Russell Crowe, born in New Zealand in 1964, is a musician, actor, and philanthropist. He has gained considerable success in the film industry. Crowe spent much of his life living in Australia and the United States, but it was in New Zealand where he first became involved in the entertainment industry. As a teenager, Crowe began developing his musical talent, but he found little success. He had several of his songs played on New Zealand radio, but none made the charts. He turned to acting after moving to Australia, where he appeared in several stage productions, including the Rocky Horror Picture Show. He landed a role in the television comedy Neighbors, and made his film debut in 1990.
Crowe became a popular movie star for his performance in the epic film Gladiator. In the film he portrays a Roman general who is slated to become a high-ranking official, but the leader dies, and is replaced by his evil, neurotic son. The new leader fears Crowe's character, and strips him of his rank. He was put into a state of slavery, but becomes a champion gladiator, and leads a revolt against the leader's regime. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Crowe won the award for Best Actor.
He followed his success in Gladiator with a string of highly entertaining movies, culminating with the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind. The film follows the life of Nobel Prize winner, John Nash. Crowe expertly plays Nash, who is brilliant, but suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. Crowe's performance earned him several awards for Best Actor and the Best Movie Oscar. Crowe was also critically acclaimed for his portrayal of the fictional character Captain Jack Aubrey.
Crowe has been generous with his fortune. He has donated money to several causes in his home country of New Zealand, Australia, and in the United States.