William Russ

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William Russ
Gail Brown William Russ Another World 1977.JPG
Russ as Burt McGowan with Gail Brown on Another World, 1977.
Born(1950-10-20) October 20, 1950 (age 63)
Portsmouth, Virginia, U.S.
Other namesRusty Russ
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
OccupationActor, television director
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)Clare Wren
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William Russ
Gail Brown William Russ Another World 1977.JPG
Russ as Burt McGowan with Gail Brown on Another World, 1977.
Born(1950-10-20) October 20, 1950 (age 63)
Portsmouth, Virginia, U.S.
Other namesRusty Russ
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
OccupationActor, television director
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)Clare Wren

William Russ (born October 20, 1950) is an American actor and television director. He is perhaps best known for his role as Alan Matthews on the sitcom Boy Meets World (1993–2000). Russ is also notable for his roles in the television series Wiseguy, the soap operas Another World and The Young and the Restless and the feature films Pastime (1991) and American History X (1998).

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Russ was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, and is the son of a naval officer.[1] He attended the University of Michigan, where he was a member of the Michigan Cheer team, which was all male at the time. He was also a diver at U of M.


Russ' acting first began on the New York stage before he embarked onto a television and film career. In 1977, he had his first supporting role in Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. This film would not be officially released until 2003.

During the 1980s, Russ found work in more supporting roles such as Crisis at Central High (1981), a television film also starring Academy Award winning actress Joanne Woodward, The Border (1981), The Right Stuff (1983) as Slick Goodlin, St. Elsewhere (1986) and Crime Story (1986). He continued finding work in both television and film. He also guest starred in the television series Miami Vice in the 1985 episode "Evan" as the title character, an ATF agent who shared a history with Don Johnson's character, Sonny Crockett. He made fourteen appearances on the 1987-1990 crime drama Wiseguy as Roger Lococco.

Russ received critical acclaim when he starred in Pastime (1991) as Roy Dean Bream, a veteran minor league hurler who mentors a young phenomenon. The role earned him a nomination at the 1992 Independent Spirit Awards for "Best Male Lead."

In 1993, he was cast as Alan Matthews on the television sitcom Boy Meets World. Russ played this role until the series ended in 2000. Russ also directed several episodes of the series during the last three seasons. His other television directing credits include directing one episode of both Lizzie McGuire and Rude Awakening.

However, he continued performing in other series and films throughout his time on Boy Meets World, primarily television films. In 1998, he performed as Danny and Derek Vinyard's father in the critically acclaimed American History X. Later, he starred in the short-lived television serial drama Mister Sterling.

In fall 2009, it was announced that Russ would be cast as the new character Tucker on The Young and the Restless. Russ' time on the show was short, however, as it has been announced the role of Tucker was being recast with Stephen Nichols replacing Russ in the role.[2]

Russ is the star of the comedy web series Home at Last. In the series, he portrays "Bob", a homeless man who moves in with the son he abandoned at birth.

Personal life[edit]

Russ is married to actress Clare Wren and has a daughter and son. He enjoys downhill skiing and windsurfing.


