Gravelly, smoke-burnished voice.
Frequently plays exceptionally talented or smart individuals.
Often works with directors Ron Howard and Ridley Scott.
Often plays characters based on real individuals.
Frequently plays fathers or family who have usually suffered a loss.
Russell Ira Crowe (born 7 April 1964) is a New Zealand actor, film producer and musician based in Australia and the United States. 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. Crowe appeared as the tobacco firm whistle blower Jeffrey Wigand in the 1999 film The Insider, for which he received five awards as best actor and seven nominations in the same category. In 2001, Crowe’s portrayal of mathematician and Nobel Prize winner John F. Nash in the biopic A Beautiful Mind brought him numerous awards, including a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.
Crowe’s other films include L.A. Confidential (1997), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Cinderella Man (2005), 3:10 to Yuma (2007), American Gangster (2007), Body of Lies (2008) and Robin Hood (2010). Crowe’s work has earned him several accolades during his career including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three consecutive Academy Award nominations (1999–2001), one Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, one BAFTA, and an Academy Award. Due to his success and character variety, some critics have called him a “virtuoso” actor. He is also co-owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, an Australian National Rugby League team. Crowe portrayed Javert in Les Misérables, an adaptation of the popular musical. He appeared in Man of Steel, where he played Jor-El, the father of Superman. In 2014, he co-starred in Winter’s Tale, based on the 1983 novel of the same name, and starred in Noah, in which he played the titular biblical patriarch.
Cousin of former New Zealand international cricketers Jeff Crowe and Martin Crowe.
Lost his front tooth playing rugby when he was ten. Never got it fixed until, at the insistence of the director for The Crossing (1990), who paid for it out of his own pocket.
First lead role when he was 25.
Tried a music career as a rockabilly singer sporting a large pompadour hairdo, playing under the name “Russ Le Roq”. Titled his first single, “I Want to Be Like Marlon Brando”. Later admitted that he had never even seen a Brando movie when he wrote and recorded the song. Ironically, he went on later to play “Jor-El” in Man of Steel (2013), the same character that Brando iconically performed in Superman (1978).
After filming Gladiator (2000), he and some friends took a 4,000 mile motorcycle trip around Australia.
Owns a 560-acre farm in 7.5 hours North-West from Sydney.
Dropped out of high school.
Russell’s rock group is named 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. They played their first US concert following Russell’s success in Gladiator (2000) in Austin, Texas in August 2000. The tickets for the concert were selling for over $500 on e-bay.com.
Suffered a shoulder injury, which will require surgery, while filming Jodie Foster’s Flora Plum. It is uncertain if the film will have to be recast. [September 2000]
Has starred in three films based on articles from Vanity Fair magazine. The Insider (1999) was based on a story by Marie Brenner named “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. Proof of Life (2000) was based on the article “Adventures in the Ransom Trade” by William Prochnau. A Beautiful Mind (2001) was originally published in Vanity Fair as an excerpt of Sylvia Nasar ‘s book about John Forbes Nash.
Turned down the role of Logan/Wolverine in X-Men (2000).
He and his band, 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts, performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992). [August 2001]
Proudly displayed his grandfather’s British Honours medal (MBE) while making his Oscar Winner speech in 2001.
Has indicated an interest in taking out Australian citizenship due to the amount of time and energy he spends Down Under (keeping his New Zealand citizenship as well).
His ancestry includes Welsh, English, Irish, Scottish, Maori, German, Norwegian, and Swedish. Russell’s paternal grandfather was from Wrexham, Wales. Russell’s maternal great-grandmother was Maori, and as a result, he is registered on the Maori electoral roll in New Zealand.
When Crowe’s acceptance speech for his Best Actor award during the British Film Awards was edited, Crowe shoved the producer of the show, Malcolm Gerrie, against a wall and cursed at him, telling him: “Who on Earth had the … audacity to take out the best actor’s poem? I’ll make sure you never work in Hollywood”. He later issued a full apology.
Ranked #28 in Premiere’s 2002 annual Power 100 List.
Following his involvement in a brawl in a London restaurant, Russell stated that he was under a lot of stress and announced that he was going back to Australia to relax and spend more time with his father and his long-time girlfriend singer, Danielle Spencer. [November 2002]
Discovered by British actor and musical director/writer Daniel Abineri, who gave Crowe his first professional acting role in a New Zealand tour of ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show.’ Abineri later awarded Crowe the title role in his first stage musical, ‘Bad Boy Johnny and the Prophets of Doom,’ which premiered in Melbourne in 1989.
Ranked #30 in Premiere’s 2003 annual Power 100 List.
Met spouse, Danielle Spencer in 1989 when they co-starred in the 1990 film, The Crossing (1990). Their co-star of the film, Robert Mammone, was one of Crowe’s groomsmen at their wedding.
Son-in-law of actor Don Spencer.
Took violin lessons in preparing for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) because his character, Jack Aubrey, played the violin several times during the movie.
He wrote a song about Jodie Foster called “Other Ways of Speaking” with his band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.
Jodie Foster considers him a very good friend.
Plans to donate his brain to medical science when he dies.
29 January 2004 – Dislocated his shoulder while training for his upcoming boxing movie, Cinderella Man (2005). The injury delayed filming for two months.
On 7 June 2006, he formed a partnership with Australian businessman Peter Holmes a Court to buy a controlling stake in his favorite sports team, the Australian NRL team South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Was accepted into the prestigious drama school, The National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), in Sydney.
Ranked #97 on VH1’s 100 Hottest Hotties
Good friends with Nicole Kidman. She also mentioned him in her oscar acceptance speech when she won ‘Best Actress in a Leading Role’ for The Hours (2002).
