Family & Companions
A seasoned, versatile character actor, Russ began his career on the NY stage before segueing to films and TV. The tall (6') redhead played small supporting roles in such films as "The Border" (1981), "The Right Stuff" (1983), "Dead of Winter" (1987) "The Unholy" (1988) and "Disorganized Crime" (1989). Russ gained critical praise for his performance as a minor league past-his-prime relief pitcher in the late 1950s with dreams of the majors in "Pastime" (1991).
Russ is perhaps best known for his TV appearances including "Crisis at Central High" (1981), the TV remake of "The Long Hot Summer" (1985) and "Trail of Tears" (1995). He played a cop murdered for knowing too much in the Abel Ferrara-directed premiere episode of "Crime Story" (NBC, 1986). Russ struck gold as a character with ties to the other side of the law in a memorable turn as Roger LoCocco, the mysterious security guard/mercenary who has his suspicions about Vinnie Terranova (Ken Wahl), on "Wiseguy" (1988-90). He starred in two short-lived drama series, "Capital News" (1990) as a veteran reporter, and "Middle Ages" (1992) as Peter Riegert's best friend. Russ found job security playing the blue-collar father of Ben Savage in the ABC sitcom "Boy Meets World" (1993-2000). In 1999, Russ played in the CBS TV-movies "Replacing Dad" and "The Test of Love" and played the father of Danny Bonaduce in "Come on Get Happy... The Partridge Family Story" (ABC). Later feature film credits include turns in the controversial drama "American History X" (1998) and the acclaimed "Life as a House" (2001).
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Feature debut, "Just You and Me Kid"
First TV-movie, "Crisis at Central High"
TV miniseries debut, "The Long Hot Summer"
First regular appearances in TV series in recurring role of Roger LoCocco on "Wiseguy" (CBS)
Appeared in short-lived drama series "Capital News"
First feature starring role, "Pastime"
Cast in ensemble TV drama series "Middle Ages"
Co-starred in the film "Buck Naked Arson", co-produced and co-starring Rider Strong with whom he appeared on "Boy Meets World"