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Russell Crowe is a New Zealand-born Australian actor who began his career on Australian soaps, and he won the Australian Film Industry Best Actor Award for his role in Romper Stomper in 1992. In 1997 he gained the attention of Hollywood when he took a leading part in LA Confidential, and since then has starred in movies such as The Insider, Gladiator, Cinderella Man, and A Beautiful Mind.

He also has a less-publicised but doggedly determined career as a rock singer. An enthusiastic sports fan who follows team sports in Australia, the UK, the US and Canada, he is also the owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs team in the National Rugby League.

Russell Crowe is married to former actress and current singer-songwriter, Danielle Spencer, who he met in 1990 when they both had roles in the Australian film, The Crossing. In an interview, Danielle revealed that their relationship was slow to get going, and that they remained friends for several years before romance eventually bloomed. Neither was Danielle in any hurry to settle down, and they didn’t get married until April 2003.

Danielle wasn’t sure whether she wanted children or not, and says that she could have kept procrastinating about it, but Russell was already certain that he wanted children, and according to his wife, once he gets an idea in his head, he’s pretty tenacious. Danielle says:

“I fell pregnant on our honeymoon, and the decision was made for me”.

Russell and Danielle’s son Charles Spencer Crowe (called Charlie) was born in December 2003, showing that Russell didn’t have to wait too long at all after his wedding to have the family he wanted. And in July 2006, Charlie was joined by his younger brother, Tennyson Spencer Crowe, so Danielle must have been well and truly talked into the having kids lark by then.

Tennyson Crowe is named after English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Oddly enough, Lord Tennyson has a connection with Australia, because his son Hallam became the second Governor-General of Australia. He was popular with Australians, who were impressed with his modest manner and frugal ways (his predecessor had been considered a spendthrift), and there are several places in Australia named after him. His wife Audrey was also well-liked. The English surname Tennyson simply means “son of Tenney”; Tenney is a medieval form of the name Denis.

Alfred Tennyson’s older brother was called Charles Tennyson Turner; he was also a poet, and the two were very close. Charles married the sister of Alfred’s wife, so they were brothers-in-law as well as brothers, fellow-poets, and close friends. If you’re wondering why they have different surnames, Charles changed his surname to Turner when he inherited the property of his uncle, the Rev. Samuel Turner.

Even though Charles is such a well-known name, and Tennyson a rare one, somehow this sibset really works. The connections within the Tennyson family and the connection with Australia makes this very meaningful, with echoes of an earlier pair of brothers speaking to us.

(Story from babycenter.com, photo from exposay.com; picture shows the Crowe family April 12 2010, when Russell was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame)