Key Points:

The Australians have done it again - not content with laying claim to pavlova, Phar Lap and the Finn Brothers - they have made New Zealand-born actor Russell Crowe one of four "Australian Legends" to feature on postage stamps to celebrate Australia Day.

In a statement Australia Post managing director Graeme John said four of Australia's most celebrated actors, Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, and Geoffrey Rush had been selected to appear on the stamps, which were released in Australia today.

"The stamps will be a constant reminder of the indelible mark they have made on Australia's identity and culture," he said.

Australia Post names legends each year as part of Australia Day celebrations on January 26.

The actors are to receive 24-carat gold replicas of their stamps.

Crowe was born in Strathmore Park in Wellington in 1964.

When he was four his family moved to Australia and much of Crowe's early education was in Sydney.

The family returned to New Zealand and Auckland when Crowe was 14 and he attended Auckland Grammar for a short period with his cousins, the former New Zealand cricketers Martin and Jeff Crowe.

Crowe started his acting career in the early 1990s with roles in Australian television shows.

He has been nominated for three Oscars and won the best actor award in 2001 for his role in Gladiator.

Crowe became an Australian citizen in 2006.

- NZPA