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Russell Crowe acts as pallbearer at cousin’s funeral

Russell Crowe helped to carry the coffin of his cousin, New Zealand cricket legend Martin Crowe, who died last week (beg29Feb16).
Russell was among the mourners at the funeral of his cousin, who died aged 53 after a long battle with lymphoma cancer, in Auckland, New Zealand on Friday (11Mar16).
The actor was particularly moved by a traditional haka war chant pupils from his cousin’s old school, Auckland Boys Grammar performed in honour of their famous old boy as his casket was led away.
“Auckland Boys Grammar shook the earth with their Haka in tribute to MD Crowe,” he wrote on Twitter. “Proud of you boys.”
Russell was extremely close to the former New Zealand cricket captain, as they lived a bachelor lifestyle together in Los Angeles in the 1990s when Martin’s cricket career was winding down.
The pair’s close relationship was even mentioned in the eulogy delivered by the late cricketer’s teammate Ian Smith, as he referenced how Russell managed to obtain Martin a small role in his Oscar-winning epic Gladiator.
In a joint interview the cousins gave in 2006, Martin told New Zealand newsman Paul Holmes about his role in the film.
“The other great trip was Malta to go and see Russell on Gladiator,” he said. “I got dressed up with my dad and my brother and we were in the movie.”
The relatives also teamed up for a sporting venture outside cricket, sitting on the board of the Australian rugby team part-owned by the actor, the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Martin, who was inducted into the International Cricket Council’s Hall of Fame in 2015, is survived by his wife, former Miss Universe Lorraine Downes, 51, and his daughter Emma, from his first marriage.

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