Gianni Russo Actor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Mafia associate
THIS IS JUST THE BEST!
Gianni Russo detailed his family’s mafia ties in Italy, including his mafia boss uncle being hanged in Italy. After speaking about having polio as a child and being quarantined, Gianni spoke about moving to America with his family and working for Luciano mob boss Frank Costello when he was 13. It was while working with Costello that Gianni got to know Marilyn Monroe, who Gianni lost his virginity to when he was 16 and Marilyn was 28. The two stayed close throughout the remainder of Monroe’s life, and Gianni recalled being with her days before her death, which Gianni says was a murder carried out by Monroe’s former lover, Bobby Kennedy.
During the conversation, Gianni spoke about being cast as Carlo Rizzi in The Godfather, which was his first-ever film, and he detailed threatening Marlon Brando at the first rehearsal for the movie. He went on to explain how he was kidnapped and beaten after Pablo Escobar put a hit out on him, and how Escobar stopped the hit after realizing Gianni was in The Godfather. To hear more, including his friendships with Frank Sinatra and Bill Clinton, hit the above clip.
BEFORE THE VACCINE
The oral polio vaccine was developed by Albert Sabin and came into commercial use in 1961. In 1963, I gave my children an oral vaccine developed by Albert Sabin in a sugar cube and was grateful that I did not need to fear this dreadful disease. In 1965 there were only 61 cases in the U.S. By 1994, polio was declared eliminated from the Americas.
The Hollywood Godfather Podcast
Hollywood Godfather podcast. Actor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Mafia associate, Gianni Russo has teamed with an unlikely ally, Patrick Picciarelli, retired NYPD lieutenant, and current private investigator to put together a thought-provoking, tragic, funny, and often shocking view of Gianni’s life in the mob and the movies.