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Russell’s tussles

1997: Russell Crowe had already made a name as an actor by 1997, but it was his turn as classic noir cop Officer Wendell “Bud” White in Curtis Hanson’s award winning “LA Confidential” that showed he was a leading man with enough talent to take on heavy roles, and enough charisma to pack the theaters. (Peter Sorel / Warner Bros.)
1999: Crowe gets his first Oscar nom for his performance in Michael Mann’s “The Insider” about a research scientist and a “60 Minutes” television producer who take on big tobacco and lose. “American Beauty” was the big Oscar winner that year though and Kevin Spacey took home the Best Actor award. (Touchstone Pictures)