Youthful, sober-looking African-American character player whose childhood experiences as an "Air Force brat" may have contributed to the authority of his many subsequent portrayals of FBI agents, security guards, soldiers and others with serious work to do. With his steely eyes, large full-lipped mouth and narrow face, Russ looks much younger than his years. While he has divided his time fairly evenly between stage, film and TV, many of his most memorable roles have been in the latter medium. Russ was the hip computer whiz who kept the high-tech truck running on the short-lived adventure series "The Highwayman" (NBC, 1988). He was also the annoying alter-ego who resided in the answering machine of imaginative cartoonist Jeffrey Jones in the Wes Craven-produced fantasy sitcom "The People Next Door" (CBS, 1989). Russ has many TV guest shots to his credit on series including "Melrose Place," "Murphy Brown," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and "Living Single." He has also been very active on the California stage.
Russ was involved with several aspects of Paramount's "Star Trek" franchise in the 1990s. He did a guest shot as a human terrorist in an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and played a recurring role as T'Kar, a Klingon mercenary in several episodes of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." On the big screen, Russ was tactical officer on the bridge of the then-new version of the Enterprise in the opening scenes of "Star Trek: Generations" (1994). He finally hitched his destiny to the stars as a regular on "Star Trek: Voyager" (1995-2001), the flagship series of the fledgling United Paramount Network (UPN). Russ was perfectly cast as Tactical Officer Tuvok, the first Vulcan member of a "Trek" series command crew since the legendary Mr. Spock. The role allowed him to be serious full-time.
Cast (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Acting debut in a PBS "Masterpiece Theater" production
Appeared in first film, "Fire With Fire" (released after "Crossroads")
Played the role of Marty in the LA production of "Dreamgirls" at the Shubert Theater
First released film, playing blues legend Robert Johnson in Walter Hill's "Crossroads"
TV-movie debut in the Wes Craven directed, "Casebusters" (aired as "Disney Sunday Movie" on ABC)
Debut as a TV series regular, played DC Montana, a hip electronics whiz on the NBC action adventure, "The Highwayman"
Cast in a small role in the ABC miniseries, "Roots: The Movie"
Had a recurring role as Answering Machine Guy on the CBS sitcom, "The People Next Door"; produced by Wes Craven
Portrayed Navy Corpsman Julian Crumes in the ABC docudrama, "The Heroes of Desert Storm"
Appeared in the recurring role of T'Kar, a Klingon mercenary, on the syndicated TV series, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"
Did a guest shot on the syndicated "Star Trek: The Next Generation" as a terrorist
Portrayed the tactical officer in the opening scenes of the feature, "Star Trek: Generations"
Cast as the Vulcan Tactical Officer Tuvok on UPN's "Star Trek: Voyager"; directed episode "Living Witness" (1998)
Produced and co-wrote "East of Hope Street" with director Nate Thomas; also acted
Cast as Principal Ted Franklin in Nickelodeon's "iCarly"
Played the recurring role of Frank, a sarcastic doorman in the ABC comedy, "Samantha Who?"