William Hardy Russ IV 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

Early life

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

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


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Death Bed: The Bed That Eats Sharon's Brother
1979 Just You and Me, Kid Demesta
1980 Cruising Paul Gaines
1981 Cattle Annie and Little Britches Little Dick Raidler
1982 The Border Jimbo
1983 The Right Stuff Slick Goodlin
1984 Courage Sonny
1985 Beer Merle Draggett
1987 Wanted: Dead or Alive Danny Quintz
Dead of Winter Rob Sweeney
1988 The Unholy Luke
1989 Disorganized Crime Nick Bartkowski
1991 Pastime Roy Dean Bream
1992 Traces of Red Michael Dobson
1993 Aspen Extreme Dave Ritchie
1997 When Danger Follows You Home Det. Tyler Barnes
1998 American History X Dennis Vinyard
2001 Buck Naked Arson Ranger Lightcap
Life as a House Uncredited Role
2009 Gary's Walk Vernon
Pawn Justin Elliot Randolph Short film
A Fork in the Road Det. Ross
2010 1,001 Ways to Enjoy the Missionary Position Evan post-production
Green Guys Peter Donnelly post-production
Year Title Role Notes
1977–1978 Another World Burt McGowan
1981 Crisis at Central High J.O. Powell TV-Movie
1982 CBS Library Rattlesnake Episode: Robbers, Rooftops and Witches
Rehearsal for Murder Frank Heller TV-Movie
The Dukes of Hazzard Scroggins Episode: The New Dukes
1983 Remington Steele Chance McCormick Episode: Steele's Gold
V Brad Miniseries
1985 Riptide Mack McPherson Episode: Polly Want an Explanation
Miami Vice Evan Freed Episode: Evan
Hunter Jack Lachman Episode: Fire Man
Command 5 J.D. Smith TV-Movie
The Long Hot Summer Jody Varner TV-Movie
1986 St. Elsewhere Patrick O'Casey Episode: Time Heals (1)
Episode: Time Heals (2)
Blood & Orchids Lloyd Murdoch TV-Movie
Second Serve Josh TV-Movie
Houston: The Legend of Texas William Travis TV-Movie
Crime Story Det. Wes Connelly Episode: Pilot (1)
Episode: Pilot (2)
Episode: Crime Pays
1987 Tour of Duty Sgt. Early Ray Michaels Episode: War Lover
1988 The Loner Jake Wilis
1988–1990 Wiseguy Roger Lococco
1989 Nasty Boys Ben Farlow TV-Movie
1990 Capital News Redmond Dunne
A Promise to Keep Carl TV-Movie
1991 Gabriel's Fire Brad Fixx Episode: Truth and Consequences
The Young Riders Episode: Daisy
Crazy From the Heart Dewey Whitcomb TV-Movie
1992 Bad City Story Jim Malone Unsold TV-Pilot
Drive Like Lightning Boll Donner TV-Movie
Middle Ages Terry
1993 The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Jack Randolph Episode: Socrates' Sister
CBS Schoolbreak Special Coach Jim Doane Episode: Other Mothers
seaQuest DSV Rusty Thomas Episode: Brothers and Sisters
1993–2000 Boy Meets World Alan Matthews 120 episodes
1994 Viper Mr. Townsend Episode: Pilot
1995 Big Dreams and Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story Bill West TV-Movie
The Marshal Loyal Truscott Episode: Pilot
Legend Wild Bill Hickok Episode: The Life, Death, and Life of Wild Bill Hickok
Trail of Tears David TV-Movie
1996 Have You Seen My Son Van Stein TV-Movie
A Husband, a Wife and a Lover Art Maskin TV-Movie
Nash Bridges Scott Lamont/"The Monk" Episode: Trackdown
1997 Night Sins Sheriff Steiger Miniseries
Stargate SG-1 Capt. Jonas Hansen Episode: The First Commandment
1999 A Secret Life Mark Whitman TV-Movie
Replacing Dad George Marsh TV-Movie
Come On, Get Happy: The Partridge Family Story Joseph Bonaduce TV-Movie
2000 Ally McBeal Michael Bassett Episode: Two's a Crowd
Episode: Without a Net
Level 9 Agent Colter Episode: A Price to Pay
2001 Touched by an Angel Prof. Thomas North Episode: Holy of Hollies
2002 The Division Jesse Whalen Episode: Shelby
Crossing Jordan D.A. Jack Olson Episode: There's No Place Like Home
MD's James Wiles Episode: A La Casa
Robbery Homicide Division Elliot Ayers Episode: City of Strivers
2003 Mister Sterling Tommy Doyle 9 episodes
Dragnet Ted Paris Episode: Redemption
The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire Rev. Deeker Episode: Sleeping Lions
Finding John Christmas Hank McAllister TV-Movie
2004 Silver Lake Phil Patterson TV-Movie
Deadwood Otis Russell Episode: Jewel's Boot Is Made for Walking
Episode: Sold Under Sin
CSI: NY Mr. Prescott Episode: Creatures of the Night
JAG Maj. Gen. Earl Watson Episode: Fighting Words
Episode: This Just in from Baghdad
NYPD Blue Hal Matheson Episode: I Love My Wives, But Oh You Kid
2005 The West Wing Dan Episode: Message of the Week
Without a Trace Max Cassidy Episode: Freefall
2005–2008 Boston Legal A.D.A Christopher Palmer 5 episodes
2006 The Sopranos Paul Calviano Episode: Moe n' Joe
Just Legal Bartender Episode: The Bar
Reunion Congress Clark Episode: 1995
Episode: 1996
2007 Demons Senator Carney Unsold TV-Pilot
Ghost Whisperer Bill Bristow Episode: Dead to Rights
Numb3rs Michael Shannon Episode: Money for Nothing
Standoff Warren Keegan Episode: Road Trip
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Jonah Quinn Episode: The Case of the Cross-Dressing Carp
2008 Wildfire Congressman Dean Nichols Episode: The More Things Change (1)
Episode: The More Things Change (2)
Episode: Friendship/Passion
The Ex List Jimmy Bloom 6 episodes
2009 The Mentalist Dooley Gerber Episode: Black Gold and Red Blood
2009–2010 The Young and the Restless Tucker McCall
2010 Cold Case Tim Hudson Season 7, Episode 18
2011 Home At Last Bob Episodes 1-6
2011 90210 Salty's Place owner Episode: "Up in Smoke"
2011 Leverage Morris Beck Episode: "The Ten Li'l Grifters Job"
2012 Criminal Minds Donald Collins Episode: "A Family Affair"
2012 Awake Jim Mayhew Episode: "Guilty"
2012 NCIS Phillip Wickes Episode: "The Tell"
2014 Girl Meets World Alan Matthews Episode: holiday episode

Awards and nominations

Independent Spirit Awards

  • 1992: Nominated, "Best Male Lead" - Pastime


  1. "William Russ Biography (1950-)". (1950-10-20) Retrieved on 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 @". Retrieved on 2010-07-27.

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