An action hero who initially dreamed of rock and roll stardom, New Zealand native Crowe played in a band as an adolescent and toured in the musicals Grease, The Rocky Horror Show and Blood Brothers before switching to TV and film projects in Australia. After a succession of diverse, critically acclaimed turns (a Nazi skinhead in Romper Stomper, a gay man looking for a mate in The Sum of Us), Crowe was imported to Hollywood in the mid-'90s, where his turn as a brooding detective in the stylish noir L.A. Confidential made him a star. His compelling portrayal of a tobacco-industry whistle-blower in The Insider (1999) earned him his first Oscar nomination, followed by two Academy Award-winning performances in Gladiator (2000) and A Beautiful Mind (2001). Post-Oscars, Crowe continued to act in high-profile films (receiving Golden Globe nods for his work in Master and Commander and Cinderella Man) while also pursing his love of music with his band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. He also wed his long-term on-again, off-again love Danielle Spencer, with whom he has two sons. In 2010, Crowe reunited with Gladiator director Ridley Scott to star in the epic-adventure film Robin Hood.
- As a teenager attempting to break into the music business with his band Roman Antix, adopted the stage name Rus Le Roq.
- The movie business seems to run in the family: grandfather Stan Wymess was a well-regarded World War II cinematographer, and Russell's parents were set caterers.
- Performed with the Australian touring company of Grease and played Dr. Frank N. Furter in a production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.