Russell Crowe’s father John Alexander dies aged 85: Hollywood star’s touching final moments with dad

Russell Crowe was by his father’s side for the final few months before his death. 

The Hollywood actor, 56, announced the death of his 85-year-old dad John Alexander Crowe on Tuesday, calling him the ‘most gentle of men’ in a series of heartfelt tweets.  

Prior to John’s death, the pair were isolating together at the family’s country estate in Nana Glen, New South Wales, with Russell revealing that he wanted to be close to his parents John and Joceyln amid the pandemic. 

Before the news: Russell was last seen at the match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters at Stadium Australia on Friday (pictured)

Before the news: Russell was last seen at the match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters at Stadium Australia on Friday (pictured)

Before the news: Russell was last seen at the match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters at Stadium Australia on Friday (pictured) 

Russell documented his time in the outback with a sweet Instagram post of his ‘old man’ in April last year. 

He shared a snap of his dad beaming in front of the idyllic estate while clad in a baseball cap gifted from Russell.   

He captioned the shot: ‘Isolating with the old man . 84 now. Wearing a hat I got at Princeton while shooting A Beautiful Mind.’ 

As Australia went into lockdown, Russell moved away from Sydney where his sons Tennyson, 14, and Charles, 17, live with his ex-wife Danielle Spencer. 

Moving: The pair isolated together in April, with the star proud to show off a photo of his dad wearing a cap he got on the set of Russell's 2002 film, A Beautiful Mind, for which he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. Russell captioned the photo: 'Isolating with the old man. 84 now. Wearing a hat I got at Princeton while shooting A Beautiful Mind''

Moving: The pair isolated together in April, with the star proud to show off a photo of his dad wearing a cap he got on the set of Russell's 2002 film, A Beautiful Mind, for which he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. Russell captioned the photo: 'Isolating with the old man. 84 now. Wearing a hat I got at Princeton while shooting A Beautiful Mind''

Moving: The pair isolated together in April, with the star proud to show off a photo of his dad wearing a cap he got on the set of Russell’s 2002 film, A Beautiful Mind, for which he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. Russell captioned the photo: ‘Isolating with the old man. 84 now. Wearing a hat I got at Princeton while shooting A Beautiful Mind”

Speaking on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the Gladiators star revealed he had invited his sons to spend lockdown with him and their grandparents, but they declined so as not to miss out on city life.   

‘I was talking to my boys, and they kept the schools open here for quite a while so there was confusion about where people are going to go and all that,’  he explained. 

‘At the end of the day, my kids decided to isolate in Sydney. I was a little affronted because it’s the bush, we’ve got the wide-open spaces, we’ve got all these amazing things up here, right? 

‘But they were like, “No no, dad we’ve made the decision that, in a pandemic, we’re going to isolate in the most populous part of the country surrounded by the areas that have the most infections.” And I’m like, “Guys, can I ask why?” And my youngest one, who is just too honest, said… “Uber Eats”.’

In an interview with Sunrise, he added: ‘When I asked the boys, they said they will choose Uber Eats over my paternal care. I wasn’t too impressed about that’.  

Russell’s father 

The star’s father was part of Russell’s inspiration for entering the film industry – the family moved from New Zealand to Sydney when Russell was four-years-old, with his father and mother Jocelyn pursing careers as movie set caterers. 

In addition to being part of a catering business with his wife, John also worked as a hotel manager. 

A ham and a performer since a young age, Russell says he used to ’embarrass’ his parents when he was a boy and landed his first-ever role aged six – a one line performance in the Australian TV series Spyforce.

A love of film ran in the family – Russell’s maternal grandfather, Stan Wemyss, was a cinematographer who famously shot footage of World War II. 

While a passion for cinema ran in the Crowe family’s DNA, they also enjoyed somewhat more lowbrow entertainment. 

The Sum Of Us star revealed in 2009 that the whole family was ‘obsessed’ with American soap opera Dallas.  

