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Russell Ira Crowe (born 7 April 1964) is a New Zealandmarker actor and musician. His acting career began in the early 1990s with roles in Australian TV series such as Police Rescue and films such as Romper Stomper. In the late 1990s, he began appearing in US films such as the 1997 movie L.A. Confidential. He has been nominated for three Oscars, and in 2001, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his starring role in the film Gladiator. Crowe is also co-owner of National Rugby League team the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Early life

Crowe was born in Wellingtonmarker, New Zealand, the son of Jocelyn Yvonne (née Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe, both of whom were movie set caterers; his father also managed a hotel. Crowe's maternal grandfather, Stan Wemyss, was a cinematographer who, according to Crowe, produced the first film by New Zealander Geoff Murphy, and was also named an MBE for filming footage of World War II. Crowe's maternal great-great grandmother was Māori. Crowe's grandfather was from Wrexhammarker, so has Welsh ancestry and he also has Scottish, Norwegian, English and Irish ancestry. Two of Russell Crowe's cousins, Martin and Jeff Crowe are former New Zealand national cricket captains.

When Crowe was four years old, his family moved to Australia, where his parents pursued a career in film set catering. The producer of the Australian TV series Spyforce was his mother's godfather, and Crowe at age five or six was hired for a line of dialogue in one episode, opposite series star Jack Thompson, who years later played Crowe's father in The Sum of Us and who coincidentally had been educated at the same school which Crowe was to attend for two years: Sydney Boys High School.

From his youth to the present, Crowe has had a special love of horses. "They're just like people," he told CraveOnline, "there are some horses that you have a deeper connection with immediately, and you can work on that over time." He has also noted that he sometimes finds it difficult to part with his equine co-stars when a film wraps.

When he was 14, Crowe's family moved back to New Zealand, where he (along with his brother Terry) attended Auckland Grammar Schoolmarker with cousins Martin Crowe and Jeff Crowe. He then continued his secondary education at Mount Roskill Grammar Schoolmarker, which he left at age 16 to chase his dreams of becoming a musician or actor. A classmate and friend from that time, John Maloney, remembers Crowe as a "sombre, misshapen" boy who was "frequently shirtless and even more frequently sans culottes".

In the mid-1980s Russell, under guidance from his good friend Tom Sharplin, performed as a rock 'n' roll revivalist, under the stage name Russ Le Roq, and had a New Zealand single with "I Just Want To Be Like Marlon Brando." In 1986 he was given his first professional role by director Daniel Abineri in a production of The Rocky Horror Show. He played the role of Eddie/Dr Scott. He repeated this performance in a further Australian production of the show. In the 1988 Australian production of Blood Brothers, Crowe played the role of Mickey. He was also cast again by Daniel Abineri in the role of Johnny in the stage musical of Bad Boy Johnny and the Prophets of Doom in 1989.

Crowe returned to Australia at age 21, intending to apply to the National Institute of Dramatic Art. "I was working in a theater show, and talked to a guy who was then the head of technical support at NIDA," Crowe recalled. "I asked him what he thought about me spending three years at NIDA. He told me it'd be a waste of time. He said, 'You already do the things you go there to learn, and you've been doing it for most of your life, so there's nothing to teach you but bad habits.'" In 1987 Crowe spent a six-month stint as a busker when he couldn't find other work.

After appearing in the TV series Neighbours and Living with the Law, Crowe was cast in his first film, The Crossing (1990), a small-town love triangle directed by George Ogilvie. Before production started, a film-student protegΓ© of Ogilvie's, Steve Wallace, hired Crowe for the film Blood Oath (1990) (aka Prisoners of the Sun) which was released a month earlier than The Crossing, although actually filmed later. In 1992, Crowe starred in the first episode of the second series of Police Rescue. Also in 1992 Crowe starred in Romper Stomper, an Australian film which follows the exploits and downfall of a racist skinhead group in blue-collar suburban Melbourne, directed by Geoffrey Wright, for which Crowe won an Australian Film Institute award for Best Actor, following up from his Best Supporting Actor award for Proof in 1991.

