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Russell Ira Crowe Background, Career, Music Filmography and awards

Russell Ira Crowe

Russell Ira Crowe is an actor, film producer and musician. Although a New Zealand citizen, he has lived most of his life in Australia. 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 Romper Stomper (1992), L.A. Confidential (1997), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Cinderella Man (2005), American Gangster (2007), State of Play (2009), Robin Hood (2010), Les Misérables (2012), Man of Steel (2013) and Noah (2014). Crowe’s work has earned him several accolades during his career and 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. Crowe is also the co-owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, an Australian National Rugby League team.

Russell Ira Crowe Background

Crowe was born on 7 April 1964 in the Wellington suburb of Strathmore Park, the son of Jocelyn Yvonne (née Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe, both of whom were film set caterers; his father also managed a hotel. Crowe’s maternal grandfather, Stan Wemyss, was a cinematographer who was named an MBE for filming footage of World War II.Crowe’s paternal grandfather, John Doubleday Crowe, was from Wrexham, Wales, while one of Crowe’s maternal great-great-grandmothers was Māori. Crowe also has English, German, Irish, Italian, Norwegian, Scottish, Swedish and Welsh ancestry. He is a cousin of former New Zealand cricket captains Martin Crowe and Jeff Crowe and nephew of cricketer Dave Crowe. Russell has built a cricket field named for his uncle.

When Crowe was four years old, his family moved to Sydney, Australia, where his parents pursued a career in set catering. 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.

Crowe was educated at Vaucluse Public School but later moved to Sydney Boys High School. 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.

Russell Ira Crowe Career

New Zealand

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. He managed an Auckland music venue called “The Venue” in 1984. 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.

Australia

Crowe returned to Australia at age 21, intending to apply to the National Institute of Dramatic Art. “I was working in a theatre show, and talked to a guy who was then the head of technical support at NIDA”, Crowe has recalled. “I asked him what he thought about me spending three years at NIDA. He told me it’d be a waste of time. He said, ‘You already do the things, you go there to learn and you’ve been doing it for most of your life, so there’s nothing to teach you but bad habits.'”

From 1986 to 1988, he was given his first professional role by director Daniel Abineri, in a production of The Rocky Horror Show. He played the role of Eddie/Dr Scott. He repeated this performance in a further Australian production of the show, which also toured New Zealand. 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. 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.

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. 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.

Russell Ira Crowe

Russell Ira Crowe

In 1992, Crowe starred in the first episode of the second series of Police Rescue. 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. In 2015, it was reported that Crowe had 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.

North America

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.

Crowe received three consecutive best actor Oscar nominations, for The Insider, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind. 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.

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. 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). 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.

In recent years, Crowe’s box office standing has declined. The Hollywood stock market (HSX) share Russell Crowe (RCROW), issued in 1998, 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. Crowe starred in the 2010 Paul Haggis film The Next Three Days, an adaptation of the 2008 French film Pour Elle.

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. 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. In June 2013, Crowe signed to make his directional debut with an historical drama film The Water Diviner, which he also starred in. The film focused on the time of 1919 and was produced by Troy Lum, Andrew Mason and Keith Rodger.

Russell Ira Crowe Music

In the 1980s, Crowe going under the name of “Russ le Roq”, recorded a song titled “I Want To Be Like Marlon Brando”.

In the 1980s, Crowe and friend Billy Dean Cochran formed a band, “Roman Antix”, which later evolved into the Australian rock band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts (abbreviated to TOFOG). Crowe performed lead vocals and guitar for the band, which formed in 1992. The band released The Photograph Kills EP in 1995, as well as three full-length records, Gaslight (1998), Bastard Life or Clarity (2001) and Other Ways of Speaking (2003).

In 2000, TOFOG performed shows in London, Los Angeles and the now famous run of shows at Stubbs in Austin, Texas which became a live DVD that was released in 2001, called Texas. In 2001, the band came to the US for major press, radio and TV appearances for the Bastard Life or Clarity release and returned to Stubbs in Austin, Texas to kick off a sold out US tour with dates in Austin, Boulder, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York City and the last show at the famous Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

In early 2005, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts as a group had “dissolved/evolved” with Crowe feeling his future music would take a new direction. He began a collaboration with Alan Doyle of the Canadian band Great Big Sea, and with it a new band emerged: The Ordinary Fear of God which also involved some members of the previous TOFOG line-up. A new single, Raewyn, was released in April 2005 and an album entitled My Hand, My Heart which was released and is available for download on iTunes. The album includes a tribute song to actor Richard Harris, who became Crowe’s friend during the making of Gladiator.

Russell Crowe & The Ordinary Fear of God set out to break the new band in by performing a successful sold out series of dates of Australia in 2005, then in 2006, returned to the US to promote their new release My Hand, My Heart with another sold-out US Tour and major press, radio and television appearances. In March 2010, Russell Crowe & The Ordinary Fear of God’s version of the John Williamson song “Winter Green” was included on a new compilation album The Absolute Best of John Williamson: 40 Years True Blue, commemorating the singer-songwriter’s milestone of 40 years in the Australian music industry. As of May 2011, there are plans to release a new Russell Crowe & The Ordinary Fear of God recording (co-written with Alan Doyle) and for a US tour which would be the first live dates in the US since 2006.

On 2 August 2011, the third collaboration between Crowe and Doyle was released on iTunes as The Crowe/Doyle Songbook Vol III, featuring nine original songs followed by their acoustic demo counterparts (for a total of 18 tracks). Danielle Spencer does guest vocals on most tracks. The release coincided with a pair of live performances at the LSPU Hall in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The digital album was released as download versions only on Amazon.com, iTunes, spotify. The album has since charted at No. 72 on the Canadian Albums Chart.

On 26 September 2011, Crowe appeared on-stage at Rogers Arena in Vancouver in the middle of Keith Urban’s concert. He sang a cover of Folsom Prison Blues, before joining the rest of the band in a rendition of “The Joker”. On 18 August 2012, Crowe appeared along with Doyle at the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavík, Iceland as part of the city’s Menningarnótt program. They also appeared at downtown bars, Gaukurinn and Kex.

Russell Ira Crowe Filmography and awards

Crowe has appeared in 43 films and three television series since his career began in 1985. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for Gladiator (2000) and was nominated twice more for The Insider (1999) and A Beautiful Mind (2001), making him the ninth actor to receive three consecutive Academy Award nominations. He has also received five Golden Globe Award nominations (winning one), three BAFTA Award nominations (winning one) and three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations (winning one).


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