"If you are in it for the glory, then whatever you do, you are going to
disappoint yourself." Russell Crowe
Australian actor Russell Crowe was hurled towards stardom with his Oscar winning
role as the Roman hero Maximus in Ridley Scott's highly acclaimed epic Gladiator
(2000). First receiving applause while acting in the films Proof (1991) and
Romper Stomper (1992), Crowe later gained more praise for starring in L. A.
Confidential (1997, with Kim Basinger), The Insider (1999, opposite Al Pacino),
Proof of Life (2000, alongside Meg Ryan), A Beautiful Mind (2001, with Jennifer
Connelly) and Master and Commander (2003, costarring Paul Bettany). Soon, he
will be seen acting in the upcoming films: Ron Howard's boxing drama Cinderella
Man and opposite Nicole Kidman in Eucalyptus.
Besides being an actor, Crowe is also a musician. His band, "30 Odd Foot of
Grunts," reportedly has broken up. However, he continues his music career and
plans to release his solo debut, "My Hand/My Heart."
"I'm not one of those fellows that is just going to have a pseudo-middling
relationship." Russell Crowe
5' 11 inches tall Russell Crowe, presently the husband of singer and actress
Danielle Spencer, had previously been linked to Proof of Life (2000) costar Meg
Ryan (born on November 19, 1961).
Norwegian, Maori Crowe
Childhood and Family:
"I grew up in Australia, so I've got aspects of both cultures. New Zealanders
tend to be very persistent, you know? And Australians are quite happy-go-lucky,
so I've got kind of a combination of the two things." Russell Crowe
In Wellington, North Island, New Zealand, Russell Ira Crowe was born on April 7,
1964. He is the son of film set caterer parents Alex Crowe (former hotel
manager) and Jocelyn Crowe. His grandfather is cinematographer Stan Wymess and
his cousins are former professional cricket players Jeff and Martin Crowe.
Of Norwegian and Maori descendant, Russell moved with his family to Sydney,
Australia, when he was four years old. He did not finish high school but was
admitted to The National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney, Australia.
In December 2002, he became engaged to singer and actress Danielle Spencer (born
on September 29, 1970). The couple married on April 7, 2003. They currently have
one son, Charles Spencer Crowe (born on December 21, 2003).
The award-winning actor, who has always been interested in different faiths and
has never been christened, was recently rumored to be dabbling in Scientology.
He said, "I read Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard (Scientology's founder), I got a
couple of videos, and I took it all in. It just seems like a religion that is
perfect for people who feel like they need a grounding, who feels that the world
has run off on them. I've discussed this with Scientologists, and they don't
disagree. With any of these religions, as long as the heart and soul is
positive, then to me it's all good."
A Beautiful Mind
"I was on film sets and TV sets all the time between the ages of 5 and 9, and it
just fascinated me. I always wanted to know what was behind the doors ... on
film sets and TV sets... nothing is behind them. But I kept thinking, 'If I open
one of these doors, sooner or later there's going to be something there.' So I
really lost any fears about TV and film performance at a young age, because I
knew it was all fantasy." Russell Crowe
Being the son of movie set caterer parents, Russell Crowe followed his parents
to film sets. After moving with his family to Australia in 1968, six-year-old
Crowe landed his first acting job on an episode of the Australian TV series
Spyforce, in which he played an orphan. Eight years later, he played a role in
the Australian series The Young Doctors.
When his family relocated to New Zealand in 1978, Crowe made a living as a
bartender, waiter, disc jockey and bingo-number caller. He then started a music
career to add his income. He billed himself as Rus Le Roq and recorded the
single "I Want To Be Like Marlon Brando" in 1980. Along with Dean Cochran, he
set up the band Roman Antix, which later was know as 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.
In 1982, he flew back to Australia to continue his acting career and landed a
role in an Australian production of Grease. From 1986 to 1988, he toured
Australia and New Zealand, starring as Dr. Frank N Furter in a production of The
Rocky Horror Show. He also did the workshop plays Bad Boy, Johnny and the
Prophets of Doom and performed in the musical play Blood Brothers, in which
filmmaker George Ogilvie spotted him.
Crowe finally stepped on the small screen when he had a guest spot in the
Australian series Police Rescue (1990) and the miniseries Brides of Christ
(1991, USA: 1993). He also scored a feature film debut when he was cast as
Lieutenant Corbett in Blood Oath (1990, released in the U.S. as Prisoners of the
Sun). Crowe followed it up with his first leading role in George Ogilvie's drama
The Crossing (1990) and shared the screen with Anthony Hopkins and Toni Collette
in The Efficiency Expert (1991, released in the U.S. as Spotswood).
Playing a gentle, gullible dishwasher in Jocelyn Moorhouse's acclaimed Proof
(1991), won Crowe an Australian Film Institute Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In the following year, he was handed both an Australian Film Institute Award and
an Australian Film Critics Award for Best Actor thanks to his portrayal of a
brutal Nazi skinhead in Geoffrey Wright's controversial Romper Stomper (1992).