Hollywood

After initial success in Australia, Crowe began acting in American films. He first co-starred with Denzel Washington in Virtuosity, and with Sharon Stone in The Quick and the Dead in 1995. He went on to become a three-time Oscar nominee, winning the Academy Award as Best Actor in 2001 for Gladiator. Crowe wore his grandfather Stan Wemyss's Member of the Order of the British Empire medal to the ceremony.

Crowe received three consecutive best actor Oscar nominations for The Insider, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind. Crowe won the best actor award for A Beautiful Mind at the 2002 BAFTA award ceremony. However he failed to win the Oscar that year, losing to Denzel Washington. It has been suggested that his attack on television producer Malcolm Gerrie for cutting short his acceptance speech may have turned voters against him.

All three films were also nominated for best picture, and both Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind won the award. Within the six year stretch from 1997-2003, he also starred in two other best picture nominees, L.A. Confidential and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, though he was nominated for neither. In 2005 he re-teamed with A Beautiful Mind director Ron Howard for Cinderella Man. In 2006 he re-teamed with Gladiator director Ridley Scott for A Good Year, the first of two consecutive collaborations (the second being American Gangster co-starring again with Denzel Washington, released in late 2007). While the light romantic comedy of A Good Year was not greatly received, Crowe seemed pleased with the film, telling STV in an interview that he thought it would be enjoyed by fans of his other films.

On 9 March 2005, Crowe revealed to GQ magazine that Federal Bureau of Investigationmarker agents had approached him prior to the 73rd Academy Awards on 25 March 2001 and told him that the Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda wanted to kidnap him. Crowe told the magazine that it was the first time he had ever heard of al-Qaeda (the September 11 attacks took place later that year) and was quoted as saying:

"You get this late-night call from the FBI when you arrive in Los Angeles, and they're, like, absolutely full-on. 'We’ve got to talk to you now before you do anything. We have to have a discussion with you, Mr Crowe.'" Crowe recalled that "it was something to do with some recording picked up by a French policewoman, I think, in either Libyamarker or Algiersmarker...it was about taking iconographic Americans out of the picture as a sort of cultural-destabilisation plan".


Crowe was guarded by Secret Service agents for the next few months, both while shooting films and at award ceremonies (Scotland Yardmarker also guarded Crowe while he was promoting Proof of Life in London in February 2001). Crowe said that he "...never fully understood what the fuck was going on."

Crowe will appear in Robin Hood, an upcoming film based on the Robin Hood legend, directed by Ridley Scott, due for release on May 14, 2010.

Crowe is slated to appear in the Paul Haggis film The Next Three Days, an adaptation of the 2008 French film Pour Elle.

Charities

Crowe, who was in Toronto filming Cinderella Man with director Ron Howard, learned of a fire-bombing at a Jewish elementary school that took place in Montreal. Police said a note with anti-Semitic comments was found on the outside wall of the gutted library. He was so distraught that he offered (a reported $250,000 donation) to help rebuild the school's library. Montreal resident Shelley Paris says, "It was a huge morale boost for the school community. He said he was very upset about what had happened that a place of learning should be attacked that way. He wanted to make sure that our students knew that he was thinking about them and that he was very upset about the fire-bombing."
On another occasion, Crowe donated a large sum of money ($200,000) to a struggling primary school near his home in rural Australia. Crowe's sympathies were sparked when a pupil drowned at the nearby Coffs Harbour beach in 2001, and he believes the pool will help students become better swimmers and improve their knowledge of water safety. At the opening ceremony in characteristic Crowe style he dove into the pool fully clothed as soon as the venue was declared open. Nana Glen principal Laurie Renshall says, "The many things he does up here, people just don't know about. We've been trying to get a pool for 10 years."

Personal life

On 7 April 2003, his 39th birthday, Crowe married Australian singer and actress Danielle Spencer. Crowe met Spencer while filming The Crossing (1990). Crowe and Spencer have two sons: Charles "Charlie" Spencer (born 21 December 2003) and Tennyson Spencer (born 7 July 2006).

Prior to his marriage to Spencer, Crowe had a relationship with Meg Ryan during and after the filming of Proof of Life in 2000.

Most of the year, Crowe resides in Australia. He has a home in Sydney at the end of the Finger Wharfmarker in Woolloomooloomarker and a 320-hectare rural property in Nana Glenmarker near Coffs Harbour, New South Walesmarker.

Crowe also owns a house in the North Queensland city of Townsvillemarker: he purchased the $450,000 home in the suburb of Douglasmarker on May 3, 2008.It's believed the home is for his niece, who is studying at James Cook Universitymarker.

Crowe stated in November 2007 that he would like to be baptised, and feels that he has put it off for too long. "I do believe there are more important things than what is in the mind of a man," he says. "There is something much bigger that drives us all. I'm willing to take that leap of faith."

In the beginning of 2009, Crowe appeared in a series of special edition postage stamps called "Legends of the Screen", featuring Australian actors. He, Geoffrey Rush, Cate Blanchett, and Nicole Kidman each appear twice in the series: once as themselves and once as their Academy Award-winning character.

South Sydney Rabbitohs

On 19 March 2006, the voting members of the South Sydney Rabbitohs National Rugby League club voted (in a 75.8% majority) to allow Crowe and businessman Peter Holmes Γ  Court to purchase 75% of the club, leaving 25% ownership with the members. It has cost them A$3 million, and they will receive four of eight seats on the board of directors.

Crowe has been a major supporter of the Rabbitohs rugby league club for many years, appearing at many home games, and supporting the club during its time when they were forced from the National Rugby League competition for two years. Crowe paid $40,000 for a brass bell used to open the inaugural rugby league match in Australia in 1908, which he then returned to the club. In 2005, he made them the first club team in Australia to be sponsored by a film, when he negotiated a deal to advertise his movie Cinderella Man on their jerseys.

He is friends with many current and former players of the club, and currently employs former South Sydney forward Mark Carroll as a bodyguard and personal trainer. He has encouraged other actors to support the club, such as Tom Cruise and Burt Reynolds. Business and television personality Eddie McGuire has been offered a seat on the Rabbitohs board.

South Side Story, a mini-series documenting the takeover of the club, revealed Crowe urging Souths players to profess their love for one another during training.

Crowe helped to organise a rugby league game that took place in Jacksonvillemarker, Florida between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the English Super League champions Leeds Rhinos on 26 January 2008 (Australia Day). The game was played at the University of North Floridamarker. Crowe told ITV Local Yorkshire the game wasn't a marketing exercise.

Crowe wrote a letter of apology to a Sydney newspaper following the sacking of South Sydney's coach Jason Taylor and one of their players David Fa'alogo after a drunken altercation between the two.

Other sporting interests

Crowe is a big cricket fan. He played cricket in school and his cousins Martin Crowe and Jeff Crowe are former Black Caps Captains. Russell Crowe also captained the 'Australian' Team containing Steve Waugh against an English side in the 'Hollywood Ashes' Cricket Match. On 17 July 2009, Crowe took to the commentary box for the British sports channel, Sky Sports, as the 'third man' during the second test of the 2009 Ashes series, between England and Australia.

He is also a fan of the Richmond Football Club in the Australian Football League and a supporter of the Leeds Rhinos in the Super League.

Crowe is a big supporter of the University of Michigan Wolverines American football team, an interest that stems from his friendship with former Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr. Carr used Crowe's movie Cinderella Man to motivate his team in 2006 following a disappointing 7-5 season the previous year. Upon hearing of this, Crowe called Carr and invited him to Australia to address his Rugby league team the South Sydney Rabbitohs, an offer Carr took Crowe up on the following summer. In September 2007, after Carr came under fire following the Wolverines' 0-2 start, Crowe traveled to Ann Arbor, Michiganmarker for the Wolverines' 15 September game against Notre Dame to show his support for Carr. He addressed the team before the game and watched from the sidelines as the Wolverines defeated the Irish 38-0.

Crowe is also a fan of the National Football League, and on 22 October 2007, appeared in the booth of a Monday Night game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is also a devout fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs which stems from his shooting of Cinderella Man at Maple Leaf Gardensmarker.

Altercations

Russell Crowe en route to his arraignment for the phone throwing incident
Crowe has been involved in a number of altercations in recent years which have given him a reputation for having a bad temper.

In 1999, Crowe was involved in a scuffle at the Plantation Hotel in Coffs Harbourmarker, Australia, which was caught on security video. Two men were acquitted of using the video in an attempt to blackmail Crowe.

When part of Crowe's appearance at the 2002 BAFTA awards was cut out to fit into the BBC's tape-delayed broadcast, Crowe used strong language during an argument with producer Malcolm Gerrie. The part cut was a poem in tribute to actor Richard Harris who was then terminally ill, and was cut for copyright reasons. Crowe later apologised, saying "What I said to him may have been a little bit more passionate than now, in the cold light of day, I would have liked it to have been." Later that year, Crowe was alleged to have been involved in a "brawl" with a fellow New Zealander, high-profile businessman Eric Watson, inside a trendy Japanese restaurant in London. The fight was broken up by British television actor Ross Kemp.

In June 2005, Crowe was arrested and charged with second-degree assault by New York City police, after he threw a telephone at an employee of the Mercer Hotel who refused to help him place a call when the system did not work from his room, and was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon (the telephone). The employee, a concierge, was treated for a facial laceration.Crowe described the incident as "possibly the most shameful situation that I've ever gotten myself in... and I've done some pretty dumb things in my life". He was sentenced to conditional release, and paid US$100,000 to settle a civil lawsuit out of court.

Musician

Crowe, going under the name of "Rus le Roq", recorded a 1980s tune titled "I Want To Be Like Marlon Brando".

Crowe and a friend formed a band, "Roman Antix", which later evolved into the Australian pub rock band 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts (TOFOG). Crowe performed lead vocals and guitar for the band, which formed in 1992. The band had found neither critical nor popular success but had several releases including 1998's Gaslight, 2001's Bastard Life or Clarity and 2003's Other Ways of Speaking, plus various CD releases now out of print. The band's web site indicates that group has "dissolved/evolved" and states that Crowe's music would take a new direction.

He continued with a collaboration with Alan Doyle of the Canadian band Great Big Sea in early 2005, which also involved members of his previous band. A new single, Raewyn, was released in April 2005 and an album entitled My Hand, My Heart has been released for download on iTunes. The album includes a tribute song to actor Richard Harris, who became Crowe's friend during the making of Gladiator. In 2002, he directed the music video clip (which starred former child actor Duy Nguyen) for his wife Danielle Spencer's single 'Tickle Me' from her 'White Monkey' album. On 10 March 2006, Russell Crowe performed with his new band The Ordinary Fear of God on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Crowe landed a role in a musical, Grease, in 1983. From 1986-1988, Crowe headlined in the touring production of The Rocky Horror Show.

