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By Steve McGarry
Oct 28, 2012
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Steve McGarry

Russell Crowe

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 7, 1964, Russell Crowe spent much of his childhood in Australia, where his parents worked as film set caterers.  He made his acting debut at the age of 6 in the Australian, TV series "Spyforce," and he appeared on "the Young Doctors" when he was 12.  Two years later, the family returned to New Zealand.  Adopting the name Russ Le Roq, at 17 he formed the band Roman Antix, releasing a number of singles, including "I Just Wanna Be Like Marlon Brando."  He made his professional stage debut in "The Rocky Horror Show," going on to appear in more than 400 performances in New Zealand and Australia.  More stage work led to a role on the Australian TV soap "Neighbors," and his first movie role in "the Crossing."  His big break came with the starring role in the 1992 movie "Romper Stomper."  

Doors quickly opened in Hollywood.  Sharon Stone delayed production of the 1995 Western "the Quick and the Dead" to accommodate his filming schedule.  "Virtuosity" cast him opposite Denzel Washington, and 1997's "L.A. Confidential" made him a star.  The 1999 Movie "the Insider" earned him the first of three consecutive Best Actor Academy Award nominations, with the box-office sensation "Gladiator" securing his Oscar, and "A Beautiful Mind" underscoring the breadth of his acting range.

Offscreen, his fierey temper and tendency to speak his mind got him into a number of scrapes, but marriage and fatherhood seem to have mellowed him.  He has continued to make music throughout his acting career, recording and touring with his bands 30 Odd Foot of Grunts and The Ordinary Fear of God.  He is also co-owner of an Australian rugby league team.

With the likes of "Cinderella Man," "3:10 to Yuma" and "Robin Hood," he continued to show versatility.  His latest projects include the marital arts movie "The Man With the Iron Fists" and the movie adaptation of "Les Miserables," and his upcoming roles include Superman's father and biblical figure Noah.
Nov 11, 2012
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