Russell Ira Crowe is a New Zealand-born Australian actor, film producer, and musician. Crowe came to international attention for his role as the Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 historical epic film Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor, a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, an Empire Award for Best Actor and a London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and ten further nominations for best actor.
Crowe appeared as the tobacco firm whistle blower Jeffrey Wigand in the 1999 film The Insider, for which he received five awards as best actor and seven nominations in the same category. In 2001, Crowe's portrayal of mathematician and Nobel Prize winner John F. Nash in the biopic A Beautiful Mind brought him numerous awards, including an BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor category Motion Picture Drama and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.
Crowe's other films include L.A. Confidential (1997), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) Cinderella Man (2005), American Gangster (2007), 3:10 to Yuma (2007) and Robin Hood (2010). Crowe's work has earned him several accolades, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three Academy Award nominations in a row (1999–2001), one Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, one BAFTA and an Academy Award. Due to his success and character variety, some critics[who?] have called him a "virtuoso" actor. He is also co-owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, an Australian National Rugby League team. Crowe's upcoming projects include Les Misérables, an adaption of the popular musical in which he will portray Javert, Man of Steel where he will play Jor-El, the father of Superman, and Noah where he will play the titular biblical patriarch.
On 9 March 2005, Crowe revealed to GQ magazine that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) 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 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 United States 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.