Steve Irwin’s Widow Hasn’t Dated in 17 Years since His Death Yet She Was Linked with His ‘Loyal’ Friend Russell Crowe

    It’s been 17 years since Steve Irwin’s passing, yet his family still misses him every day.

    Losing Steve was especially difficult for his wife, Terri, who raised their two children as a single mother, and has since chosen not to date anybody else.

    Despite her decision, she was once linked to her husband’s good friend, actor Russell Crowe.

    Steve Irwin was any animal lover’s favorite, introducing Australia’s diverse wildlife to the world in all its glory. The world adored him, and when his passing was reported on the news, millions of people mourned.

    Of all the people who love and adore Steve, there’s one person who loved him most – his wife, Terri. They first met in 1991 while the American-born Terri was in Australia, touring wildlife rehabilitation facilities. It was love at first sight for her.

    Steve Irwin arrives at the premiere of "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" on November 11, 2003 | Source: Getty Images

    While visiting Australia, she came across a tiny sign for Australia Zoo and decided to check it out. She fell in love with the beautiful garden and happy animals inside.

    She was a naturalist, conservationist, and author in her 20s when she met Steve, who at the time was doing a crocodile demonstration, talking passionately about the animal. Terri could not believe someone could talk so kindly about crocodiles.

    At one point, Steve fed the crocodile some food. It leaped up at Steve’s hand, and he didn’t flinch. Terri was stunned. “I was sold. I thought this man is the most incredible guy I have ever seen,” she said.

    Terri assumed Steve was taken at the time. “Steve was like, 29, and I was 27, and the first thing you think is, ‘He’s probably in a relationship,’” she once recalled.

    Little did she know, when Steve saw her in the crowd, his heart started beating loudly. It was love at first sight for him, too.

    Realizing he was distracted with a crocodile nearby, he wrapped up his demonstration and bid the crowd goodbye. To his surprise, Terri stayed behind to talk to him.

    Terri wasn’t sure how to ask him if he was single, but Steve somehow sensed that was a question that she had wanted to ask him. So, to break the ice, he asked: “Would you like to meet my girlfriend?”

    Terri was crushed. Steve then called out and said, “Hey, Suey,” with Terri thinking his girlfriend was somewhere around the area. Instead, a little dog approached them.

    “Boom! No girlfriend!” Terri immediately replied, and it began their epic love story. Terri and Steve fell in love quickly, getting married a year after meeting and after being engaged for only four months.

    Steve was a passionate conservationist, but he was also a devoted father to his two children. He and Terri share a daughter, Bindi, and a son, Robert.

    When thinking about Steve’s purpose in life, many may think it’s to be a great conservationist. To him, it’s to be a father. He once said:

    “The whole time, you hear, you’re like ‘I’m catching crocs, I’m saving wildlife, I’m doing this and I’m doing that,’ but when Bindi was born, I had the same sensation now with little Bob. Same sensation like, ‘This is why I was put here.’”

    Steve cried when Bindi was born and proudly showed her off to everyone in the hospital. When he found out Terri was pregnant with Robert, he was so happy he couldn’t wait to tell the whole world.

    After giving his parents a call, he proceeded to tell his audience at the zoo that Terri was pregnant. He said all this while standing beside one of their more notorious crocodiles, who once tried to drag him back into the water.

    For years, Steve and Terri juggled managing Australia Zoo, filming documentaries, and raising their two children together. They were living their best lives, doing what they were passionate about every single day.

    However, on September 4, 2006, the Irwin family’s lives changed forever. While shooting a new TV show on the Great Barrier Reef, Steve Irwin was fatally stabbed by a stingray in his chest.

    At the time, Steve swam above a usually harmless stingray, and it projected one of its barbs towards Steve’s chest. Steve thought the stingray had punctured his lung, without realizing it struck his heart.

    Terri, Bindi, and Bob Irwin at the Steve Irwin memorial service at Australia Zoo |on September 20, 2006 | Source: Getty Images

    One of the crew with Steve on the day, Justin Lyons, said the stingray likely thought Steve’s shadow was that of a tiger shark. The camera crew around Steve desperately tried to save him before getting him to the shore, where paramedics were present to perform CPR.

    On the boat, the crew asked Steve to think of his children as he fought for his life. He looked up at them calmly and said, “I’m dying.” It was the last thing Steve had said.

    The entire incident was caught on camera, but his good friend John Stainton vowed it would never be made public. Instead, footage was sent directly to authorities to aid their investigation.

    After authorities handed back the footage, Steve’s team destroyed them, except for one, which was handed to his wife, Terri. She also destroyed it without watching it.

    Stainton made the six-hour flight back to Queensland with Steve’s body. He cried the entire way home, where he heartbreakingly watched Terri, Bindi, and Robert see Steve in a casket for the first time.

    “I traveled on the plane with him for six hours, just him and I. For five hours, I couldn’t stop crying. It was devastating,” he recalled.

