Russell Crowe is an actor, film producer and musician from New Zealand. Although a New Zealand citizen, he has lived most of his life in Australia and identifies himself as an Australian.
He came to international attention for his role as the Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 historical epic film Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, for which Crowe won an Academy Award for Best Actor, a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, an Empire Award for Best Actor and a London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and 10 further nominations for best actor.
Let’s see some interesting facts about him!
1. Russell Ira Crowe was born 7 April 1964 in the Wellington suburb of Strathmore Park.
2. He is the son of Jocelyn Yvonne and John Alexander Crowe, both of whom were film set caterers; his father also managed a hotel.
3. Crowe’s maternal grandfather, Stan Wemyss, was a cinematographer who was named an MBE for filming footage of World War II.
4. Crowe’s paternal grandfather, John Doubleday Crowe, was from Wrexham, Wales, while one of Crowe’s maternal great-grandmothers was Māori.
5. Crowe also has English, German, Irish, Italian, Norwegian, Scottish, Swedish, and Welsh ancestry.
6. He is a cousin of former New Zealand cricket captains Martin Crowe and Jeff Crowe, and nephew of Dave Crowe.
7. Russell has built a cricket field named for his uncle.
8. When Crowe was four years old, his family moved to Sydney, Australia, where his parents pursued a career in set catering.
9. 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 (in 1994 Thompson played the father of Crowe’s character in The Sum of Us). Crowe also appeared briefly in the serial The Young Doctors.
10. Crowe was educated at Sydney Boys High School.
11. When he was 14, his family moved back to New Zealand where, along with his brother Terry, he attended Auckland Grammar School with cousins Martin Crowe and Jeff Crowe. He then continued his secondary education at Mount Roskill Grammar School, which he left at the age 16 to pursue his ambition of becoming an actor.
12. Crowe began his performing career as a musician in the early 1980s, under guidance from his good friend Tom Sharplin, when he performed under the stage name “Russ Le Roq”. He released several New Zealand singles including “I Just Want To Be Like Marlon Brando”, “Pier 13”, “Shattered Glass”, none of which charted.
13. He managed an Auckland music venue called “The Venue” in 1984.
14. When he was 18, he was featured in A Very Special Person…, a promotional video for the theology/ministry course at Avondale College, a Seventh-day Adventist tertiary education provider in New South Wales.
15. From 1986 to 1988, he was given his first professional role by director Daniel Abineri, in a production of The Rocky Horror Show.
16. He played the role of Eddie/Dr Scott.
17. He repeated this performance in a further Australian production of the show, which also toured New Zealand.
18. In 1987, Crowe spent six months busking when he could not find other work. In the 1988 Australian production of Blood Brothers, Crowe played the role of Mickey.
19. He was also cast again by Daniel Abineri in the role of Johnny, in the stage musical Bad Boy Johnny and the Prophets of Doom in 1989.
20. After appearing in the TV series Neighbours and Living with the Law, Crowe was cast by Faith Martin in his first film, The Crossing (1990), a small-town love triangle directed by George Ogilvie.
21. Before production started, a film-student protégé of Ogilvie, 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.
22. Also in 1992, Crowe starred in Romper Stomper, an Australian film which followed the exploits and downfall of a racist skinhead group in blue-collar suburban Melbourne, directed by Geoffrey Wright. For the role, Crowe won an Australian Film Institute (AFI) award for Best Actor, following up from his Best Supporting Actor award for Proof in 1991.
23. In 2015 it was reported that Crowe applied for Australian citizenship in 2006 and again in 2013 but was rejected because he failed to fulfill the residency requirements. However, Australia’s Immigration Department said it had no record of any such application by Crowe.
24. After initial success in Australia, Crowe first starred in a Canadian production in 1993, For the Moment, before concentrating on American films. He co-starred with Denzel Washington in Virtuosity (the duo later appearing together in American Gangster) 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 2000 for Gladiator. Crowe was awarded the (Australian) Centenary Medal in 2001 for “service to Australian society and Australian film production.”
25. Crowe received three consecutive best actor Oscar nominations, for The Insider, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind.
26. Crowe won the best actor award for A Beautiful Mind at the 2002 BAFTA award ceremony, as well as the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for the same performance. Although nominated for an Academy Award, he lost to Denzel Washington.
27. 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 to 2003, he also starred in two other best picture nominees, L.A. Confidential and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
28. 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).
29. 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.
30. In recent years, Crowe’s box office standing has declined.
31. Τhe Hollywood stock market (HSX) share Russell Crowe (RCROW), issued in 1997, however maintains constant accretion. Crowe appeared in Robin Hood, a film based on the Robin Hood legend, directed by Ridley Scott and released on 14 May 2010.
32. Crowe starred in the 2010 Paul Haggis film The Next Three Days, an adaptation of the 2008 French film Pour Elle.
33. After a year off acting, Crowe played Jackknife in The Man with the Iron Fists, opposite RZA. He took on the role of Inspector Javert in the musical film of Les Misérables (2012), and portrayed Superman’s biological father, Jor-El, in the Christopher Nolan produced Superman film, Man of Steel, released in the summer of 2013.
34. In 2014, he played a gangster in the film adaptation of Mark Helprin’s 1983 novel Winter’s Tale, and the title role in the Darren Arnofsky film Noah.
35. In June 2013, Crowe signed to make his directional debut with an historical drama film The Water Diviner, which he also starred in .
36. The film focused on the time of 1919 and was produced by Troy Lum, Andrew Mason and Keith Rodger.
37. Crowe and some friends took a several-thousand-mile motorcycle trip around Australia after shooting wrapped on “Gladiator” (2000).
38. Crowe turned down the part of Wolverine in “X-Men” (2000), a role that eventually went to Australian Hugh Jackman.
39. The actor’s on and off relationship with Australian actress and singer Danielle Spencer began in 1989, when the two co-starred in “The Crossing” (1990). After reconciling in 2001, the couple married in 2003 at Crowe’s property in New South Wales. In Fall 2012, it was reported that Crowe and Spencer had separated.
40. Crowe has a special love of horses, which he says are just like people, and often has a difficult time parting from his horse “co-stars” when shooting finishes.
41. He lost a front tooth playing rugby when he was 10. It wasn’t until he was set to star in “The Crossing” that the actor fixed the tooth and, even then, only at the urging of the director who personally took care of the cost.
42. He was the target of an Al-Qaeda plot. In 2005, Crowe revealed that the FBI talked to him when he arrived in Los Angeles for the 2001 Academy Awards. Apparently, the Bureau had overheard Al-Qaeda members talk about Crowe in relation to taking out iconographic Americans. After the incident, US Secret Service agents guarded the actor for several months.
43. During a brief hiatus from smoking, the actor admitted to David Letterman that he started smoking when he was 10 and had smoked more than 60 cigarettes a day for the past 36 years of his life.
44. Crowe and businessman Peter Holmes à Court are the majority owners of the National Rugby League team the South Sydney Rabbitohs after buying $3 million worth of shares in 2006.
45. In June 2005, Crowe was arrested and charged with second-degree assault after throwing a telephone at a Mercer Hotel employee in New York City. The actor pleaded guilty and was conditionally discharged.