Russell Crowe facts: Actor's age, movies, wife, children and career explained

15 April 2024, 15:26

Russell Crowe in 2018
Russell Crowe in 2018. Picture: Getty

By Tom Owen

Russell Crowe is an actor of remarkable talent and international acclaim.

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His journey began in Australian cinema, where he honed his craft. Russell Crowe’s breakout role came in the gritty drama Romper Stomper (1992).

His talent soon propelled him to global recognition, with standout performances in LA Confidential, The Insider, and the epic Gladiator, for which he clinched an Academy Award.

His versatility extended to portraying mathematician John Nash in A Beautiful Mind and leading roles in films like Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and Cinderella Man.

Beyond acting, Crowe co-owns the National Rugby League team South Sydney Rabbitohs, and also performs as a singer.

  1. How old is Russell Crowe and where was he born?

    Russell Crowe in 1992
    Russell Crowe in 1992. Picture: Getty

    Russell Ira Crowe, born on April 7, 1964, hails from Strathmore Park, New Zealand. He celebrated his 60th birthday in 2024.

    His early years were split between New Zealand and Australia, where he spent a significant part of his childhood.

    By the time he turned 21, Crowe had made Australia his permanent home.

    His parents played significant roles in the film industry. John Alexander Crowe, his father, was a hotel manager and movie set caterer. His mother Jocelyn Yvonne Wemyss was also involved in the catering business.

    Russell Crowe has an older brother, Terry Crowe.

  2. How did he get his start in acting?

    Russell Crowe in 1993
    Russell Crowe in 1993. Picture: Getty

    Russell Crowe embarked on his artistic journey during the early 1980s, guided by his close friend Tom Sharplin.

    Initially, he pursued music under the stage name Russ Le Roq. Although his New Zealand singles, including 'I Just Wanna Be Like Marlon Brando' and 'Shattered Glass', failed to make a significant impact on the charts, Crowe’s passion for performance remained unwavering.

    In 1984, he managed The Venue, a music establishment in Auckland. At the age of 18, Crowe was featured in a promotional video titled A Very Special Person…, which showcased the theology and ministry course at Avondale University in New South Wales, Australia.

    His professional acting debut occurred between 1986 and 1988 when director Daniel Abineri cast him in a New Zealand production of The Rocky Horror Show, where he portrayed the character Eddie/Dr. Scott. Crowe reprised this role in an Australian production of the same show, which also toured New Zealand. During a six-month period in 1987, he turned to busking due to a lack of other work opportunities.

    Russell Crowe Reunited With His Horse From 'Gladiator' George

    In 1988, Crowe played Mickey in the Australian production of Blood Brothers. The following year, he collaborated with Daniel Abineri once again, taking on the role of Johnny in the stage musical Bad Boy Johnny and the Prophets of Doom.

    Subsequently, Crowe transitioned to screen acting, appearing in TV series such as Neighbours and Living with the Law.

    His film debut came in 1990 with The Crossing, a poignant love triangle set in a small town and directed by George Ogilvie.

  3. What are his most famous movie roles?

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    Among his biggest films include:

    1. Maximus Decimus Meridius in Gladiator (2000): Crowe’s portrayal of the valiant Roman general seeking revenge is iconic. His performance earned him an Oscar for Best Actor.
    2. Jeffrey Wigand in The Insider (1999): As a whistleblower, Crowe’s intense and gripping performance garnered critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination.
    3. James J. Braddock in Cinderella Man (2005): Crowe underwent rigorous training to convincingly portray the determined professional boxer. His emotional depth in this biopic is commendable.
    4. Javert in Les Misérables (2012): Although met with mixed reviews for his singing, Crowe’s intense portrayal of the relentless inspector adds depth to this musical adaptation, opposite Hugh Jackman.
    5. Bud White in LA Confidential (1997): In this neo-noir crime film, Crowe’s performance as a tough cop stands out among an ensemble cast.
    6. Ben Wade in 3:10 to Yuma (2007): Crowe’s portrayal of a notorious outlaw opposite Christian Bale is both menacing and captivating.
    7. Jackson Healy in The Nice Guys (2016): A departure from his usual serious roles, Crowe shines as a bumbling private investigator in this buddy comedy opposite Ryan Gosling.
    8. Richie Roberts in American Gangster (2007): Crowe’s collaboration with Denzel Washington in this crime drama showcases his versatility as a detective.
    9. John Nash in A Beautiful Mind (2001): Although not mentioned earlier, Crowe’s portrayal of the brilliant mathematician earned him another Oscar nomination.
    10. Captain Jack Aubrey in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003): Crowe commands the screen as a British naval captain during the Napoleonic Wars.
  4. Does Russell Crowe sing?

    Russell Crowe Performs "Blackjack County Chains" | The Late Late Show | RTÉ One

    Yes, Russell Crowe has showcased his singing abilities in various projects. Notably, he played the role of Javert in the film adaptation of Les Misérables.

    Additionally, Crowe’s versatility extends beyond acting, as he has also dabbled in music and fronted a band called 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.

    He also tours his special live show the Indoor Garden Party with his band the Gentlemen Barbers.

  5. Is Russell Crowe married and does he have kids?

    Russell Crowe and ex-wife Danielle Spencer in 2010
    Russell Crowe and ex-wife Danielle Spencer in 2010. Picture: Getty

    In 1989, Russell Crowe crossed paths with Australian singer Danielle Spencer while working on the film The Crossing. Their relationship was marked by several on-again, off-again phases.

    In the year 2000, Crowe found himself romantically entangled with American actress Meg Ryan during the filming of Proof of Life.

    However, in 2001, he and Spencer reconciled, leading to their marriage two years later in April 2003. The wedding ceremony took place at Crowe’s cattle property in Nana Glen, New South Wales, coinciding with his 39th birthday.

    The couple welcomed two sons into their family: Charles Spencer Crowe (born on December 21, 2003) and Tennyson Spencer Crowe (born on July 7, 2006).

    Unfortunately, by October 2012, news surfaced that Crowe and Spencer had separated, ultimately culminating in their divorce in April 2018.