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1990 Blood Oath Lt. Jack Corbett
The Crossing Johnny Ryan Nominated β€” Australian Film Institute Award - Best Actor in Lead Role
1991 Proof Andy Australian Film Institute Award - Best Supporting Actor
Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor - Male
1992 Spotswood Kim Barrett
Romper Stomper Hando Australian Film Institute Award - Best Actor in Lead Role
Seattle International Film Festival for Best Actor also for Hammers Over the Anvil
1993 Hammers Over the Anvil East Driscoll Seattle International Film Festival for Best Actor also for Romper Stomper
The Silver Brumby The Man (Egan)
For the Moment Lachlan Currie
1994 The Sum of Us Jeff Mitchell
1995 The Quick and the Dead Cort
No Way Back FBI Agent Zack Grant
Virtuosity SID 6.7
Rough Magic Alex Ross
1997 L.A. Confidential Officer Wendell "Bud" White Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated β€” Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Heaven's Burning Colin O'Brien
Breaking Up Steve
1999 Mystery, Alaska Sheriff John Biebe
The Insider Jeffrey Wigand Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor also for Gladiator
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
National Board of Review Award for Best Actor
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated β€” Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Nominated β€” Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated β€” Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role











2000 Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridius Academy Award for Best Actor
Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor - Action
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Empire Award for Best Actor
London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor also for The Insider
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated β€” Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Nominated β€” Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” MTV Movie Award for Best Performance
Nominated β€” MTV Movie Award for Best Fight
Nominated β€” Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” Saturn Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated β€” Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated β€” Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture















Proof of Life Terry Thorne Nominated β€” Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor - Suspense
2001 A Beautiful Mind John Nash BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” American Film Institute Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” Australian Film Institute Award - Best Actor in Lead Role
Nominated β€” Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” MTV Movie Award for Best Performance
Nominated β€” Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated β€” Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture












2003 Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World Capt. Jack Aubrey Nominated β€” Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
2005 Cinderella Man Jim Braddock Nominated β€” Australian Film Institute Award - Best International Actor
Nominated β€” Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated β€” Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Nominated β€” Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role


2006 A Good Year Max Skinner
2007 3:10 to Yuma Ben Wade Nominated β€” Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
American Gangster Det. Richie Roberts Nominated β€” Australian Film Institute Award - Best International Actor
Nominated β€” Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2008 Tenderness Detective Cristofuoro
Body of Lies Ed Hoffman
2009 State of Play Cal McAffrey
2010 Robin Hood Robin Hood Post-production
2011 The Next Three Days Filming


References

  1. Inside The Actors Studio With Russell Crowe. 4 January 2004 - Transcript
  2. Russell Crowe Biography (1964–)
  3. JOURNALISM > NY Newsday 3
  4. "Russell Crowe." BBC. 30 June 2006.
  5. BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Film | Russell Crowe: Hollywood livewire
  6. 3:10 to Yuma: Christian Bale vs Russell Crowe
  7. Ewbank/Hildred: Russell Crowe - The Biography, Carlton Publishing, London, 2001, page 23
  8. Newsday (Aug. 6, 1995): "Russell Crowe Has Enough Ego to be a Bad Guy You'll Remember", by Frank Lovece
  9. Russell Crowe ~ Russell ... Somethng to Crowe About!
  10. Milmo, Dan. Crowe gets heavy after Bafta speech, The Guardian, 26 February 2002. Accessed 12 July 2008.
  11. Did Russell Crowe commit Oscar suicide, EW.Com, retrieved 8 November 2007
  12. O'Riordan, Bernard. How Bin Laden put the word out: get Russell Crowe, The Guardian, 9 March 2005. Accessed 12 July 2008.
  13. Superstars buy up Townsville | Townsville Bulletin News
  14. Crowesville
  15. "Russell Crowe plans to be baptised", Yahoo! News, 6 November 2007
  16. "Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman Happy to Be Licked - On Stamps." People. February 4, 2009.
  17. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1213912/Im-embarrassed-accept-responsibility-bad-behaviour-says-apologetic-Russell-Crowe-800-word-letter-fans.html
  18. Russell Crowe captains cricket side | Herald Sun
  19. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12940_5292427,00.html Holding Delighted to work with Crowe
  20. Russell Crowe - Biography
  21. http://www.darkhorizons.com/news/15263/wilde-tucker-spend-three-days-


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