Russell Crowe and Danielle Spencer: What went wrong?

Suzy Byrne
Suzy Byrne
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Russell Crowe and his wife, Danielle Spencer, have separated after nine years of marriage, according to several media outlets.

News of their split was first reported by the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday. The newspaper stated that 43-year-old Spencer, who is an actress and singer, made the decision to the end her marriage to Academy Award-winning actor Crowe, 48, and that she was ''handling things well." The split was described as "amicable." While neither Crowe nor Spencer has confirmed their separation, there is already speculation that the "Gladiator" star's back-to-back filming schedule has kept them apart. In the last year-plus he has filmed five films: "The Man With the Iron Fist," "Les Miserables," "Broken City," "Man of Steel," and currently "Noah."

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A rep for Crowe has not yet responded to omg!'s requests for comment.

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The couple — who has two sons Charles, 8, and Tennyson, 6 — met more than 20 years ago on the set of the film "The Crossing." After an on-again, off-again relationship, Crowe publicly declared his love for Spencer on his website and popped the question in November 2002. They were married on Crowe's birthday in April 2003. The four-day wedding extravaganza took place on the actor's 560-acre cattle farm in Australia and culminated in a romantic vow exchange in a chapel on the property. Although the actor has earned a reputation for having an explosive temper, that particular day he showed his sensitive side when he broke down in front of his bride and their 100 guests. "He started choking up, then he shook his head and took a deep breath and started again," his friend John McGrath told People magazine at the time. "He's a rugged sort of guy, but he's also got a very soft center." After tying the knot, the couple went on a three-week honeymoon.

By the end of 2003, Crowe and Spencer had already welcomed their first child, Charlie. Tenny arrived in 2006. It took a few years, but fatherhood seemed to transform Crowe from a crazed phone thrower into a somewhat mellow dad. "Being a dad's fantastic and it's changed my life," Crowe has said. "It's changed for the better in immeasurable ways. Every single day of my life I get 40 or 50 extra chuckles that I never used to get. Quite frankly, I don't know really how I survived the days without them. …Certainly [fatherhood] has made me more emotionally available." As for Spencer, Crowe has said, "My wife is a very contained person. She is passionate and creative, but she has a quietness and grace that I really appreciate."

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While Crowe and Spencer figure out their next steps, they are keeping a significant amount of distance between one another. Crowe has been settling into life in the Big Apple as he is in the area filming the biblical epic "Noah" in Long Island, New York. As recently as Saturday the actor — who is sporting a big, bushy beard for the role — was photographed out and about in Manhattan. That night, Crowe, who is also a singer, performed some of his songs at Gramercy Theatre with his friend Sting making a special guest appearance. Meanwhile, Spencer is back in Australia at the couple's Sydney home. Appearing extremely thin, she was photographed walking with a friend on Monday. Spencer, who competed on the Australian edition of "Dancing With the Stars" earlier this year, has also been seen out on several occasions with her dance partner, Damian Whitewood.

Although Crowe's job has taken him far from home this year — prior to shooting "Noah," he filmed "Les Miserables" in England — Crowe and Spencer still appeared to be a happy twosome over the summer when they were spotted kissing and hugging at the Sydney airport.

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