Russell Crowe is a New Zealand-born Australian actor, producer and musician who rose to fame for his role as the Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 historical epic film Gladiator, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor, a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, an Empire Award for Best Actor and a London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor.
Born in New Zealand, Russell has made his home in Australia since he was a small child. The son of movie set caterers, he got the acting bug early in life.
Beginning as a child star on a local Australian TV show, Russell's first big break came with two films. The first, Romper Stomper (1992), gained him a name throughout the film community in Australia and the neighbouring countries.
The second, The Sum of Us (1994), helped put him on the American map. Sharon Stone heard of him from Romper Stomper and wanted him for her film, The Quick and the Dead (1995).
But filming on The Sum of Us had already begun. Sharon is reported to have held up shooting until she had her gunslinger - Crowe - for her film.
With The Quick and the Dead under his belt as his first American film, the second was offered to him soon after. Virtuosity (1995), starring Denzel Washington, put Russell in the body of a Virtual Serial Killer, Sid6.7, a role unlike any he had played so far.
L.A. Confidential (1997), Russell's third American film, brought him the US fame and attention. Missing the Oscar nod this time around, he didn't seem deterred and signed to do his first film with The Walt Disney Company, Mystery, Alaska (1999).
He achieved even more success and awards for his performances in Gladiator (2000) and A Beautiful Mind (2001). Crowe's other films include L.A. Confidential (1997), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) Cinderella Man (2005), American Gangster (2007), 3:10 to Yuma (2007) and Robin Hood (2010).
Crowe's work has earned him several accolades, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three Academy Award nominations in a row (1999–2001), one Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, one BAFTA and an Academy Award.