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Publisher's Summary

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 up her brother Sonny, played by James Caan, for a hit. Russo didn't have to act - he knew the Mob inside and out, from his childhood in Little Italy, to Mafia legend Frank Costello, who took him under his wing, to acting as a messenger to New Orleans Mob boss Carlos Marcello during the Kennedy assassination, to having to go on the lam after shooting and killing a member of the Colombian drug cartel in his Vegas club (he was acquitted of murder when the court ruled this as justifiable homicide).    

Along the way, Russo befriended Frank Sinatra, who became his son's godfather, and Marlon Brando, who mentored his career as an actor after trying to get Francis Ford Coppola to fire him from The Godfather. Russo had passionate affairs with Marilyn Monroe, Liza Minelli and scores of other celebrities. He went on to star in The Godfather: Parts I and II, Seabiscuit, Any Given Sunday and Rush Hour 2, among many other films in which he also acted as producer. Hollywood Godfather is his no-holds-barred account of a life lived on the edge. It is a story filled with violence, glamour, sex - and fun.  

©2019 Gianni Russo (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Hollywood Godfather

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  • Jeff Sabbagh
  • 06-05-19

Powerful stuff

Enjoyed every chapter. The author tells it best with his voice and real NYC accent. Just one thought for Mr Russo, how were you able to rekindle all that mental power needed each time, just to be able to ride out that amazing and some times scary roller coaster, your life decided to put you on? Hope you write a second one. Jeff

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  • jane m.
  • 18-01-21

So interesting, an entertaining and honest account

I saw Gianni Russo talking on YouTube and was impressed by his charm and his unique story.
He seems to be telling the unvarnished truth about a very interesting life. He has a lovely voice too so it was a pleasure to listen to.

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  • billy b
  • 17-01-21

brilliant

Loved it, very interesting, Gianni was great at Narrating the book, would definitely recomend it.

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  • kenneth hyslop
  • 22-12-20

Lies!

Played an extra in The Godfather. That much is true! The rest of this book is nonsense. He watched the Godfather movies and made this stuff up. He was there when JFK and Pope JP the first got killed, he had sex with several Hollywood stars. It gets very boring.

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  • Sledge
  • 19-08-20

Can I smell bull.....?

He’s been involved in & with every major event in the 20th century, I think he’s embellished a perfectly interesting story?!

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  • Mary og
  • 06-08-20

Great read

it's got a raw honesty and is bursting with the narrator's energy. Really liked it.

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  • Adil
  • 08-07-20

One of the best memoirs ever

I personally have sent the printed version to a few friends immediately after listening to this.

Hollywood Godfather did have the odd side effect of reminding me what is possible and what the “rules” are.

My only criticism is that the editing of the audiobook in certain parts may not play or sound correctly. Still curious to why Gianni had to leave the US. But bar those two minor criticisms.

This audio book is one of the best memoirs ever and Gianni’s voice is so perfect.

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  • David
  • 30-06-20

Part of chapter 14 missing.

I enjoyed, right up until the end. Part of chapter 14 is missing. I did not get to hear why he was sent away.

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  • Travel 90
  • 25-06-20

A Great Book - Absolutely Fascinating

I could listen to Gianni talk for another 10 hours the time just flew by, fascinating life and look at some of the inner workings of the mob. I'm a massive fan of The Godfather movie and watched it again after finishing this book. Gianni Russo had had one extraordinary life . I was so pleased he narrated the book himself, he has the perfect gravelly voice which really helps deliver the authenticity. Is there anyone famous this guy doesn't know?

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  • Steven O'Brien
  • 27-04-20

Good story told well

Hard to believe everything happened but I actually think it did. A warts and all story one of the best mob books I’ve listened to


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  • Helen
  • 03-03-20

Fantastic book now hooked on the podcast

Gianni Russo absolutely held me totally captive with this book love it ! The life and stories of this gentleman are fascinating what an insight into worlds most of us will never know about Hollywood and the mafia . All the fascinating people and characters he has known an inside glimpse and it’s totally jaw dropping . Love the book and I’m hooked on the podcast with Gianni Patrick & Megan