William Russ

William Russ


10/20/1950, Portsmouth, Virginia

Birth Name



Also Known As

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The son of a naval officer, William Russ traveled all over the United States as a child. Russ studied drama at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. After graduation he toured Europe as a member of an Ann Arbor mime troupe. He later attended New York's Neighborhood…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • His height is 6' (1.83 m).

    • William Russ directed the following episodes of Boy Meets World: "Heartbreak Cory", "Ain't College Great?", "Everybody Loves Stuart", "Poetic License: An Ode to Holden Caulfield", "The Psychotic Episode", "They're Killing Us", "The Honeymooners", "The War", and "Seven the Hard Way."

    • William Russ has appeared in two Lifetime Original Movies on the Lifetime cable network: Sexual Advances, with Stephanie Zimbalist, in 1992, and When Danger Follows You Home, with JoBeth Williams, in 1997.

    • William Russ directed an episode of Lizzie McGuire under the name Rusty Russ.

    • William Russ won the 1985 Drama-Logue Award for his performance in the stage play Ghosts On Fire opposite Holly Hunter.

    • William Russ performed on stage in 2004 in the play, Happy Birthday Wanda June, with The Actor's Gang, a theatrical troupe headquartered in Culver City, California.

    • William Russ's character on Wiseguy, Roger Lococco had the habit of calling people Buckwheat. In an interview on the Wiseguy DVD Russ states, "... 15 years later people still say to me, 'How's it going Buckwheat?'"

    • William Russ played Burt McGowen on Another World for one year, three months.

    • William Russ's film credits include American History X (1998), playing Dennis Vinyard, and The Right Stuff (1983), playing Chalmers "Slick" Goodlin.

    • William Russ was a Best Actor Nominee for the Independent Spirit Award for his role as an aging baseball pitcher in the 1991 film Pastime.

    • An interview with William Russ appears as an extra in the Wiseguy: Season 1, Part 2 DVD.

    • William's nickname is Rusty.

    • He started filming Life as a House (2001) playing Officer Kurt Walker, but was injured in a motorbike crash and replaced by Scott Bakula .

  • Quotes

    • William Russ: (When asked if he monitors his children's TV watching) Yes, of course. They don't watch much TV during the week. There is so much media hype.

    • William Russ: (When asked if any place where he has lived is more meaningful to him) I was born in Virginia but spent a lot of time in New Orleans, so I love both of those places. But right now, I live in California, so I like it here too.

    • William Russ: (on jobs he has had other than acting) I have been a welder, a cab driver, a waiter, a cook, dishwasher, garbage truck worker. I like to write so I probably would write more if I didn't act. Maybe more directing too.

    • (Asked if he was anything like Alan Matthews, his character in Boy Meets World, William Russ: Yeah, I'm a lot like him actually. He's a great character.

  • A talented and reliable actor.

    William Russ has the "everyman" part down to perfection. In countless guest appearances, TV movies and as Alan Matthews in Boy Meets World Rusty made acting look easy, as we became engrossed in his characters, forgetting for a time that he was an actor. He won critical praise for a recurring role on Wiseguy, and had a shot at stardom, playing the lead, a professional baseball player, in a feature film. However, the chance to become a matinee idol eluded him when his film, "Pastime," barely registered a blip on the pop culture screen in 1991. Soon after he was cast as Alan Matthews, a steady job in a sitcom made for the next generation. Still, William Russ has never become a household name. Is he disappointed? I don't know. I think he can be proud of the work he has done, and happy that he has been able to make a living at what he clearly loves to do.moreless
  • The best TV dad ever.

    I was just feeling nostaglic for BMW and I watched like 10 episodes on YouTube. Then I came across an online show starring William Russ as a homeless guy. He's still playing a dad, but now that dad is homeless.

    It's actually a pretty good show, it's called home at last. Kind of reminds me of boy meets world in a weird way.