The rollicking adventures of a real-life mobster-turned-actor who helped make The Godfather a reality.
Gianni Russo was a handsome 25-year-old mobster with no acting experience when he walked onto the set of The Godfather and entered Hollywood history. He played Carlo Rizzi, the husband of Connie Corleone, who set her brother Sonny?played by James Caan?up for a mob hit, which led to one of the most unforgettable moments in cinema. Russo didn't have to act. He knew the mob inside and out: from his childhood in Little Italy, where Mafia legend Frank Costello took him under his wing, acting as messenger for New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello during the Kennedy assassination, to being forced on the lam after shooting a member of the Colombian drug cartel in his Vegas club.
Along the way, Russo befriended Frank Sinatra, who became his son's godfather, and Marlon Brando, had passionate affairs with Marilyn Monroe, Liza Minelli and scores of other stars, all the while walking the tightrope of mob life.
A no-holds-barred rollercoaster ride of life lived on the edge: shocking, thoroughly entertaining, full of glamour, sex, violence, cheek - and fun.
About the Authors
Gianni Russo has appeared in more than thirty movies, been involved in the production of several others, and appeared in numerous TV shows. His most well-known roles include parts in The Godfather: Parts I and II, The Freshman, Seabiscuit; and Rush Hour 2. He is also a singer, whose shows are sold out across the US. Russo’s life-long association with organised crime has seen him witness to mob history.
Patrick Picciarelli is a retired NYPD Lieutenant, Vietnam veteran and private investigator. He is the author of Street Warrior: The True Story of the NYPD's Most Decorated Detective and the Era That Created Him, and other books.