present|
|Spouse(s)||Dan Gilroy (m. 1992)|
Rene Marie Russo (born February 17, 1954) is an American actress and former model. She is known for starring in a series of popular, big budget thrillers and action movies throughout the 1990s. She has been nominated for several awards, including two nominations for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Russo was born in Burbank, California, the daughter of Shirley (née Balocca), a factory worker and barmaid, and Nino Russo, a sculptor and car mechanic who left the family when Rene was two. Her father was of Italian descent, and her mother's ancestry was half Italian and half German and English. Russo grew up with her sister, Toni, and their single mother. She attended Burroughs High School (where her classmates included director Ron Howard), but eventually dropped out in the tenth grade. To help her family, she began taking a variety of part-time jobs including working in an eyeglass factory, and as a movie cashier.
Russo started a modeling career after allegedly being spotted at a 1972 Rolling Stones concert by John Crosby, an agent from International Creative Management. With his encouragement, Russo applied to, and was signed by, Ford Modeling Agency, and went on to appear on magazine covers for Vogue, Mademoiselle, and Cosmopolitan, as well as advertisements for perfume and cosmetics.
By her 30th birthday, demand for her as a model began to dwindle. She did a few more commercials and then turned her back on modeling and show business for a while. She began to study theater and acting, and began appearing in theater roles at small regional theaters in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California. At one point, she took acting lessons from veteran actor Allan Rich. They were interviewed on CNN in 1980.
Russo made her television series debut in 1987, with a supporting role in the TV series Sable. Two years later, she made her debut in film as the girlfriend of the Tom Berenger character in Major League. Her breakthrough role is generally considered to be her part as internal affairs detective Lorna Cole in Lethal Weapon 3 (and again in Lethal Weapon 4) opposite Mel Gibson.
Throughout the 1990s, Russo appeared in a number of thrillers including In the Line of Fire with Clint Eastwood, Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman, Ransom (directed by high school classmate Howard where she worked again with her Lethal Weapon co-star Gibson) and the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair with Pierce Brosnan. She attained a certain degree of cult status from her performance in Freejack, alongside of Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger, and Anthony Hopkins.
She also tried her hand at comedy in Tin Cup with Kevin Costner, Get Shorty with John Travolta and as Natasha Fatale in the live-action film version of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. She starred in at least one major studio film per year from 1992 to 2002.
In 2005 Russo co-starred with Al Pacino in Two for the Money and with Dennis Quaid in Yours, Mine and Ours. In 2011, six years after resting from acting, she appeared in the superhero film, Thor, as Frigga, the mother of the titular hero.
Russo has been married to screenwriter Dan Gilroy since March 14, 1992. They have one daughter, Rose (born 1993), and the family currently lives in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California. Her sister Toni was married to lyricist Bernie Taupin in the 1980s, and Rene appeared alongside her sister in the 1987 video for Taupin's solo song, "Citizen Jane."
- Rene Russo Biography (1954–)
- According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905–1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. Searchable at http://www.familytreelegends.com/records/39461
- STAR RENE'S RUNAWAY DAD DIED OF GUILT; Actress refused to speak to him after he dumped young family.(News) – Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland) – HighBeam Research
- Date, CINDY PEARLMAN (August 11, 1996). "Chicago Sun-Times:: Search". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Two for the Money Movie – Rene Russo on Two for the Money, Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey
- "A little older, a lot wiser.(Rene Russo)". Good Housekeeping. August 1, 2000.
- Magee Coleman, Darlene (1998-08-03). "Then And Now .Shirley Balocca Russo Returns For Reunion .". The Fort Scott Tribune. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
- "Lethal Weapon 3 Role Brings Stardom To Rene Russo". Chicago Tribune. 1992-05-24. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
- Graser, Marc (2009-12-16). "Rene Russo joins cast of 'Thor'". Variety. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- "Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo unite for noir movie 'Nightcrawler'". Digital Spy. 2013-04-26. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
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