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Russell Crowe

Real name: Russell Ira Crowe
Birthdate: December 31, 1969
Status: Married
Partner: Danielle Spencer

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Crowe was born in Wellington, New Zealand to Jocelyn Yvonne (Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe, both of whom were movie set caterers; his father also managed a hotel. Crowe's maternal grandfather, Stan Wemyss, was a cinematographer who, according to Crowe, produced the first film by New Zealander Geoff Murphy, and was also named an MBE for filming footage of World War II. Crowe's maternal great-great-great grandmother was Māori, and as a result Crowe is registered on the Māori electoral roll in New Zealand; Crowe also has Norwegian, Scottish, Irish and Welsh ancestry. Two of Russell Crowe's cousins, Martin and Jeff Crowe are former New Zealand national cricket captains.Russell Crowe as the man inside the costume of "Shirty the Slightly Aggressive Bear" in The Late Show. His character was inspired by Hando, a role Crowe played in 1992 film Romper Stomper.

Crowe returned to Australia at age 21, intending to apply to the National Institute of Dramatic Art. "I was working in a theater show, and talked to a guy who was then the head of technical support at NIDA," Crowe recalled. "I asked him what he thought about me spending three years at NIDA. He told me it'd be a waste of time. He said, 'You already do the things you go there to learn, and you've been doing it for most of your life, so there's nothing to teach you but bad habits.'" In 1987 Crowe spent a six-month stint as a busker when he couldn't find other work.

Crowe, who was in Toronto filming Cinderella Man with director Ron Howard, learned of a firebombing at a Jewish elementary school that took place is Montreal. Police said a note with anti-Semitic comments was found on the outside wall of the gutted library. He was so distraught that he offered (reported $250,000 donation) to help rebuild its library to help the school get back on its feet. Montreal resident Shelley Paris says, "It was a huge morale boost for the school community. He said he was very upset about what had happened that a place of learning should be attacked that way. He wanted to make sure that our students knew that he was thinking about them and that he was very upset about the firebombing."

On another occasion, Russell Crowe donated a large sum of money ($200,000) to a struggling primary school near his home in rural Australia. Crowe's sympathies were sparked when a pupil drowned at the nearby Coffs Harbour beach in 2001, and he believes the pool will help students become better swimmers and improve their knowledge of water safety. Nana Glen principal Laurie Renshall says, "The many things he does up here, people just don't know about. We've been trying to get a pool for 10 years."

Russell Crowe is a big supporter of the Michigan Wolverines football team, he watched the Michigan-Notre Dame college football game from the Michigan bench on September 15, 2007. Before the game, he appeared in the Michigan locker room, and players said he gave a rousing performance, urging them to play with honor and heart. Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr is a good friend of Crowe's and had previously gone to Australia to spend time with Crowe's South Sydney Rabbitohs. After the 7-5 2005 season, coach Lloyd Carr used Crowe's film Cinderalla Man to encourage his team, which went on to win 11 games in a row in the 2006 season.


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