Family ties: The star's father was part of Russell's inspiration for entering the film industry - the family moved from New Zealand to Sydney when Russell was four-years-old, with his father and mother Jocelyn working pursuing careers as movie set caterers. John and Jocelyn are pictured at the 2005 premiere of Cinderella Man

Family ties: The star's father was part of Russell's inspiration for entering the film industry - the family moved from New Zealand to Sydney when Russell was four-years-old, with his father and mother Jocelyn working pursuing careers as movie set caterers. John and Jocelyn are pictured at the 2005 premiere of Cinderella Man

Family ties: The star’s father was part of Russell’s inspiration for entering the film industry – the family moved from New Zealand to Sydney when Russell was four-years-old, with his father and mother Jocelyn working pursuing careers as movie set caterers. John and Jocelyn are pictured at the 2005 premiere of Cinderella Man

‘We used to all gather together on a Tuesday night and it would be the one night of the week we allowed to eat on TV trays in the lounge,’ he said at the time.  

Russell has always spoken with great affection of his father – who was the brother of New Zealand cricket champion David Crowe and uncle of the country’s former cricket captains Martin and Jeff Crowe.

‘My father carried his leadership very lightly. He hardly ever raised his voice, and he never swore in front of me until I was 16. He’d make up words like ‘bother-and-dash’, the Hollywood superstar told Daily Mail in a 2016 tell-all interview.

‘But I never heard him really swear until he was teaching me to drive, when it was suddenly, ‘Russell, take your foot off the f***ing clutch!’ 

He said his father never put any pressure on him, and always found a way to pay for anything he needed as a child – whether it be money for a school trip or cricket boots.

Bright future: A ham and a performer since a young age, Russell says he used to 'embarrass' his parents when he was a boy and landed his first ever role aged six - a one line performance in the Australian TV series Spyforce. Russell is pictured aged 20 months

Bright future: A ham and a performer since a young age, Russell says he used to 'embarrass' his parents when he was a boy and landed his first ever role aged six - a one line performance in the Australian TV series Spyforce. Russell is pictured aged 20 months

Bright future: A ham and a performer since a young age, Russell says he used to ’embarrass’ his parents when he was a boy and landed his first ever role aged six – a one line performance in the Australian TV series Spyforce. Russell is pictured aged 20 months

‘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. 

 ‘We had very little. My father never let me know it directly, but when I stayed up late listening at the kitchen door, I’d hear conversations my parents would have about how were they going to get money for this or for that. It was kind of scary for a little kid,’ he said.  

Crowe Senior was born in 1936 in New Zealand and passed away in Coffs Harbour – his home for the last 25 years.

The father and son isolated together on his Australian property last April amid the pandemic.  

On Tuesday, Russell announced the sad news of his father’s death in a series of Twitter posts. 

Tragic: On Tuesday, Russell announced the sad news of his father's death on Twitter. He wrote: ' My dear old man, my beautiful dad, the most gentle of men, has passed away'

Tragic: On Tuesday, Russell announced the sad news of his father's death on Twitter. He wrote: ' My dear old man, my beautiful dad, the most gentle of men, has passed away'

Tragic: On Tuesday, Russell announced the sad news of his father’s death on Twitter. He wrote: ‘ My dear old man, my beautiful dad, the most gentle of men, has passed away’

He wrote: ‘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.  

‘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.’

Crowe Senior was born in 1936 in New Zealand and passed away in Coffs Harbour – his home for the last 25 years.  

He is survived by his wife Jocelyn Yvonne Crowe, and sons Russell and Terry. 

Final moments: Russell Crowe's father, John Alexander Crowe, died on Tuesday at the age of 85. The actor, 56, who announced the sad news on Twitter, had last documented his precious moments with his 'old man' in an Instagram post last year. Russell is pictured

Final moments: Russell Crowe's father, John Alexander Crowe, died on Tuesday at the age of 85. The actor, 56, who announced the sad news on Twitter, had last documented his precious moments with his 'old man' in an Instagram post last year. Russell is pictured

Final moments: Russell Crowe’s father, John Alexander Crowe, died on Tuesday at the age of 85. The actor, 56, who announced the sad news on Twitter, had last documented his precious moments with his ‘old man’ in an Instagram post last year. Russell is pictured 

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