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Real Name: Russell Crowe
Birthday: April 7

Biography And Filmography: 

Actor Russell Crowe built a name for himself an A-list leading man, whose thrilling performances well surpassed his bad boy nature. With a powerful performance as a racist skinhead in “Romper Stomper” (1992), he established himself as a true Hollywood actor. Moving from Australia, he played a brutal police detective in “L.A. Confidential” (1997), showing American audiences that he had arrived. Two years later, he won his first Academy Award nomination with a performance as a tobacco executive agonizing over whether to tell the truth or protecting his family in “The Insider” (1999). But it was his role as a Roman General in “Gladiator” (2000) that won him the Oscar and confirmed his status as one of the gifted actors in Hollywood.

Born Apr. 7, 1964 in Wellington, New Zealand, he grew up around show business. His grandfather, Stan Wemyss, was a cinematographer whose footage of World War II earned him the title of "Member of the Order of the British Empire". His parents, Alex and Jocelyn, were both film set caterers who relocated the family to Australia because of better job prospects, giving him ready access when he started acting at age seven. His first role was in an episode of the Australian television series "Spyforce,” starring Jack Thompson. When he was just 14, the family relocated back to their native New Zealand where his father took over managing a bar and the ator started performing in rock bands under the name Rus Le Roq.

He returned to Australia when he was 19, and within a year had accepted a role singing and dancing on stage in an Australian production of "Grease.” While he spent two years touring as Dr Frank N Furter in "The Rocky Horror Show,” it was his role in "Blood Brothers" (1989) that gained the attention of movie directors, who cast him in a starring role in "The Crossing" (1990). It was on the movie set of this film that he met his longtime girlfriend and later wife, actress and singer, Danielle Spencer. 

He next surfaced with a captivating variety of projects, ranging from the historical drama "Hammers Over the Anvil" to the children's film "The Silver Stallion King of the Wild Brumbies" (1993). He gave another great performance as an innocent Welsh Baptist in "Love in Limbo" (1993) and then as a gay plumber living with his father (Jack Thompson) as both search for love in "The Sum of Us" (1994). Next he appeared in the Sharon Stone produced western, "The Quick and the Dead" starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and as the spiteful serial killer in Denzel Washington’s movie "Virtuosity" (1995).

The actor then took the lead role of Officer Bud White, an ill-tempered, cruel homicide detective in the thriller "L.A. Confidential" (1997), playing a detective investigating a string of police corruption and scandal in 1950s Los Angeles. He next played a hockey player who gets the chance to play against a professional team in  "Mystery, Alaska" before landing the lead role in "The Insider" (1999). He then won a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his role of a man who risks his life and reputation to fight public testimony given by cigarette manufacturers. 

Next, he took the title role in Ridley Scott's "Gladiator.” Playing Maximus, a Roman general and fighter that brought the actor a Best Actor Academy Award. He rounded out the year playing a professional negotiator in kidnapping cases who comes to the assistance of an American woman in a South American country in "Proof of Life" 

He next played John Nash, a mathematician who falls into schizophrenia only to overcome his illness and win a Nobel Prize in Ron Howard’s film "A Beautiful Mind" (2001) with Jennifer Connelly. Again, his performance won the actor his third consecutive Best Actor Academy Award nomination, as well as a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama. 

After a years vacation from the movie screen, he again worked with director Ron Howard for "Cinderella Man" (2005) starring Renee Zellweger, and received another Golden Globe nomination for his charismatic role as fighter and folk hero Jim Braddock who defeated heavyweight boxing champ Max Baer in a 15-round fight in 1935. His fans were shocked when the actor was arrested for assault in New York City the week of the film's debut after he threw a telephone at a hotel worker in a fit of rage when he could not reach his wife in Australia. 

The actor appeared on “The Late Show” with host David Letterman to publicly apologize for his temper, while pleading guilty in November 2005 to third-degree assault in a court of law. He paid $170 in court fees and put on probation for one year.

He then starred in a low budget movie “A Good Year” (2006), his second project with Ridley Scott where he played an investment banker in the world of London big finance who agrees to take over a vineyard after the death of his uncle (Albert Finney). He returned to high profile movies with the western “3:10 to Yuma” (2007) with Christian Bale, where he played a jailed desperado who convinces a rancher to help him escape in exchange for a share of hidden money. Also in 2007, he played a detective who works with a former drug kingpin (Denzel Washington) to expose corrupt cops and foreign nationals profiting from smuggling heroin in the true-to-life drama, “American Gangster.”

Clearly back on his feet, he was then hired and cast in the drama "Tenderness" (2008) about a policeman who works to figure out whether a violent teen  murdered his family. He followed with another drama starring with Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie "House Of Lies" (2008) about a former journalist injured in the Iraq war who is hired by the CIA to track down an Al Qaeda leader in Jordan, and based on the novel "Body of Lies" by David Ignatius.

Crowe then appeared with Rachel McAdams and Ben Affleck in the crime drama "State Of Play" (2009) based on the BBC mini-series of the same title, where a team of investigative reporters work alongside a police detective to try to solve the murder of a congressman's mistress. Russell wrapped his year as Sir Robert Tornham in the action movie "Nottingham" (2009) where a love triangle forms between the legendary do-gooder Robin Hood, his Maid Marion and the archer's arch nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham.

 

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