Bugsy is a minor antagonist of the 1984 gangster film Once Upon a Time in America.

He was portrayed by James Russo.


He was the local crime boss in New York who took David "Noodles" Aaronson and the gang under his wing, supervising them and making them commit petty street crimes under his supervision. However, when Noodles befriended a young Maximilian "Max" Bercovicz, and managed to photograph a corrupt policeman having sex with a teenage prostitute, they formed a gang of their own.

When Bugsy heard about this, he and his gang mercilessly brutalized Noodles and Max, warning them that they'd be killed if he ever catches them near his turf ever again. They then seek protection from two Italian brothers from the Mafia where they ship in alcohol illegally for them.

The boys then establish a suitcase money fund, which they hide in a locker at the railway station, giving the key to Fat Moe, a reliable friend who was not part of the operation.

One day, Bugsy ambushes the boys and shoots little Dominic, who dies in Noodle's arms, to which Bugsy shows no remorse or guilt for this, but instead tries to kill the rest of the gang as they were a danger to his business. Noodles avenges Dominic by stabbing Bugsy to death and injures a police officer who tried to intervene.


  • Bugsy, along with Frankie Monaldi, stands as one of the film's vilest characters as he shows little to no guilt at all when he commits horrible crimes, with nothing but business as an unjustifiable excuse.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.