It’s been nearly 12 years since they lost their father, but there’s one person who has been able to fill the gaping void in the lives of Bindi and Robert Irwin: Russell Crowe.
The long-time confidant of the family, and former friend of the late Steve Irwin, proved just how much of a father figure he has become to the Irwin siblings, when it was revealed last week that Russell was instrumental in helping the Irwin’s secure the animal conservationist a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In a gushing Instagram post, 19-year-old Bindi revealed that The Nice Guys actor, 54, had personally written a letter of recommendation – and that the generous act may have been what sealed the deal
‘As we get ready to unveil Dad’s Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, sending hugs and tremendous gratitude to @russellcrowe,’ she wrote, alongside a throwback picture of her as a child hugging Russell.
‘Your letter of support helped make this all possible. You’ve been there since the beginning and will always feel like family.’
Further explaining, Bindi’s mum, Terri told Seven News: ‘Russell Crowe wrote a letter of recommendation that Steve should get this acknowledgment, so it’s just been terrific.’
This isn’t the first time the Gladiator star has given his support to the Irwin’s. Just weeks after the Crocodile Hunter was killed in 2006 – after being pierced in the heart by a stingray barb while filming off the coast of Far North Queensland – Russell introduced Steve’s public memorial service at Australia Zoo, which was broadcast around the world.
Russell has been a long-time and close friend of the Irwin family with Terri explaining just how far back his friendship with Steve went.
‘He and Steve became friends many years ago, and after Steve passed...you find out who your true friends are.
'And Russell has been very loyal as a great friend.'
And in an interview last year, the Hollywood star told KISS FM: ‘I was great friends with Steve and his wife and his kids are really important to me. They’re beautiful people, Terri is one of the greatest women I’ve ever met in my life without their being implication for intimacy or whatever.
‘I love her kids and I love how she’s kept the memory of Steve alive and respected the work that the two of them had begun and she’s an absolute champion.’
Over the years, Russell has become something of a father figure to the young Irwins, Bindi and Robert, regularly praising the pair and supporting them at public events.
Last month, Terri thanked the Oscar-winner after he revealed he had bought a turtle endoscope for Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, a piece of equipment that will help doctors there remove fish hooks without need for surgery.
‘@russellcrowe you are an absolute legend,’ Terri tweeted.
‘Russell is a wonderful wildlife warrior. He was a dear friend of Dad’s, now a dear friend of ours,’ Bindi explained in an interview last year.
‘He feels like family to us.’
And it seems Russell – who recently finalised his divorce arrangements with ex-wife, Danielle Spencer – is only too happy to remain close to his late pal’s family, regularly tweeting fond memories of times spent with the Irwins.
‘I remember that night,’ he responded after seeing Bindi’s throwback pic of the pair.
‘Your dad getting up on stage with 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.
‘He might be the worst tambourine player in the history of rock and roll!! Look at you!?
‘So little then and look at you now, formidable, relentless, graceful #wildlifewarrior.’
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