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Hollywood Godfather

Hollywood Godfather

by Gianni Russo

The rollicking adventures of a real-life mobster-turned-actor who helped make The Godfather a reality.

Simon & Schuster
Publish Date
April 2019

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.

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