1983 V (mini-series)Brad

1977Death Bed: The Bed That EatsSharon's Brother
1979Just You and Me, KidDemesta
1980CruisingPaul Gaines
1981Cattle Annie and Little BritchesLittle Dick Raidler
1982The BorderJimbo
1983The Right StuffSlick Goodlin
1985BeerMerle Draggett
1987Wanted: Dead or AliveDanny Quintz
Dead of WinterRob Sweeney
1988The UnholyLuke
1989Disorganized CrimeNick Bartkowski
1991PastimeRoy Dean Bream
1992Traces of RedMichael Dobson
1993Aspen ExtremeDave Ritchie
1997When Danger Follows You HomeDet. Tyler Barnes
1998American History XDennis Vinyard
2001Buck Naked ArsonRanger Lightcap
Life as a HouseUncredited Role
2009Gary's WalkVernon
PawnJustin Elliot RandolphShort film
A Fork in the RoadDet. Ross
20101,001 Ways to Enjoy the Missionary PositionEvanpost-production
Green GuysPeter Donnellypost-production
1977–1978Another WorldBurt McGowan
1981Crisis at Central HighJ.O. PowellTV-Movie
1982CBS LibraryRattlesnakeEpisode: Robbers, Rooftops and Witches
Rehearsal for MurderFrank HellerTV-Movie
The Dukes of HazzardScrogginsEpisode: The New Dukes
1983Remington SteeleChance McCormickEpisode: Steele's Gold
1985RiptideMack McPhersonEpisode: Polly Want an Explanation
Miami ViceEvan FreedEpisode: Evan
HunterJack LachmanEpisode: Fire Man
Command 5J.D. SmithTV-Movie
The Long Hot SummerJody VarnerTV-Movie
1986St. ElsewherePatrick O'CaseyEpisode: Time Heals (1)
Episode: Time Heals (2)
Blood & OrchidsLloyd MurdochTV-Movie
Second ServeJoshTV-Movie
Houston: The Legend of TexasWilliam TravisTV-Movie
Crime StoryDet. Wes ConnellyEpisode: Pilot (1)
Episode: Pilot (2)
Episode: Crime Pays
1987Tour of DutySgt. Early Ray MichaelsEpisode: War Lover
1988The LonerJake Wilis
1988–1990WiseguyRoger Lococco
1989Nasty BoysBen FarlowTV-Movie
1990Capital NewsRedmond Dunne
A Promise to KeepCarlTV-Movie
1991Gabriel's FireBrad FixxEpisode: Truth and Consequences
The Young RidersEpisode: Daisy
Crazy From the HeartDewey WhitcombTV-Movie
1992Bad City StoryJim MaloneUnsold TV-Pilot
Drive Like LightningBoll DonnerTV-Movie
Middle AgesTerry
1993The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.Jack RandolphEpisode: Socrates' Sister
CBS Schoolbreak SpecialCoach Jim DoaneEpisode: Other Mothers
seaQuest DSVRusty ThomasEpisode: Brothers and Sisters
1993–2000Boy Meets WorldAlan Matthews120 episodes
1994ViperMr. TownsendEpisode: Pilot
1995Big Dreams and Broken Hearts: The Dottie West StoryBill WestTV-Movie
The MarshalLoyal TruscottEpisode: Pilot
LegendWild Bill HickokEpisode: The Life, Death, and Life of Wild Bill Hickok
Trail of TearsDavidTV-Movie
1996Have You Seen My SonVan SteinTV-Movie
A Husband, a Wife and a LoverArt MaskinTV-Movie
Nash BridgesScott Lamont/"The Monk"Episode: Trackdown
1997Night SinsSheriff SteigerMiniseries
Stargate SG-1Capt. Jonas HansenEpisode: The First Commandment
1999A Secret LifeMark WhitmanTV-Movie
Replacing DadGeorge MarshTV-Movie
Come On, Get Happy: The Partridge Family StoryJoseph BonaduceTV-Movie
2000Ally McBealMichael BassettEpisode: Two's a Crowd
Episode: Without a Net
Level 9Agent ColterEpisode: A Price to Pay
2001Touched by an AngelProf. Thomas NorthEpisode: Holy of Hollies
2002The DivisionJesse WhalenEpisode: Shelby
Crossing JordanD.A. Jack OlsonEpisode: There's No Place Like Home
MD'sJames WilesEpisode: A La Casa
Robbery Homicide DivisionElliot AyersEpisode: City of Strivers
2003Mister SterlingTommy Doyle9 episodes
DragnetTed ParisEpisode: Redemption
The Brotherhood of Poland, New HampshireRev. DeekerEpisode: Sleeping Lions
Finding John ChristmasHank McAllisterTV-Movie
2004Silver LakePhil PattersonTV-Movie
DeadwoodOtis RussellEpisode: Jewel's Boot Is Made for Walking
Episode: Sold Under Sin
CSI: NYMr. PrescottEpisode: Creatures of the Night
JAGMaj. Gen. Earl WatsonEpisode: Fighting Words
Episode: This Just in from Baghdad
NYPD BlueHal MathesonEpisode: I Love My Wives, But Oh You Kid
2005The West WingDanEpisode: Message of the Week
Without a TraceMax CassidyEpisode: Freefall
2005–2008Boston LegalA.D.A Christopher Palmer5 episodes
2006The SopranosPaul CalvianoEpisode: Moe n' Joe
Just LegalBartenderEpisode: The Bar
ReunionCongress ClarkEpisode: 1995
Episode: 1996
2007DemonsSenator CarneyUnsold TV-Pilot
Ghost WhispererBill BristowEpisode: Dead to Rights
Numb3rsMichael ShannonEpisode: Money for Nothing
StandoffWarren KeeganEpisode: Road Trip
CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationJonah QuinnEpisode: The Case of the Cross-Dressing Carp
2008WildfireCongressman Dean NicholsEpisode: The More Things Change (1)
Episode: The More Things Change (2)
Episode: Friendship/Passion
The Ex ListJimmy Bloom6 episodes
2009The MentalistDooley GerberEpisode: Black Gold and Red Blood
2009–2010The Young and the RestlessTucker McCall
2010Cold CaseTim HudsonSeason 7, Episode 18
2011Home At LastBobEpisodes 1-6
201190210Salty's Place ownerEpisode: "Up in Smoke"
2011LeverageMorris BeckEpisode: "The Ten Li'l Grifters Job"
2012Criminal MindsDonald CollinsEpisode: "A Family Affair"
2012AwakeJim MayhewEpisode: "Guilty"
2012NCISPhillip WickesEpisode: "The Tell"
2014Girl Meets WorldAlan MatthewsEpisode: holiday episode

Awards and nominations[edit]

Independent Spirit Awards


  1. ^ "William Russ Biography (1950-)". Filmreference.com. 1950-10-20. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  2. ^ Masters, Liz. "Y&R News: Y&R hires DAYS/GH vet to take over the role of Tucker | The Young and the Restless @". Soapcentral.com. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 

External links[edit]