Gladiator star Russell Crowe has shared some sad news, confirming the death of his “dear old man”.
The Oscar-winning actor revealed in a social media post on Tuesday that his father, John Alexander Crowe, had died.
“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,” he wrote.
Mr Crowe was 85.
Crowe said he had decided to share his family heartbreak on social media because so many people knew and loved his father.
“I know there are people all over the world whose heart he touched and whose 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,” he said.
Mr Crowe was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and had lived in Coffs Harbour for 25 years. His death came just a few weeks after he celebrated his 85th birthday.
According to 7News, Mr Crowe died on a Qantaslink flight from Sydney to Coffs Harbour. Other passengers and the flight crew reportedly tried to resuscitate him but could not.
“They basically gave him CPR for who knows how long … probably 18 to 20 minutes,” fellow passenger Andrew Fraser told the network.
“They worked tirelessly and continued after the flight had landed.”
Another star, Anthony Hopkins, was among the first to offer his condolences.
“Dear friend, sending you my deepest condolences. Everyday I ask myself, “what’s it all about?” Love, Tony.”
There were also tributes from radio hosts Wendy Harmer and Libbi Gorr, songwriter Ben Lee, Network 10 entertainment editor Angela Bishop and author Peter Holmes a Court, as well as many other fans and supporters.
Last year, Crowe told Extra TV he had been quarantining with his elderly parents after returning to Australia as the pandemic hit.
“I’m isolating in isolation. I’m in the bush. I decided to be here because my mum and dad are pretty old,” he said.
“Now, my dad’s 84 and my mum’s 79. And they’re suffering from the things that people get at that age, you know, early onset this and that, you know, so it was just a better thing for me to do to decide to be where they were.
“Because, you know, my kids are in Sydney … it was a good decision for me to be happy with my mum and dad.”
Russell has two children with his ex-wife, Australian singer Danielle Spencer, Charles, 17 and Tennyson, 14.