Date of Birth : Jul 6th 1951
Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning Australian actor. He is the first Australian-born person to win an Academy Award for acting.
Before he began his acting career, he attended Everton Park State High School. He began his acting career with the Queensland Theatre Company in Brisbane. In 1975, Rush took off for Paris for a couple of years, and studied mime and pantomime at the famous Jacques Le Coq School Of Mime, then returned to Australia to resume his stage career. He also has an Arts Degree from the University of Queensland. While at university, he roomed with fellow Australian actor Mel Gibson.
Rush has appeared on stage for Company B, and for the Queensland Theatre Company and the Brisbane Arts Theatre, as well as in many other theatre venues, and has worked as a theatre director.
Geoffrey Rush also appeared in the William Shakespeare plays, The Winter’s Tale with the South Australia Theatre Company in 1987 (at The Playhouse in Adelaide, South Australia), and in Troilus and Cressida (at the Old Museum Building in 1989). He also appeared in an on-going production of The Importance of Being Earnest as John Worthing.
In September 1998, Rush played the title role in the Beaumarchais play “The Marriage of Figaro” for the Queensland Theatre Company. This was the opening production of the Optus Playhouse, at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre at South Bank in Brisbane. A pun on Geoffrey Rush’s name (and the circumstances), was used in the opening prologue of the play with the comment that the “Optus Playhouse was opening with a Rush”.
In 2007, he starred as King Berenger in a production of Eugene Ionesco’s Exit the King at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne and Company B in Sydney, directed by Neil Armfield.
Rush’s film debut was in the Australian film Hoodwink in 1981. His next film was in Gillian Armstrong’s Starstruck, the following year. In 1996, he starred in Shine, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, becoming the first Australian actor to win an Oscar. From that point on, his career skyrocketed.
In 1998, he appeared in three major films: Les Misérables, in which he played Inspector Javert; Elizabeth, in which he played the suspicious Sir Francis Walsingham; and Shakespeare in Love in which he played the acting company manager who remained calm in the midst of chaos (and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor). In 1999, Rush departured from his usual dramatic stint and took the lead role as Steven Price in the horror flick House on Haunted Hill. Many fans praised Rush for his dead on portrayal of the late Vincent Price. In 2000, he received his third Academy Award nomination, for Quills, in which he played the Marquis de Sade.
Rush’s career continued at a fast pace, with nine films released from 2001 through 2003. He starred in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, as Captain Hector Barbossa, also appearing in its sequel, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, and has reprised his role in the third title. Rush reprised his character’s voice for the enhancements at the Pirates of the Caribbean attractions at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom theme parks, which involved an Audio-Animatronic with Rush’s likeness being installed. He also voiced Nigel the pelican in Finding Nemo.
Rush played actor Peter Sellers in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. For this performance, he won an Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Mini-series or Movie. In 2005, he starred in Steven Spielberg’s film Munich as Ephraim, a cold Mossad officer. In 2006, Rush hosted the Australian Film Institute Awards for the Nine Network.
Since 1988, Rush has been married to Jane Menelaus, with whom he has a daughter, Angelica (b. 1992) and a son, James (b. 1995).