Gianni Russo (75) may not be the most famous actor in the ‘Godfather’ trilogy, but the man has had an eventful life. This is evident from his memoirs, which he aptly called “Hollywood Godfather: My Life In The Mob And Movies.” Among other things, at the age of 15, he lost his virginity to Marilyn Monroe and was only 11 when he committed his first murder.
Gianni Russo writes in his memoir how he got to know Marilyn Monroe in New York. He worked in a hair salon where the famous movie star had her hair done. “She was very friendly,” he writes in his memoir.
“After a few visits I could see her as a normal person – not just a movie star – but someone with a fantastic body.” But when Russo suddenly invited to the Waldorf Hotel, where Marilyn was staying, he fell out of the sky. “I thought she wanted to go out and need someone to help her with her haircut,” it sounds.
But nothing was less real. “She was wrapped in a white towel and had a glass of champagne in her hand.” And after, the film star also offered him a glass, she dropped her towel and invited him to take a bath together.
Spicy detail: Russo was barely 15 years old at the time, while Marilyn was already 33 years old. He nevertheless accepted her invitation. “My heart was beating in my throat,” he writes. “I covered my eyes like an idiot, which made her laugh. I undressed, hoping I wouldn’t trip over my pants, and got into the bath. I’ll be honest; I had no idea what to do or what to expect. I didn’t tell anyone what had happened. Not just because I was a gentleman, but who would believe me?” The two remained in contact until her death in 1962, three years later.
In The Sun, the 75-year-old actor takes a closer look at his relationship with Marilyn. “Marlon Brando was my only acting teacher, Frank Sinatra my only singing teacher and Marilyn Monroe made me a man. She taught me everything I know. I thought I was the happiest boy in the world, but if it happened now, I think she would be arrested. And my parents might have tried to make money out of it. But was I upset then? No. I had just had sex with the best looking movie star and sex symbol in America.”
It is not the only remarkable story from Russo’s biography. His life reads a bit like the film with which he became famous: “The Godfather”. His great-uncle, Angelo, was a mafia boss from Sicily who helped many mafia members ship to the United States. And when Russo was 13, he became a grocery boy for mafia boss Frank Costello. They called me “The Kid,” he wrote about it. “Costello was such a gangster of the old stamp, very respected. He would be a model for Don Corleone in the book “The Godfather.””
When he was eleven, he killed for the first time. Russo describes how he stabs a hospital worker, Harold when he wants to abuse him sexually. “I didn’t feel guilty because it was self-defense,” it sounds. “He had already abused a lot of children in that hospital.” According to Russo, the hospital concealed Harold’s death. “And on the street, I was treated like a war hero because I killed that guy,” he writes proudly.