    When Steve passed away, his daughter Bindi was 8, and his son Robert was only 2. At the time, only Bindi could understand what was happening around her. She even made a speech months after Steve’s death at the Australia Zoo, where she spoke about her dad’s passion for making other people love animals the way he did.

    She also described how he was as a dad, calling him her “hero.” To end her speech, she promised to keep her dad’s passion alive. She said:

    “I don’t want daddy’s passion to ever end. I want to help endangered wildlife just like he did. I had the best daddy in the whole world, and I will miss him every day.”

    Although Robert was still young when his dad passed away, he, too, has fond memories of the wildlife conservationist. As many of their adventures were filmed, he has a whole lot of footage with his late dad.

    In fact, Robert likes watching the footage, acknowledging he’s lucky to have so much to look back at. Whenever memories start to fade in his mind, he has footage to watch that’d instantly spark his memories.

    “I’ve got literally my entire life on camera and those early years with dad, that’s something I cherish more than anything,” he proudly shared.

    In the same way Bindi promised to keep his dad’s legacy alive, Robert wants to do the same thing. He wants to make his dad proud and make sure his message never dies.

    It wasn’t easy for Steve’s children to lose him, but it was especially hard for Terri, who suddenly had a lot more weight on her shoulders. She not only needed to mourn her husband, her best friend, her soulmate – she needed to navigate running a zoo and raising two young kids at the same time.

    For years, Terri and her children had cameras around them, filming their work. They had to explain numerous times how they were coping with the loss of Steve, and every single time, Terri wouldn’t be afraid to say how much she missed him.

    With her children, they bonded over watching “Daddy DVDs” in the morning. This meant she’d play an episode of one of Steve’s documentaries, and it was a comforting and familiar feeling to hear him and see him, even just on the screen.

    When she’s alone, however, it’s a different story. She admits that when the kids are asleep and she’s left with her thoughts, she’s not only sad, but she’s afraid, too.

    She’s had to cope with things alone, without her best friend by her side. Terri also had to deal with criticisms of how she was raising her two children, with others accusing her of exploiting Bindi through her shows.

    Despite everything, Terri insists Bindi and Robert had the best childhood. They were surrounded by things they loved, and they were able to see the world in a way not many Australian children had the chance to.

    17 years since Steve’s passing, Terri has chosen not to date anybody else – nor does she plan to. “I had my happily ever after,” she once said. “So, I’m doing okay.”

    In fact, if she hadn’t Steve back in the day, Terri admits she might have never married. She was a single woman living in Oregon, running a business and doing wildlife conservation work.

    At one point, she even had women asking her out thinking that was likely the reason why she didn’t have a boyfriend – that she was gay. However, that trip to Australia ended up changing the course of her life forever.

    Terri still feels connected to Steve, and takes their wedding vows seriously. She doesn’t need to feel the need to find somebody else, because she had already met her soulmate in Steve.

    Despite this, she wasn’t spared from dating rumors after Steve’s death. In 2018, people started linking her to actor Russell Crowe.

    In an interview, Terri clarified that Russell Crowe was a good family friend, and nothing more. Steve was friends with Russell as well, and he supported the Irwin family even after his passing.

    “Russell has been very loyal,” Terri praised. “He’s a great guy but he’s absolutely just a dear friend.”

    Russell Crowe and Terri Irwin at the 2007 Australia Week Gala in Los Angeles California | Source: Getty Images

    Terri is happily contented with the work she’s doing in Australia Zoo, and with the life she lives with her two children and granddaughter, Grace Warrior.

    Bindi shares Grace with her husband, Chandler Powell. While Steve never met his granddaughter, he is very much a part of the little girl’s life.

    Grace frequents the Australia Zoo, where she sees many portraits of her “Grandpa Crocodile.” Bindi is positive that if Steve were alive to be with Grace, he would have been the best grandfather, taking little Grace on all the best adventures.

    Aside from visiting Australia Zoo, Grace learns about her grandfather through footage of him working with animals, and with the rest of the family. It’s no doubt Grace will become a fierce wildlife conservationist like her grandparents, uncle, and parents, too.

    Robert doesn’t have a family of his own, and pours much of his time into wildlife photography, and wildlife conservation efforts not only in Australia Zoo, but around the country. Fans have noted how he’s a spitting image of his dad, sharing the same passion and enthusiasm for wildlife which he openly shares with the rest of the world on social media.

    This 2023, Steve and Terri celebrate their 31st year as a married couple. While celebrating their 3rd decade together last year, Terri wrote that after all this time, their love and legacy live on.

    She keeps herself busy – too busy that chasing other men is definitely not on her mind. She misses Steve everyday, and is contented with the great love they had.

    Now that he’s been gone almost two decades, Terri has made it her mission to carry on his legacy and passion. “Even though he died at 44 years of age, he lived such a full life and that’s what I want to do and share,” she shared.

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