**Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this post contains an image of a deceased person.**
The death of a beloved Sydney identity, Aunty Roslyn ‘Rosie’ Whittaker, has had a profound impact on actor Russell Crowe.
The Gladiator star was one of the celebs paying tribute to the King’s Cross resident Whittaker following her death on Sunday aged 61.
Whittaker, who was part of the Stolen Generation, lived on the streets of inner-city suburb Potts Point for decades and was well-known by locals, including Russell, who lived in the area for many years.
Speaking about Whittaker’s death this week, he said his whole family was affected by the news.
He told the Daily Telegraph: ‘Whenever I saw Rosie, I’d give her a hug and slip her some cash and ask how she was going.’
Russell, 58, added Whittaker would often ask about his family and sons with former wife Danielle Spencer, Charles, 18, and Tennyson, 16, saying: ‘She was a lovely soul, her hugs were deep and warm. I will miss her.’
Actor David Wenham, 57, also shared a tribute via homeless charity Wayside Chapel, saying after he heard the news: ‘I was taken aback, this couldn’t be right, Rosie was going to outlive us all.
‘Rosie undoubtedly was the most famous resident of Potts Point of the last two decades.’
Adding she made him laugh, cry and think, he added: ‘Everyone has a Rosie story.’
The organisation had earlier announced the news of Whittaker’s death, writing on Facebook: ‘Aunty Rosie was much-loved by the Kings Cross community and has been a regular face at Wayside for many years.
‘She made us laugh, cry and think – sometimes all in the same day. Aunty Rosie was part of the Stolen Generation and had much to teach us, often giving us street-side lessons about life.’
Just last month Russell opened up about the death of his beloved father, John – a former movie-set caterer – who died in early 2021.
During lockdown, Crowe spent time with his old man on the 400-hectare New South Wales farm he bought in 1996 shortly after making his breakthrough film, LA Confidential.
Speaking to Metro newspaper, Russell said: ‘My father passed away early in 2021. The most usual conversation you have with people when you’re sharing that information is that if they’ve had the same sort of experience, of one of their parents passing, they lament, “If only I had one more weekend or one more dinner party or something”. In truth, I’d had 12 months of being with my dad.’
He went on: ‘Yes, he had his problems, a little bit of early-onset this and early-onset that. But to share just little adventures was wonderful. Sticking him in a Polaris buggy and scooting through the backroads of the farm when it’s p*****g down with rain… it’s not something you’re supposed to do with an 85-year-old! After we did that, he said, “These people will tell you that was a bad thing to do. But I bloody loved it!”’
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