Born February 17th, 1957, former model Rene Russo's first dramatic role of note was on the 1987 TV series [[Feature~V108594~Sable~sables]], in which she played Eden Kendall, the literary agent to a children's author-turned-crimefighter. Her breakthrough theatrical feature was [[Feature~V30910~Major League~majorleague]] (1989), wherein the statuesque blonde actress was saddled with portraying the "misguided" heroine who foolishly prefers marriage with a stable, secure lawyer over a relationship with boozing, philandering ballplayer [[Performer~P5539~Tom Berenger~tomberenger]].
Since then, happily, the message conveyed by Russo's characters has been "Don't mess with me: I can cope." In [[Feature~V36367~One Good Cop~onegoodcop]] (1991), she played the strongly supportive wife of police officer [[Performer~P37277~Michael Keaton~michaelkeaton]], for whom she successfully tackles the sudden responsibility of caring for the surly children of Keaton's late partner. In [[Feature~V29105~Lethal Weapon 3~lethalweapon3]] (1993), Russo could be seen as the karate-chopping cop who wins the confidence (and the love) of "loose cannon" [[Performer~P91479~Mel Gibson~melgibson]] by proudly showing off her line-of-duty wounds and evincing a fascination with the Three Stooges. In [[Feature~V24644~In the Line of Fire~inthelineoffire]] (1992), Russo was once more partnered on an equal basis with the leading man, in this case Secret Service agent [[Performer~P88601~Clint Eastwood~clinteastwood]]; one of her best scenes featured her wired for sound -- despite a most revealing evening gown -- at a Washington social affair.
Apparently there are still reviewers out there who can't quite grasp the concept of a leading lady who can match her leading man blow for blow in a tight situation. In 1995, some observers seemed surprised that Russo, playing a biohazard-suited military research operative in [[Feature~V134576~Outbreak~outbreak]], was "as good as" her male counterparts [[Performer~P94585~Dustin Hoffman~dustinhoffman]] and [[Performer~P90514~Morgan Freeman~morganfreeman]]. Despite such ill-founded critical misgivings, Russo has continued to do strong work playing strong women: The acclaimed [[Feature~V135656~Get Shorty~getshorty]] (1995) featured her as a B-movie actress, while she re-teamed with Gibson for [[Performer~P94983~Ron Howard~ronhoward]]'s crime thriller [[Feature~V136703~Ransom~ransom]] (1996) and [[Feature~V162913~Lethal Weapon 4~lethalweapon4]] (1998). She also played a psychologist who puts the swing back into washed-up golfer [[Performer~P15189~Kevin Costner~kevincostner]]'s game in the well-received [[Feature~V136501~Tin Cup~tincup]] (1996), and generated considerable heat as a crime investigator who hunts and then beds down with art thief [[Performer~P8836~Pierce Brosnan~piercebrosnan]] in the 1999 remake of [[Feature~V180404~The Thomas Crown Affair~thethomascrownaffair]].
Russo continued worked sporadically through early to mid-2000s, her most recognizable role being that of Natasha Fatale in the live-action adaptation of Rocky and Bullwinkle. In 2005, following her supporting performances in Two for the Money and Yours, Mine, and Ours, Russell took a long break from acting. It wasn't until 2012 that she appeared on the big screen again for the mythological fantasy adventure Thor in the role of Frigga, Thor's mother. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi