Russell Crowe has been a grumbling, angry and sometimes violent man for years. Yet it's only now, when he's become something of a comparatively mellow character that his wife of nine years Danielle Spencer has decided to leave him. The Sydney Morning Herald that Crowe is devastated by the break-up and is dealing with it by throwing himself into a hectic acting schedule.

The pair were married in 2003 at a purpose-built chapel at Crowe's farm in Australia, though they have been based in Sydney ever since. The couple only moved into a new $10 million home earlier this year, meaning that the timing of the split comes as something of a surprise; indeed, the pair had seemed solid throughout their time together, and have two kids - eight year-old Charles and six year-old Tennyson.

However, rumours surfaced about their marriage being trouble when pictures showing Spencer on a night out with her 'Dancing With The Stars' partner Damian Whitewood in June. Crowe has been out of the country for much of the year, which has perhaps caused additional strain on the marriage. Crowe has no less than seven films coming out in the next year: 'Man with the Iron Fist', 'Les Miserables', 'Broken City', 'Superman', 'Noah' and his next project 'The Winter's Tale', with Colin Farrell and Will Smith. With a schedule like it's perhaps no surprise the cracks have appeared.