Russell Crowe reveals family ties to Italy, Australia and a historic Scottish lord

The actor seems determined to uncover as much of his family ancestry as possible.

The actor seems determined to uncover as much of his family ancestry as possible. Photo: Getty

Russell Crowe has opened up about his efforts to discover more about his Italian roots, which have unveiled connections to other countries – including Australia.

The New Zealand-born actor took to X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday to tell followers about the “fascinating” findings.

“I’ve been on the hunt to track down my Italian forebears for quite some time,” he wrote.

“Folkloric family tales and misspelling had seen me travel on a number of wrong tracks.”

Crowe’s third-great-grandfather on his mother’s side, Luigi Ghezzi, was born in 1829 in the Italian region of Marche and went on to travel the world before landing in New Zealand in 1864.

russell crowe

Russell Crowe with his family at the Colosseum in Rome. Photo: Twitter/Russell Crowe

“Luigi had been working in Argentina, took a boat to India, was shipwrecked, and ended up in Capetown [sic]. While there he met and married Mary Ann Curtain and they migrated to NZ,” Crowe revealed.

“It’s so cool to finally find out the Italian connection, and that as much of Italy as I’ve seen, it’s to places I’ve never been.

“Looks like there’s an adventure ahead.”

The actor has worked on multiple films in Italy, and has previously explored the country’s historic sites with his family – and landed himself in hot water after posting photos of the interior of the Sistine Chapel.

Ties to Scottish legend

Meanwhile, the family of Crowe’s father, who passed away in 2021, has ties to a Scottish lord of old.

Namely, Crowe’s ancestor John (Jock) Fraser, who arrived in New Zealand in 1841, was directly connected to Simon Fraser, Scotland’s 11th Lord Lovat and chief of Clan Fraser until his execution in 1747.

Fans of the book and TV series Outlander may already be familiar with Lovat’s name, as he is portrayed as the grandfather of the fictional main character.

Crowe informed followers that Lovat’s behaviour at his execution is thought to be the origin of the phrase ‘laughing his head off’.

One of the stands that had been set up for gentry to watch Lovat die collapsed, killing several onlookers before his execution; Lovat was said to still be laughing at the news when the executioner’s blade struck his neck.

Crowe seemed proud of this interesting tidbit, and encouraged followers to look Fraser up.

“He’s quite the character. The Old Fox they used to call him,” he wrote.

Australia’s claim on Crowe strengthened

The actor said in addition to Scottish and Italian ancestry, his family has Norwegian, Maori and Irish connections, although the source of their Irish ancestry is still unknown.

His mother’s family also seems to have a type, with multiple women marrying Crowes throughout the generations.

This means the actor could have a stronger connection than previously thought to Australia, which has already semi-adopted him as one of its own.

“I’ve had people come up to me to tell me we are related and I’ve been a little dismissive thinking I knew every Crowe family member, but I’m also related to another line of Crowes who appear to have been in Australia very early on,” he posted.

Crowe will next be seen in action film Land of Bad, set for an American release in February, alongside Aussie actors Liam Hemsworth, Luke Hemsworth, Daniel MacPherson and Robert Rabiah.

Topics: Celebrity
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