Name: Russell Crowe
Date of Birth: 7 April 1964
Place Of Birth: Wellington, New Zealand
Occupations: Actor, musician
Residence: NSW Australia
Father: Alex Crowe, set caterer
Mother: Jocelyn Crowe (nÃ©e Wymess), set caterer
Brother: older, Terry
Although he was raised in Australia from the age of 4 onward, Crowe was actually born in New Zealand on April 7th, 1964. His parents, Alex and Jocelyn, worked as innkeepers and caterers for the most part. The family lived a very bohemian lifestyle, as they were constantly on the move. Russell did not enjoy a permanent home until the age of fourteen. His folks often worked on movie and television sets, catering food. Before long, a young Russell was doing walk-ons and bit parts in productions.
When he hit his teen years though, it was not acting which drove Crowe, but rather music. He fancied himself a rock musician, and after assuming the identity of Russ Le Roc, set about making name of himself. While not playing music, he worked part time as a waiter and bartender. Eventually, Crowe would give up on his Russ Le Roc persona. Instead, he formed a new rock group with some friends which they dubbed Roman Antix, which later evolved into 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. Russell still plays in the band when he has time off.
In 1990, Crowe finally decided to give acting another try and met with immediate success. He was a natural who drew comparisons to Brando and James Dean. Within two years of making his acting debut, he had already made eight films and earned two awards from Australia's Film Institute. The first was a Best Supporting Actor award for the film Proof, and the second was for Best Actor for the film Romper Stomper.
The later film, about a sadistic Nazi skinhead, caused a controversial sensation largely due to the stark and gritty realism of Crowe's portrayal. He atoned somewhat by following it up with a sensitive and understated role in The Sum of Us as the gay son of good-natured Australian man reaching middle-age.
Stateside, Russell made his debut in Sam Raimi's The Quick and the Dead. Sharon Stone had been so impressed with the man from down under's role in Romper Stomper that she had petitioned loudly for him to be cast. Stone got her way and Russell landed the role of a former gunslinger cum preacher. Ironically, he easily outshone the lead actress (not to mention Leonardo DiCaprio) and was regarded as the only positive aspect of the film.
Next up for Crowe was another sadistic turn, this time as a computer generated killer who contains within him the psychological profiles of 183 of history's worst serial killers, in the film Virtuosity . Co-starring Denzel Washington, the film was hardly the best that either man had to offer.
Crowe was finally given his opportunity to demonstrate to America the awesome talent that so far only Australians and select critics knew about, in the film L.A. Confidential. The gritty crime movie, set in the 1950s, captivated audiences in 1997 and was overshadowed only by one other film that year (something about a big boat). The ''anti-Titanic '', the film was embraced by indie fans and film connoisseurs. Mostly everyone found Russell Crowe's portrayal of the thug-like Detective Bud White impossible to ignore.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Proof of Life (2000)
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