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RUSSELL CROWE (Maxim us) recently earned an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actor for his work in Michael Mann's true-life drama "The Insider." Crowe's compelling portrayal of tobacco company whistle blower Dr. Jeffrey Wigand has also brought him Best Actor Awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics, Broadcast Film Critics, National Society of Film Critics and the National Board of Review, as well as nominations for a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Award.

Crowe previously garnered widespread acclaim for his performance as vice cop Bud White in Curtis Hanson's crime drama "L.A. Confidential." He more recently starred in the hockey comedy "Mystery, Alaska," directed by Jay Roach.

Born in New Zealand, Crowe was raised in Australia where he has also been honored for his work on the screen. He was recognized for three consecutive years by the Australian Film Institute (AFI), beginning in 1991 when he was nominated for Best Actor for "The Crossing." The following year, he won the Best Supporting Actor Award for "Proof," and, in 1992, he received Best Actor Awards from the AFI, as well as the Australian Film Critics, for his performance in the controversial "Romper Stomper." In addition, the 1993 Seattle International Film Festival named Crowe Best Actor for his work in both "Romper Stomper" and "Hammers Over the Anvil."

Crowe made his American film debut in the 1995 Western "The Quick and the Dead," with Gene Hackman and Sharon Stone, and then starred as the cyber-villain Sid 6.7 in "Virtuosity" opposite Denzel Washington. His other film credits include ''Heaven's Burning,'' ''Breaking Up,'' "Rough Magic," "The Sum of Us," "For the Moment," "Love in Limbo," "The Silver Brumby" based on the classic Australian children's novel, "The Efficiency Expert" and "Prisoners of the Sun."

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