Russell Crowe’s father John dies aged 85

Russell shared the sad news (Picture: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Russell Crowe has paid tribute to his father’s ‘sparkly eyes and cheeky attitude’, after he died aged 86.

The Gladiator star confirmed that his dad John Alexander Crowe died on March 30 at his home in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.

Russell tweeted: ‘I arrived back in the bush last night. Today, although the sun is shining and the torrential rain has abated, this date will forever be tinged with sadness.

‘My dear old man, my beautiful dad, the most gentle of men, has passed away.

‘I’m posting this because I know there are people all over the world who’s heart he touched and who’s ribs he tickled with his sparkly eyes and his cheeky attitude to everyone, and everything, and this is probably as efficient a method as any to pass on the news.’

The 56-year-old continued: ‘John Alexander Crowe, 13th March 1936- 30th March 2021.

‘Born in Christchurch, New Zealand. Passed away in Coffs Harbour, NSW,  his home for the last 25 years. Rest In Peace.’

Fans and friends shared their condolences in the replies, with journalist Brigid Delaney writing: ‘Sorry to hear this Russell. What a sad time – but a life well lived.’

Russell also changed his profile picture to a shot of his dad and his mother Jocelyn on the red carpet, and shared a picture of his father taken last year as his Twitter banner.

The Oscar winner had posted the picture of John smiling wearing a Princeton lacrosse cap in April 2020 as he isolated with his dad in Australia.

Russell wrote at the time: ‘Isolating with the old man. 84 now. Wearing a hat I got at Princeton while shooting A Beautiful Mind.’

John previously worked as a film set caterer and a manager of a hotel, and he and Jocelyn moved their family to Sydney from New Zealand to pursue their career in set catering when Russell was four years old.

A keen cricket lover, John was the the brother of New Zealand cricket champion David Crowe and uncle of the country’s former cricket captains Martin and Jeff Crowe.

Speaking about his dad to the Daily Mail in 2016, Russell said that John ‘hardly ever raised his voice’ and never put any pressure on him.

He said: ‘He was a resourceful man and I remember he once bought a stick for three dollars at a garage sale to make into a cricket bat for me,’ he said.

‘It was just this ugly old stick, but he got some linseed oil and he oiled it, and he went and bought a brightly coloured rubber grip for it, and by the time he gave it to me, it was magnificent. I used that cricket bat in all my junior years.’

John is survived by his wife Jocelyn, Russell and his two grandsons, Charles, 17, and Tennyson, 14. 

Russell, who lives in Rose Bay, has been busy filming his cameo in the upcoming Marvel movie Thor: Love and Thunder.

Last week, he spent time with his castmates Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Jeff Goldblum at the Stadium Australia, where they watched the Rabbitohs win against the Sydney Roosters. 

Russell will next be seen in the horror thriller The Georgetown Project. 

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