The Power of Yes with Entertainer Tony Russell
“Do you know how talented you are?” — Tony Russell
As an actor, Tony appeared in numerous films and television shows. As a comedian, he appeared on many of the talk shows, worked in Las Vegas, as well as many corporate gigs and performing arts centers. He's also a member of the acclaimed Actors Studio where he appeared in many stage productions.
Part One of ‘The Power of Yes with Entertainer Tony Russell’
Anthony Russell has parlayed an extensive talent for music into an acting career that includes stage, film and television productions. Tony’s parents were already into music before he got into the creative entertainment space. He was named after his father who often performed at wedding celebrations. He had memories of harmonizing old songs together with his family; that’s how involved they are into music.
As a child, Russell played harmonica, ukulele, guitar, trombone and piano. He worked his way through college playing and singing in a show band. After graduating Montclair State College with a major in trombone and a minor in piano, his band was booked as a Las Vegas lounge act in many of the major hotels. Russell even worked in the Atlantic City 500 Club where Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis first got together as a team.
“I was 63 years old when I got on the Bonnie Hunt show.” – Tony Russell
Tony shares some of his tragic memories when he was young. The attack on Pearl Harbor happened, his father's brother, who was also his best friend, got killed in the war. It was back in 1941 when a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service upon the United States against the naval base at Pearl Harbor took place in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii.
Part Two of ‘The Power of Yes with Entertainer Tony Russell’
Anthony (Tony) Russell originally from Newark, New Jersey, came to Hollywood in 1967 to pursue a career in show business. Tony is multi-faceted being an actor, stand-up comedian, singer, musician, composer and nightclub entertainer. He came into prominence as “Tony Russo'' on the ABC Television Network's hilarious sitcom, "Life with Bonnie" starring Bonnie Hunt.
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Encouraged by his best friend who recognized his talents, Russell journeyed to New York to study acting at HB Studios and eventually earned a coveted membership in the acclaimed Actors Studio. He appeared in four of the group's stage productions, and was also in the cast of "Lamppost Reunion'' which won the best ensemble acting award at the Court Theater in Hollywood. Russell's other Theatrical appearances include, "A Streetcar Named Desire", "Guys & Dolls", "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" & “Two Gentlemen of Verona".
About Tony Russell
Russell pursued stand-up comedy, and made appearances in many of the famed U.S. comedy clubs such as The Comedy Store, The Improv in Hollywood, The Ice House, and The Comedy Magic in Hermosa Beach. He also made comedic appearances on "The Merv Griffin Show", "The Dinah Shore Show", "Norm Crosby's Comedy Shop", "Madam's Place", "Make Me Laugh", and "The John Davidson Show" to name a few. He's opened for Las Vegas stars such as Frankie Avalon, Julie London, Roger Miller, Joe Williams, Tony Martins and Lou Rawls.
Russell's film credits include "Bugsy" with Warren Beatty, "Casino" with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, "Ed Wood" with Johnny Depp and Martin Landau, "Out Of Justice" with Steven Segal, "Suddenly" with Kirstie Alley, "Living out Loud" with Holly Hunter and Danny De Vito, and "Winchell" with Stanley Tucci. On television, he was a recurring character on "The Fanelli Boys" and guest starred on "NYPD Blue", "Becker", "Home Improvement", "Mad About You", "Roseanne", "The George Carlin Show", "The Profiler", "Reba", "The John Larroquette Show", "Diagnosis Murder", "Silk Stalkings", "Night Court", "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch", "Family Law" and "Arliss."
Russell continues to play piano everyday, loving the classic composers of American music, particularly The Gershwins, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, and Frank Leosser. Russell's also has a jazz band where he sings, plays, does stand-up and has wail of a time. Russell's other passions include watching old movies, walking with his beloved dog Angelo, learning old songs, and appreciating natural beauty. When time allows, he continues to work regularly at The Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas as a stand-up comedian.
Tony says, ‘Throughout all my struggles my wife Rosemarie believed in my talent and never questioned what I was doing. She was always behind me 100%. Rosemarie is the love of my life.’
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