American audiences have Sharon Stone to thank for giving them their first glimpse of Crowe: When Stone was filming The Quick and The Dead (1995), she asked for Crowe to be cast opposite her. L.A. Confidential (1997) established him as a household name, and The Insider (1999) had him disappear so deeply into his role as to be almost unrecognizable.
But it was Ridley Scott's epic Gladiator (2000) that made Crowe a star and earned him a Best Actor Oscar. He was nominated again for A Beautiful Mind (2002) and received critical praise for his portrayal of Captain Jack Aubrey in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003).