Russell Crowe life and biography

Russell Crowe picture, image, poster

Russell Crowe biography

Date of birth : 1964-04-07
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Wellington, New Zealand
Nationality : New-Zealand
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-05-14
Credited as : Hollywood actor, Gladiator, Robin Hood 2010

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Though perhaps best-known internationally for playing tough-guy roles in Romper Stomper (1993), L.A. Confidential (1997), and Gladiator (2000), New Zealand-born actor Russell Crowe has proven himself equally capable of playing gentler roles in films such as Proof (1991) and The Sum of Us (1992). No matter what kind of characters he plays, Crowe's weather-beaten handsomeness and gruff charisma combine to make him constantly watchable: his one-time Hollywood mentor Sharon Stone has called him "the sexiest guy working in movies today."

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 7, 1964, Crowe was raised in Australia from the age of four. His parents made their living by catering movie shoots, and often brought Crowe with them to work; it was while hanging around the various sets that he developed a passion for acting. After making his professional debut in an episode of the television series Spyforce when he was six, Crowe took a 12-year break from professional acting, netting his next gig when he was 18. In film, he had his first major roles in such dramas as The Crossing (1990) and Jocelyn Moorhouse's widely praised Proof (1991) (for which he won an Australian Film Institute award). He then went on to gain international recognition for his intense, multi-layered portrayal of a Melbourne skinhead in Geoffrey Wright's controversial Romper Stomper (1992), winning another AFI award, as well as an Australian Film Critics award.

It was Sharon Stone who helped bring Crowe to Hollywood to play a gunfighter-turned-preacher opposite her in Sam Raimi's The Quick and the Dead (1995). Though the film was not a huge box-office success, it did open Hollywood doors for Crowe, who subsequently split his time between the U.S. and Australia. In 1997, the actor had his largest success to date playing volatile cop Bud White in Curtis Hanson's L.A. Confidential (1997). Following the praise surrounding both the film and his performance in it, Crowe found himself working steadily in Hollywood, starring in two films released in 1999: Mystery, Alaska and The Insider. In the latter, he gave an Oscar-nominated lead performance as Jeffrey Wigand, a real-life tobacco industry employee whose personal life was dragged through the mud when he chose to blow the whistle on his former company's questionable business practices.

In 2000, however, Crowe finally crossed over into the public's consciousness with, literally, a tour de force performance in Ridley Scott's glossy Roman epic Gladiator. The Dreamworks/Universal co-production was a major gamble from the outset, devoting more than 100 million dollars to an unfinished script (involving the efforts of at least half a dozen writers), an untested star (stepping into a role originally intended for Mel Gibson), and an all-but-dead genre (the sword-and-sandals adventure). Thanks to an aggressive marketing campaign and mostly positive notices, however, the public turned out in droves the first weekend of the film's release, and kept coming back long into the summer for Gladiator's potent blend of action, grandeur, and melodrama -- all anchored by Crowe's passionate man-of-few-words performance.

Anticipation was high, then, for the actor's second 2000 showing, the hostage drama Proof of Life. Despite -- or perhaps because of -- the widely publicized affair between Crowe and his co-star Meg Ryan, the film failed to generate much heat during the holiday box-office season, and attention turned once again to the actor's star-making role some six months prior. In an Oscar year devoid of conventionally spectacular epics, Gladiator netted 12 nominations in February 2001, including one for its lead performer. While many wags viewed the film's eventual Best Picture victory as a fluke, the same could not be said for Crowe's Best Actor victory: nudging past such stiff competition as Tom Hanks and Ed Harris, Crowe finally nabbed a statue, affirming for Hollywood the talent that critics had first noticed almost ten years earlier.

Crowe's 2001 role as real-life Nobel Prize-winning schizophrenic mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. brought the actor back into the Oscar arena. Directed by Ron Howard and co-starring Jennifer Connelly, A Beautiful Mind was criticized for omitting the more sordid and unsightly details of Nash's troubled marriage and decent into mental illness. Still, Crowe's sensitive portrayal, coupled with Howard's assured direction, put the actor back on the mountain of fame that he had previously conquered with Gladiator. A Beautiful Mind quickly vaulted past the 100-million-dollar mark as it took home Golden Globes for Best Picture, Supporting Actress, Screenplay, and Actor and racked up eight Oscar nominations, including a Best Actor nod for Crowe.

Crowe followed up A Beautiful Mind in 2003 by taking to the high-seas in the period-adventure Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. A hit at the box-office, the film also recieved rave reviews and a number of Oscar nods, including one for Best Picture. His career momentum higher than ever, Crowe next starred in 2005's Depression-era boxing drama Cinderella Man. Reteaming him with A Beautiful Mind's director Ron Howard, the picture garnered Crowe more accolades from critics, and had people talking about another Oscar for the actor. While the Oscar nominations didn't end up including his name, he soon followed up his performance with another dramatic role in Ridley Scott's A Good Year.

Crowe appeared in Robin Hood too, a 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.

Crowe is now preparing for 2 future projects for 2011 : The Next Three Days and In Search Of Immortality / Amrit Kumbh - an indian film.

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 Wharf in Woolloomooloo and a 320-hectare rural property in Nana Glen near Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.

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

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.

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 performed in the touring production of The Rocky Horror Show.

In Summer 2010, Crowe will work with Irish band size2shoes on their second album at his personal studio.

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