Russell Crowe has been regarded by many Australian film critics as one of the finest, and most marketable, young actors to emerge from Australia since Mel Gibson.
After beginning his career with small parts in Blood Oath (1990), The Crossing (1990) and Spotswood (1991), Russell received a great deal of critical approval, as well as becoming a household name in Australia, for his portrayal of Andy (an unusually sensitive variation of the Australian 'ocker' stereotype who befriends a blind photographer) in Proof (1991). Following this with an AFI Award-winning performance as the philosophical neo-Nazi gangleader in the controversial Romper Stomper (1992), Russell Crowe successfully established himself as a charismatic, versatile actor.
For a few years, Russell Crowe continued to display his versatility, acting in the children's film, The Silver Brumby (1993) and Love In Limbo (1993). His touching performance as a homosexual larrikin in The Sum of Us (1994) again aroused critical and public attention.
At this stage, Russell Crowe's reputation began to spread around the world, reaching Sharon Stone in Hollywood, who insisted that Russell be given a role in her 1995 western The Quick and the Dead. Russell again proved that he could handle almost any role, putting in a performance (and accent), which excelled that of many of his American co-stars. From this break, Russell instantly gained the attention of Hollywood executives, and he completed another three movies that same year, most notably (if box-office receipts are anything to go by) as SID 6.7, the virtual-reality super-killer of the future, in Virtuosity.
Since then, Russell Crowe has again received a great deal of favourable critical attention for his passionate portrayal of Bud White in last year's Neo-Noir hit L.A. Confidential. Russell starred alongside fellow Australian actor Guy Pierce in what many critics (including myself) consider to be his finest performance to date; one that has placed him in contention for an Academy Award Best Actor nomination.
Following his success with L.A. Confidential, Russell Crowe returned to Australia to star in Heaven's Burning, an epic tale of forbidden passion. He has also played starring roles in the, as yet unreleased, Breaking Up (1997) and Mystery Alaska (1998), a Disney film in which Russell is to play a hockey-mad hero.
At only 33 years of age, Russell Crowe is sure to continue his rapid rise to stardom. His virtuoso talent to play any part will surely set him apart from many of Hollywood's now-stereotyped stars. Good luck, Russell!