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).
Russ was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, and is the son of a naval officer. 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.
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.
In 2014, Russ represented his role of Alan Matthews from Boy Meets World on it's spinoff Girl Meets World.
Russ is married to actress Clare Wren and has a daughter and son. He enjoys downhill skiing and windsurfing.
Independent Spirit Awards1992: Nominated, "Best Male Lead" - Pastime