Premiere Magazine ranked him as #49 on a list of the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature (2005).
Once he was cast as Bud White in L.A. Confidential (1997), he read in the book that his character was the largest cop on the police force, off-putting for him due to his medium-sized frame (just under 6 feet). To capture a “big guy” presence, Crowe lived in a tiny flat in which he could barely fit through any of the doors. This experience, he said, made him come to the set feeling like a giant.
His former band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, used to cover a song by Newfoundland band, “Great Big Sea”. While filming Cinderella Man (2005) in Toronto, Russell Crowe met Alan Doyle, lead singer of “Great Big Sea”. The two ended up composing several songs together, working in Toronto and Australia, and Doyle produced Crowe’s 2005 album My Hand, My Heart.
When his wife was pregnant with his first child Charles, he gave up drinking alcohol with her.
Is friends with Richard Tognetti, who gave him violin lessons for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003).
His next album (tentatively titled “My Hand, My Heart”) is produced by Alan Doyle, lead singer for the Canadian band, Great Big Sea.
He attended Vaucluse Public School in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney for part of his Infants and Primary Education in the 1970s.
Formed a new band, named “The Ordinary Fear of God”
His performance as Jeffrey Wigand in The Insider (1999) is ranked #23 on Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
A Beautiful Mind (2001) is ranked #93 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time (2006).
Was among the guests at Nicole Kidman’s and Keith Urban’s wedding
Despite liking the script very much, turned down About a Boy (2002).
Turned down the role of “Aragorn” in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy since filming on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) would coincide with Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind (2001). However, Crowe really loved the idea of filming a movie in his home country, New Zealand, for an extended amount of time.
Turned down the role of Sgt. Norm ‘Hoot’ Hooten in Black Hawk Down (2001) due to scheduling conflicts.
Lives in a penthouse on Woollomoollo Wharf in Sydney, the Penthouse was reportedly sold to Crowe and wife Danielle Spencer for over $13.75 million.
Is a close friend of Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Lobbied Californian Govener Arnold Schwarzenegger against executing Stanley “Tookie” Williams. (December 2005).
The role of James J. Braddock (Cinderella Man (2005)) is his personal favorite.
Nearly finalized a deal to reunite with director Michael Mann on Collateral (2004), but scheduling conflicts with “Eucalyptus”, a doomed film project, prevented him from taking the role, which later went to Tom Cruise.
Two opportunities of working with fellow Australian and good friend, Nicole Kidman, have fallen through. In 2005, they were set to star in Jocelyn Moorhouse’s “Eucalyptus,” which fell through due to disputes over the screenplay. And in 2006, Crowe dropped out of Australia (2008), Baz Luhrmann’s long-gestating romantic Outback epic, due to a disagreement over a cut in Crowe’s salary.
Was director Oliver Stone’s dream choice for the title role in Alexander (2004).
Was considered for the role of Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and its ensuing sequels.
His earnings in 2001 were estimated at $15.4 million by “Business Review Weekly”.
Starred in 5 movies in 7 years (1997-2003) which ended up being nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture. (L.A. Confidential (1997), The Insider (1999), Gladiator (2000), A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)). Gladiator (2000) and A Beautiful Mind (2001) won. A similar achievement was done by William Hurt in the 80s, he starred in 5 movies nominated for Best Picture in only 6 years between 1983 and 1988 but none of them won.
Was slated to star alongside Nicole Kidman in the movie adaptation of Murray Bail’s novel “Eucalyptus”, but this project was dropped.
Initially turned down L.A. Confidential (1997) because he doubted whether he could convincingly play such a tough character.
Big fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL.
Friends with University of Michigan head football coach Lloyd Carr.
Is a fan of English Football side Leeds United AFC.
According to Forbes, his movies averaged $5 of gross income for every dollar the actor got paid, making him the most overpaid celebrity in the business (December 2007).
Crowe’s maternal grandfather, Stan Wemyss, was a cinematographer who, according to Crowe, produced the first film by New Zealander Geoff Murphy and was also named an MBE for filming footage of World War II.
Gained 63 pounds for his role in Body of Lies (2008).
He was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal in the 2001 Queen’s New Years Honours List for his services to Australian society and Australian film production.
Was the original choice for the role of “Stonewall Jackson” in Ronald F. Maxwell’s Civil War epic, Gods and Generals (2003). Crowe was interested at first but later dropped out. The role went to Stephen Lang, instead.
Quit smoking for the sake of his newborn children, but subsequently relapsed.
Became a father for the 1st time at age 39 when his wife Danielle Spencer gave birth to their son Charles Spencer Crowe on December 21, 2003.
Became a father for the 2nd time at age 42 when his wife Danielle Spencer gave birth to their son Tennyson Spencer Crowe on July 7, 2006.
Nana Glen, New South Wales, Australia [January 2009]
He, Marisa Tomei, Marcia Gay Harden and Adrien Brody are the only actors to win an Oscar without being awarded for the same performance in none of its predecessor awards (Golden Globe, Critics Choice Awards, SAG and BAFTA). Marisa Tomei and Marcia Gay Harden were not even nominated for those awards for their performances in My Cousin Vinny (1992) and Pollock (2000), and Crowe’s only award for Gladiator (2000) before the Oscar was the Critics Choice award.
As of 2014, has appeared in six films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: L.A. Confidential (1997), The Insider (1999), Gladiator (2000), A Beautiful Mind (2001), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) and Les Misérables (2012). Of those, Gladiator (2000) and A Beautiful Mind (2001) are winners in the category.
Taken from IMDb and Wikipedia