Russell Crowe (born 7.4.1964)
Russell Crowe is a New Zealand / Australian actor. He is perhaps best known for his Academy Award-winning role in Gladiator.
Russell Crowe: Childhood
Russell Crowe was born in Wellington in New Zealand. His mother, Jocelyn Yvonne, was a movie caterer, as was his father, John Alexander Crowe. His grandfather, Stan Wemyss was a cinematographer who earned an MBE for his footage of World War II.
The Crowe family moved to Australia when Russell was four years old. A few years later, Russell got his first taste of the acting world, when he was hired to recite a line of script in a series called the Sum Of Us.
The family then returned to New Zealand when Russell was 14. He attended Mt. Roskill Grammar School but left aged 16, in order to pursue his acting career.
Russell Crowe: Acting Career
Crowe's first professional acting job was in a production of The Rocky Horror Show. The director, Daniel Abineri, later cast him in the lead role of the musical Bad Boy Johnny and the Prophets of Doom.
Aged 21, Crowe returned once more to Australia He spent six months busking when he could not find work. Eventually, however, he managed to land small roles in Neighbours and Living with the Law.
In 1990, Russell Crowe appeared in The Crossing; his movie debut. He also appeared in Blood Oath (1990), as well as the debut series of Police Rescue.
In 1992, Russell Crowe took a lead role in Romper Stomper, which chronicles the lives of a gang of racist Melbourne skinheads.
Following his success in Australia, Crowe took the decision to move to Hollywood. His first major project in the US was to star alongside Denzel Washington in Virtuosity in 1995.
Crowe's career continued to escalate and in 2001, he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar, for his role in Gladiator. When he attended the ceremony, he wore his grandfather's MBE medal.
In 2002, Crowe won a Best Actor BAFTA Award for his lead role in A Beautiful Mind, though he lost out on the same Oscar title to Denzel Washington. His role in The Insider also earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination.
Amongst Crowe's other notable performances in his early Hollywood years, are his role in L.A. Confidential, which also starred Kim Basinger and Guy Pearce. He teamed up once again with A Beautiful Mind director, Ron Howard, in Cinderella Man. He also worked again with the director of Gladiator, Ridley Scott, in A Good Year.
In 2007, Crowe starred in American Gangster, alongside Denzel Washington and the Wu Tang Clan rapper Method Man. The film was well received by both critics and viewers alike.
Russell Crowe: Musical Endeavours
In the 1980s, Russell Crowe performed as a rock 'n' roll revivalist, named Rus Le Roq and recorded a hit single by the name of 'I Want To Be Like Marlon Brando.'
Crowe also formed a band named 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts. The band was a pub rock outfit that found little success, though they released three albums, Gaslight, Bastard Life or Clarity and Other Ways of Speaking. He later formed a band called The Ordinary Fear of God, which performed on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in March 2006.
Russell Crowe: Personal Life
In 2001, before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, Crowe was warned by the FBI that he was a target for the terrorist group al-Qaeda, as part of a cultural destabilisation plan. He was guarded by Secret Service agents for the next few months.
In April 2003, Russell Crowe married the actress and singer, Danielle Spencer. They met whilst filming The Crossing in 1990. The pair have two sons, Charles Spencer (b. 2003) and Tennyson Spencer (b. 2006). Before marrying Spencer, Crowe had also been romantically linked to the actress Meg Ryan. He worked with Ryan on the 2000 film Proof of Life.
In June 2005, Russell Crowe was arrested for second degree assault after throwing a telephone at a hotel worker in New York.