For all his antics and temper tantrums he’s sometimes prone to throw, Russell Crowe is undeniably one of the leading actors of his generation. Perhaps if not for his dedication to the craft of acting, he could be dismissed as another spoiled ego celebrity. But he’s backed up all that he’s said and done with results – consistent top quality performances in top quality movies, pocketing an Oscar and some nominations along the way. Whether or not you take Russell Crowe seriously, look at it this way: if legendary director Sir Ridley Scott keeps calling him up to be his leading man, then Mr. Crowe has to be doing something right.
Born in 1964 in New Zealand, Russell became introduced to the movie business early as both his parents were caterers on film sets. But Crowe was really a self-taught actor, dropping out of school to work and financially help his family. A couple of early TV appearances led to his feature film debut in 1990 with the Australian movie “The Crossing.” By the mid-1990s Russell was an Australian lead actor, paving the way for his American film debut in the Sam Raimi Western “The Quick and the Dead.” He delivered another noticeable performance in “L.A. Confidential” before snagging the first of three straight Best Actor nods with “The Insider” in 1999. The method actor approached the real life character of Jeffrey Wigand by gaining some weight and changing hair color – and proved he could hold his own in some great scenes with Pacino. The Oscar came the following year for the superstar-making Maximus in “Gladiator.” It was his first collaboration with Ridley Scott, it was the Best Picture of 2000, and the success of audiences buying into a sword and sandals epic was mostly due to the performance of Russell Crowe. “Gladiator” was also the door into doing whatever role he now wanted.
Another Best Actor nomination for “A Beautiful Mind” assured Russell’s place in the pantheon of forces to be reckoned with. Throughout the last few years, Russell’s off-screen antics challenged his reputation, but he settled down in marriage with his longtime girlfriend Danielle Spencer in 2003, and he is now the father of two children. He has a passion for music, as his bands 30 Odd Foot of Grunts and The Ordinary Fear of God have achieved somewhat of a cult status. And still his acting remains impeccable. We just hope he keeps his head out of the clouds – and away from phones.
Russell Crowe Photos
Russell on the Web
All sorts of fun things to delve into concerning Russell.
Russell photos, bio, and news.
Enormous bio, complete with fascinating bits of trivia (like Al-Qaeda plotting a kidnap).
Wonderful fan site featuring Russell on magazine covers and full interviews.
My Hand, My Heart Official Site
The Ordinary Fear of God’s official website for their album.
Dark Horizons Interview
Russell on the making of “3:10 to Yuma.”
Russell discusses his personal favorite character, the “Cinderella Man” Jim Braddock.
Entertainment Weekly Interview
Russell and his personal favorite director Ridley Scott chat about their collaborations.
Russell on the Screen
You know you’re someone when the titles of the movies you are in refer to your own character. Consider: “The Insider,” “Gladiator,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Master and Commander,” and “Cinderella Man.” He started in American cinema with the ensembles “The Quick and the Dead” and “L.A. Confidential,” and his teaming with Meg Ryan in “Proof of Life” is often overlooked. Check out the fun “Mystery, Alaska” as well as his first head to head with Denzel Washington in “Virtuosity.” He also enjoys working with a lot of the same directors, as his work for Ron Howard (“A Beautiful Mind,” “Cinderella Man”) and Ridley Scott (“Gladiator,” “A Good Year,” “American Gangster”) show.
Russell Crowe can currently be seen in Paul Haggis' new film, "The Next Three Days." He's not attached to anything else at the moment, but he's attached to a number of projects in development including a reunion with Haggis for "The Equalizer," RZA's directorial debut, "The Man with the Iron Fist," the Australia-based drama "Dirt Music," the sci-fi western "Westworld," and a remake of "A Star Is Born."
“I’d move to Los Angeles if Australia and New Zealand were swallowed up by a huge tidal wave, if there was a bubonic plague in Europe, and if the continent of Africa disappeared from some Martian attack.”
On his acting range:
“I’d like to play passionate women, but no one will let me.”
On celebrity goodwill:
“I’m sick to death of famous people standing up and using their celebrity to promote a cause.”