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Russell Crowe

April 7, 1964
Russell Ira Crowe is born April 7 in Strathmore Park, New Zealand. Show business is the family business. His grandfather earned awards for his bravery as a cinematographer during World War II and his parents worked as caterers on movie sets.

After a short-lived role in the TV series "The Young Doctors," Russell and his family head home to New Zealand. Russell, 14, puts aside his acting career in favor of a new love -- music. He soon forms a band, singing under the stage name Russ le Roq.

Crowe lands his first leading role in a film called "The Crossing."

Crowe's performance as a white supremacist in the movie "Romper Stomper" earns him his second AFI award and propels him to star status in Australia and New Zealand. Two years later, he shows his characteristic versatility by playing a gay rugby playing plumber in "The Sum of Us."

Russell Crowe establishes himself in the United States with his portrayal of policeman Bud White in the critically acclaimed "L.A. Confidential."

Russell Crowe transforms himself once again, re-emerging as the buff, heroic Maximus, in the Roman-era epic "Gladiator." One year after losing out to Kevin Spacey, Crowe takes home the Best Actor award at the Oscars.

The Crowes move from New Zealand to Sydney, Australia. Two years later, 6-year-old Russell Crowe makes his first television appearance on the action series "SpyForce." He makes a name for himself at Sydney Boys School, playing rugby and cricket and mimicking celebrities, friends and anyone else.

His musical career fluttering and his education halted when he dropped out of high school. He lands roles in several theatrical productions, including "Grease" and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Crowe returns to Australia and resumes his acting career."

Crowe wins a best supporting actor award from the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards for playing a mild-mannered dishwasher in the film "Proof."

Crowe makes his American film debut playing opposite Sharon Stone in "The Quick and the Dead."

After a long hiatus, Crowe returns in "The Insider," the story of a distraught, principled former tobacco executive. The performance earns Crowe his first Academy Award nomination.

Crowe gets back to his musical roots, signing a record contract with his band "Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts." But his biggest hit comes in "A Beautiful Mind," in which Crowe plays Nobel Prize-winning mathematician battling schizophrenia, a performance that earns him a third straight Oscar nomination.

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