Russell Crowe is an actor, producer, and musician, who gained international fame for his role as Maximus Decimus Meridius in Gladiator
, the 2000 historical epic directed by Ridley Scott
. For this, Crowe won an Academy Award, a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, an Empire Award, and a London Film Critics Circle Award and many nominations for best actor.
Russell Crowe was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1946. His parents, Jocelyn Yvonne and John Alexander Crowe became film set caterers after moving to Australia when Crowe was four years old. Stanley Wemyss, his maternal grandfather, was a cinematographer. Crowe`s mother`s godfather was the producer of an Australian TV show named Spyforce, for which he was hired for a one-dialogue part opposite Jack Thompson
, who he later shared screen space with in the 1994 Australian comedy-drama The Sum of Us. Crowe studied at Sydney Boys High School while in Australia. His family moved back to New Zealand when he was 14, where he attended Auckland Grammar School with his brother Terry and cousins, Martin and Jeff Crowe. He continued his secondary education at Mount Roskill Grammar School, dropping out at 16 to pursue a career in the film industry. Russell Crowe lives in Sydney`s Rose Bay in Australia with his family. He also owns a home in Townsville, North Queensland. Despite not having an Australian citizenship, Crowe believes he is Australian due to the fact that he spent the most part of his life there. The actor is a baptized Christian.
In 1989, Crowe began an on-off relationship with Danielle Spencer
, an Australian singer. Their relationship began when they co-starred in the 1990 film The Crossing. In April 2001, Crowe and Spencer got married in 2003 at Crowe`s property in New South Wales. They have two sons, Charles Spencer Crowe and Tennyson Spencer Crowe. It was reported that in 2000, while still with Danielle Spencer, Crowe was romantically involved with Meg Ryan
, his co-star in the film Proof of Life. In October 2012, Crowe and Danielle Spencer separated.
At the age of 21, Crowe planned to join the National Institute of Dramatic Art for three years. However, on being discouraged by the head of the technical support department of the same, he decided against it. In 1986, he acquired his first professional acting job by accepting the role of Eddie or Dr. Scott in a production of The Rocky Horror Show directed by Daniel Abineri till 1988. He continued this performance in the Australian production of the same. After a six month period of busking due to the lack of work, he was cast as `Mickey` in the Australian production of Blood Brothers. Abineri later cast Crowe again, this time in the title role in the stage musical, "Bad Boy Johnny and the Prophets of Doom" which premiered in Melbourne in 1989.
At the age of 12, he also played a short role in a soap opera named The Young Doctors. Before being cast in his first film, Crowe appeared in two TV shows- Paul Moloney Mark Piper`s Neighbours in 1987 as Kenny Larkin, and Keith Samples` Republic of Doyle as Boyd Keiley.
Crowe was cast by Faith Martin
in the 1990 romantic drama The Crossing, directed by George Ogilvie. He met his future wife Daielle Spencer on the sets of this very film. However, Crowe`s debut release was the 1990 feature film Blood Oath in a minor role, which was directed by Steve Wallace, despite it being shot after The Crossing. After winning the Australian Film Institute (AFI) for Best Supporting Actor for 1991 comedy drama Proof, Russell Crowe starred in as Hando in Romper Stomper (1992), an Australian drama film written and directed by Geoffrey Wright, for which Crowe won an Australian Film Institute (AFI) award for Best Actor.
After receiving success in Australia and before focusing on American films, Crowe starred in the 1993 Canadian production, For the Moment. In 1995, he went on to co-star with Denzel Washington
in the science fiction action film Virtuosity
, and with Sharon Stone
and Leonardo DiCaprio
in The Quick and the Dead. By this time he was a multiple-time Oscar nominee for movies like L.A. Confidential (1997) and The Insider (1999), finally winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for the hugely successful Gladiator
in 2000. Russell Crowe played the lead role of Maximus in this Academy Award-winning Ridley Scott
historical drama film. He then went on to star in the boigraphical drama A Beautiful Mind
(2001), for which he won the best actor award at the 2002 BAFTA Awards, the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award.
He reunited with A Beautiful Mind director Ron Howard
for Cinderella Man in 2005, Gladiator director Ridley Scott for A Good Year in 2007, and Denzel Washington
for American Gangster
in 2007. He teamed with director Ridley Scott
yet again for the 2010 British-American epic historical war film Robin Hood
, based on the legend Robin Hood. In 2010, he also starred in The Next Three Days, an adaptation of the 2008 French film Pour Elle directed by Paul Haggis
In 2012, Crowe starred in the martial arts movie The Man with the Iron Fists
, opposite RZA
, who was also the writer and director of the film. This followed with the successful, multiple award-winning British-American musical drama, Les Miserables
. In 2013, he starred in the Christopher Nolan
-produced popular Superman film Man of Steel
, as Superman`s biological father Jor-El. He then went on to appear in the fantasy romance Winter`s Tale
(2014), the successful but controversial epic biblical drama film Noah
(Noah), and the historical fictional war drama, The Water Diviner
(2014). He also starred as Jake Davis in the Gabriele Muccino`s Fathers and Daughters. His 2016 release includes The Nice Guys
as Det. Jackson Healy, under the direction of Shane Black
. The Mummy
is the actor`s 2017 release in the role of Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Edward Hyde, directed by Alex Kurtzman
. This was followed by the drama film Boy Erased (2018) and the action thriller Unhinged (2020).
As a director
Crowe made his directorial debut in the 2014 film The Water Diviner
, in which he starred too.
As a producer
Crowe is the executive producer of the 2015 movie Fathers and Daughters.
Crowe began his career in the early 1980s as a musician under the guidance of his friend, Tom Sharplin. He released various singles in New Zealand, including "I Just Want To Be Like Marlon Brando", "Pier 13", and "Shattered Glass". However, none of these songs charted. After Crowe`s initial failure in music under his stage name "Russ le Roq", he and a friend formed a band named "Roman Antix", which later changed to `30 Odd Foot of Grunts` (TOFOG). Crowe was the lead vocalist and guitarist for the band. They released The Photograph Kills EP in 1995 and three full-length records, Gaslight (1998), Bastard Life or Clarity (2001) and Other Ways of Speaking (2003). 30 Odd Foot of Grunts dissolved in 2005 and then Crowe collaborated with Alan Doyle who belonged to Great Big Sea, a Canadian band, to form a new band The Ordinary Fear of God, which also involved some members of the previous TOFOG. They released a single named Raewyn and an album titled My Hand, My Heart in 2005. In March 2010, Russell Crowe & The Ordinary Fear of God`s released their collaboration album- The Absolute Best of John Williamson: 40 Years True Blue. On 2 August 2011, the third collaboration between Crowe and Doyle was released, called The Crowe/Doyle Songbook Vol III, featuring Crowe`s estranged wife, Danielle Spencer.