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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Russell Ira Crowe (born 7 April 1964) is a New Zealand-born, naturalized Australian actor and musician. His acting career began in the early 1990s with roles in Australian TV series such as Police Rescue and films such as Romper Stomper. In the late 1990s, he began appearing in US films such as the 1997 movie L.A. Confidential. He has been nominated for three Oscars, and in 2001, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his starring role in the film Gladiator. Crowe is also co-owner of National Rugby League team the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

After initial success in Australia, Crowe began acting in American films. He first co-starred with Denzel Washington in Virtuosity, and with Sharon Stone in The Quick and the Dead in 1995. He went on to become a three-time Oscar nominee, winning the Academy Award as Best Actor in 2001 for Gladiator. Crowe wore his grandfather Stan Wemyss's Member of the Order of the British Empire medal to the ceremony.

Crowe received three consecutive best actor Oscar nominations for The Insider, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind. Crowe won the best actor award for A Beautiful Mind at the 2002 BAFTA award ceremony. However he failed to win the Oscar that year, losing to Denzel Washington. It has been suggested that his attack on television producer Malcolm Gerrie for cutting short his acceptance speech may have turned voters against him.

All three films were also nominated for best picture, and both Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind won the award. Within the six year stretch from 1997–2003, he also starred in two other best picture nominees, L.A. Confidential and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, though he was nominated for neither. In 2005 he re-teamed with A Beautiful Mind director Ron Howard for Cinderella Man. In 2006 he re-teamed with Gladiator director Ridley Scott for A Good Year, the first of two consecutive collaborations (the second being American Gangster co-starring again with Denzel Washington, released in late 2007). While the light romantic comedy of A Good Year was not greatly received, Crowe seemed pleased with the film, telling STV in an interview that he thought it would be enjoyed by fans of his other films.

On 9 March 2005, Crowe revealed to GQ magazine that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents had approached him prior to the 73rd Academy Awards on 25 March 2001 and told him that the Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda wanted to kidnap him. Crowe told the magazine that it was the first time he had ever heard of al-Qaeda (the September 11 attacks took place later that year) and was quoted as saying:

"You get this late-night call from the FBI when you arrive in Los Angeles, and they're, like, absolutely full-on. 'We’ve got to talk to you now before you do anything. We have to have a discussion with you, Mr Crowe.'" Crowe recalled that "it was something to do with some recording picked up by a French policewoman, I think, in either Libya or Algiers...it was about taking iconographic Americans out of the picture as a sort of cultural-destabilisation plan".

Crowe was guarded by Secret Service agents for the next few months, both while shooting films and at award ceremonies (Scotland Yard also guarded Crowe while he was promoting Proof of Life in London in February 2001). Crowe said that he "...never fully understood what the fuck was going on."

Crowe will appear in Robin Hood, an upcoming film based on the Robin Hood legend, directed by Ridley Scott, due for release on May 14, 2010.

Crowe is slated to appear in the Paul Haggis film The Next Three Days, an adaptation of the 2008 French film Pour Elle.
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