Russell Crowe

Crowe in 2010, photo by Joe Seer /

Birth Name: Russell Ira Crowe

Place of Birth: Wellington, New Zealand

Date of Birth: 7 April, 1964

Ethnicity: Welsh, English, Scottish, Irish, approx. 1/8th Māori, 1/16th Norwegian, 1/16th Swedish, 1/32 German, possibly distant Italian

Russell Crowe is an actor, film producer, and musician. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for Gladiator (2000).

He was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to New Zealand parents, Jocelyn Yvonne (Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe, who were film set caterers. He was raised in Sydney, Australia from the age of four. Russell’s maternal grandfather, Stan Wemyss, was a prominent cinematographer. Russell has two children with his former wife, actress, singer, and songwriter Danielle Spencer.

Russell’s father is of Welsh, Scottish, Norwegian, Swedish, and probably English and Irish, descent. Russell’s maternal grandfather was born to a father of Scottish, English, and German descent, and to an almost entirely Māori mother, Erana Putiputi Hayes Heihi, making Russell Crowe of approx. 1/8th Māori ancestry. Russell’s maternal grandmother had Scottish and English ancestry.

Russell has also stated that he is of part Italian descent. It is not clear if this ancestry has been documented. No (relatively recent) Italian ancestry appears in any publicly available family trees of Russell Crowe.

His uncle (father’s brother) was cricketer Dave Crowe. He is a cousin of cricketers Martin Crowe and Jeff Crowe, who are Dave’s sons.

Russell’s paternal grandfather was John Doubleday Crowe (the son of William Frederick Crowe and Keziah Marie Davies). John was Welsh, born in Wrexham, Denbighshire, Wales, and later moved to New Zealand. John likely had some English and Irish ancestry, along with Welsh. Russell’s great-grandfather William was the son of Henry Richard Crowe and Sarah Ellen Luggar. Russell’s great-grandmother Keziah was the daughter of Francis Davies and Elizabeth Hannah Doubleday.

Russell’s paternal grandmother was Lois Catherine Jean Cunningham (the daughter of James Cunningham and Maria Kristie “Gangy” Johaneson). Lois was born in Petone, Lower Hutt, Lower Hutt City, Wellington, New Zealand. James was the son of Alex Cunningham and Johanna Fraser, and had Scottish, and probably Irish, ancestry. Maria’s father, Johannes Johansen, was Norwegian, and Maria’s mother, Martha Olofsdotter, was Swedish.

Russell’s maternal grandfather was Stanley James Taihoa Ira/Iria Wemyss (the son of Athol Stanley Wemyss and Erana Putiputi Hayes Heihi). Russell’s grandfather Stanley was born in Carterton, Wellington, New Zealand. Athol’s father, Stanley James Wemyss, was born in Ladhope, Roxburgh, Scotland. Athol’s mother, Hannah Elizabeth Crowe, was born in Croydon, Surrey, England, to an English father, Robert Crowe, and a German mother, Katerine/Katherine Harriette Fried, from Kirn, Prussia. Russell’s great-grandmother Erana was Māori, the daughter of Hone/John Hayes Heihi and Harata/Whainoa Poiwa Te Moko.

Russell’s maternal grandmother was Esmee Jocelyn/Joycelyn Burns (the daughter of John Burns and Rhoda Major). Esmee was born in Wellington, New Zealand. John was the son of a Scottish father, John Burns, and of an English mother, Clara/Clarice Jane Henley. Rhoda was born in Wellington, New Zealand.

Sources: Genealogies of Russell Crowe –

Notes on Russell’s Welsh ancestry –

Genealogy of Russell Crowe (focusing on his father’s side) –

Genealogy of Russell Crowe (focusing on his mother’s side) –

Genealogy of Russell’s maternal grandfather, Stanley James Taihoa Ira/Iria Wemyss –

Notes on Russell’s German maternal great-great-great-grandmother, Katerine Harriette Fried –

by Ethnic and Mooki


Curious about ethnicity

36 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    He is less than 1/8 Maori because Erana Putiputi Hayes Heihi descended to John Hayes, an Englishman.

  2. andrew says:

    his paternal uncle (father’s brother) was cricketer Dave Crowe. Dave’s sons, cricketers Martin Crowe and Jeff Crowe, are Russell’s cousins. Martin played for New Zealand National Cricket Team.

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