Rene Russo's feud with her father
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2014-08-10 15:31:41 UTC
Gorgeous screen queen Rene Russo melts men's hearts but she was devastated by
the one man who turned his back on her -- her own father.
FILM ROMANCE: Rene falls for Pierce Brosnan in "Thomas Crown." She says her
father liked to flaunt her fame.
Sculptor Nino Russo walked out on his family when Rene was only 2 -- and the
bitter actress has publicly denounced him as mean and cold-hearted.
But her brother, writer David Russo, has now stepped forward to say: Not so!
"I love Rene because she's my sister," David, 42, declared in an exclusive
interview. "But she continually makes our father sound like a hard, uncaring
person who was barely in her life. There was so much more to him than she has
ever admitted -- both in his wonderful personality and especially in his
relationship with Rene."
The stunning actress, who stars with Pierce Brosnan in the new romantic
thriller "The Thomas Crown Affair," has repeatedly expressed her anger and
resentment toward her late dad.
"My father just sort of went from one woman to another. And after I became
famous, he only called because he liked to flaunt me as being his daughter,"
the 45-year-old "Lethal Weapon" beauty revealed to one interviewer.
David -- who has a different mother than Rene -- says he can understand his
half sister's feelings but he feels she overlooked their dad's many good
"Our father was a prolific womanizer," he admits. "He had eight kids with four
different women. But did he love and care for Rene? Yes! And was he there for
her a lot more than she has let on? Yes!
FAST FACTS: Rene Russo worked in an eyeglass factory -- then at age 17 was
discovered by an agent as she left a Rolling Stones concert.
"I want my father's full story to be told. He was a self-taught artist, a
mechanical genius, an inventor -- a strikingly handsome Renaissance man who led
a fascinating life."
But Rene's dad was also a born wanderer. He left her mother Shirley for Las
Vegas show girl Barbara Smith -- David's mother.
"Rene has said that our father totally walked out of her life at that point,
but maybe she's never been aware that wasn't true," confided David. "He and
Shirley stayed in contact after the split because Dad wanted to keep an eye on
Rene and her sister Toni. My father once told me that for three years, until
Rene was 5, he would come by their home and Shirley would bring Rene out to the
front stoop so Dad could just look lovingly at her from across the street.
"Our father may have had some shortcomings as a family man -- but he was really
warm and loving."
Rene has stated that she barely saw her father after they had a brief reunion
when she was 17 -- but her brother David says that's not so.
"They never totally cut each other off. In fact, Dad attended Rene's first
wedding in 1984, and Rene even spent afternoons at his home learning to
After a successful career as a bronze sculptor, Nino Russo lost all his money
and died in Los Angeles in 1996 at the age of 74. "He suffered congestive heart
failure brought on by heavy drinking," David revealed. "He drank himself to
death from the guilt over being torn between his women and children. Dad wanted
the love of all his kids, including Rene -- he never wanted anything else from
"Like any human, Nino had a lot of frailties, but there wasn't a more sincere,
warm and caring person."
I am looking for contact on David Russo, regarding his father Nino Russo. My husband and I were fairly close friends of Nino and my husband commissioned Nino to do the Civil War Chess Set and they became friends over the years. I really need to contact David Russo in regards to Nino's sculptors etc... If you can send me any info on this it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Erica
2018-04-24 13:20:58 UTC
Did you ever find David Russo?