Two years later, he became Jack Thompson's son and a gay plumber in The Sum of
"Every role has different things that speak to you. With Romper Stomper, I was
afraid of delving into the darkness of the neo-Nazi ideology on one hand, but on
the other hand, I could tell that it was going to be a very important social
document. That was the imperative behind my doing it." Russell Crowe
In Sam Raimi's offbeat western movie, The Quick and the Dead (1995, with Sharon
Stone, Gene Hackman and Leonardo DiCaprio), Crowe played
gunfighter-turned-preacher Cort. The role was Crowe's debut performance in
Hollywood. In that same year, he played serial killer Sid 6.7, hunted by Denzel
Washington, in the disappointing sci-fi thriller Virtuosity.
"Russell is wild. He's very intense, a very excellent actor. An actor who really
comes in prepared but at the same time likes to have a good laugh." Denzel
Adding to his credits, Crowe was seen in Rough Magic (1995, opposite Bridget
Fonda) and Breaking Up (1997, alongside Salma Hayek). Director Curtis Hanson
then cast him as explosive and eerie cop Bud White, costarring with Kevin
Spacey, fellow Australian actor Guy Pearce, and Kim Basinger, in his highly
praised film L. A. Confidential (1997). On his character Bud White, Crowe
commented, "He's a racist. He's self-righteous. He's foul-mouthed. He's a son of
a bitch. However, in the course of the movie, you get an indication as to why
he's taken this attitude toward life. He doesn't realize just how much he's
looking for love and affection and confirmation of his good points, buried as
they may be. I think he is a good man, but he's very much a product of his
environment and his job."
After starring as hockey player John Biebe in the rarely seen comedy Mystery,
Alaska (1999, costarring Burt Reynolds), Crowe teamed with Al Pacino in Michael
Mann's true-story drama based on an article published in Vanity Fair, The
Insider (1999). His portrayal of tobacco industry whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand
in the film produced by Lowell Bergman, earned him his first nomination for a
Best Actor Oscar.
"After The Insider, I know the exact chemical compounds in a commercial
cigarette, but I've been smoking since I was 10. I know it's terrible, but I am
a great fan of irony." Russell Crowe
Crowe's big breakthrough arrived in 2000. He took home the Best Actor Oscar for
his dazzling performance as Maximus, a Roman general turned vindictive slave, in
Ridley Scott's smash hit epic, Gladiator. Meantime, he costarred with then
girlfriend Meg Ryan as a kidnap and ransom negotiator in the hostage drama Proof
of Life, a film based on an article published in Vanity Fair. He also joined
Claire Danes in Jodie Foster's Flora's Plum and wrote, produced, directed and
starred in the WWII drama The Long Green Shore.
A Best Actor Oscar nomination knocked again when he starred as the Nobel
Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. in Ron Howard's acclaimed
biopic A Beautiful Mind (2001, with Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris). In 2003,
he was nominated for a Best Actor Golden Globe for starring in Peter Weir's
adaptation of Patrick O'Brien's novel, Master and Commander, alongside Paul
As for his upcoming film projects, Crowe will star with Nicole Kidman in
Eucalyptus and also star in Ron Howard's 1930s boxing drama Cinderella Man, a
life story film about boxer Jim Braddock who defeated heavyweight champ Max Baer
in a 15-round bout. On working with Russell Crowe, filmmaker Ron Howard
revealed, "Directing Russell is like shooting on a tropical island. The weather
is going to change several times a day, but you're shooting there for a reason.
Sometimes those dark clouds are just what you need. And sometimes you wish it
would stop raining so you can do the sunny scene."
On his music career and despite the split of his band (30 Odd Foot of Grunts),
Crowe reportedly will release a solo effort, "My Hand, My Heart." which will be
produced by "Great Big Sea" singer Alan Doyle. About his solo debut recording,
Crowe said, "It is without doubt the most satisfying record I've ever made, and
I know when you hear it you will be seduced by its beauty."
- Screen Actors Guild: Best Actor, A Beautiful Mind, 2002
- Dallas-Forth Worth Film Critics Association: Best Actor, A Beautiful
- Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Actor, A Beautiful Mind, 2002
- Dallas-Forth Worth Film Critics Association: Best Actor, Gladiator, 2001
- London Critics Circle Film: Actor of the Year, Gladiator, 2001
- Oscar: Best Actor, Gladiator, 2001
- National Society of Film Critics: Best Actor, The Insider, 2000
- Golden Apple: Male Star of the Year, 2000
- Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Actor, The Insider, 2000
- Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Actor, Gladiator, 2000
- San Diego Film Critics: Best Actor, Gladiator, 2000
- National Board of Review: Best Actor, The Insider, 1999
- Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Actor, The Insider, 1999
- National Society of Film Critics Award: Best Actor, The Insider, 1999
- Australian Film Institute: Best Actor, Romper Stomper, 1992
- Australian Film Institute: Best Supporting Actor, Proof, 1991