Russell Crowe has been “on the hunt” to track down his Italian ancestors.
The Oscar-winning actor has taken to social media to reveal that he’s been trying to chart his family’s heritage.
Russell, 59 – who was born in New Zealand, but has spent much of his life in Australia – wrote on X: “I’ve been on the hunt to track down my Italian forebears for quite some time. Folkloric family tales and misspelling had seen me travel on a number of wrong tracks.
“Turns out my great great great grandfather, on my mother’s side, who travelled to NZ in 1864 was …
“Luigi Ghezzi. Born in 1829 in Ascoli Piceno, Marche, the son of Augestine and Annunziata born in Parma.
“Luigi had been working in Argentina, took a boat to India , was shipwrecked, and ended up in Capetown. While there he met and married Mary Ann Curtain and they migrated to NZ.
“Also something else that has recently come to light on my fathers mothers side, via John ( Jock ) Fraser (arrived in NZ in 1841) we directly connect back to Simon Fraser. 11th Lord Lovat.
“Look him up. He’s quite the character. The Old Fox they used to call him
“Seems his Machiavellian ways caught up to him at the age of 80, and he has a claim to infamy as the last man to have the head chopped off his living body in the Tower of London. His death even coined a phrase.
“Apparently, they set up temporary stands for the gentry to watch him die
“One of these stands collapsed which resulted in the death of 9 onlookers. Being told this just before he was put to death made him laugh. He was still laughing when the blade struck his neck, thereby “ laughing his head off”.
Russell has loved learning about his Italian heritage – but there’s still much more that he’s keen to know about his family.
He added: “So we now know Norwegian connections, Italian connections, multiple Scottish connections, Maori connections, but here’s the odd thing, a close relatives dna test still comes back as a majority Irish, but we don’t know how/who.
“How about this for weirdness too. In my mothers
“Family, 3 generations apart, women married men called Crowe.
“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 .
“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. (sic)”