Celebs » Geoffrey Rush » Biography

Geoffrey Rush

06 Jul 1951 (Age 66)
Geoffrey Roy Rush born in 6 July 1951 is an Australian actor. As of November 2009, he is one of 25 people to have won the "Triple Crown of Acting": an Academy Award, a Tony Award and an Emmy Award. He has also won the Golden Globe, the BAFTA, the Screen Actors Guild and the Australian Film Institute awards.

Early life

Rush was born in Toowoomba, Queensland, the son of Merle , a department store sales assistant, and Roy Baden Rush, an accountant for the Royal Australian Air Force. His parents divorced when he was five and his mother subsequently took him to live with her parents in suburban Brisbane. Before he began his acting career, Rush attended Everton Park State High School. He also has an arts degree from the University of Queensland. While at university, he was talent-spotted by Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) in Brisbane. Rush began his career in with QTC in 1971, appearing in 17 productions.

In 1975, Rush went to Paris for a couple of years and studied mime and pantomime at the famous

lecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, before returning to Australia to resume his stage career with QTC. In 1979, he shared an apartment with actor Mel Gibson for four months while they co-starred in a stage production of Waiting for Godot.

Stage career

Rush made his theatre debut in the Queensland Theatre Company's production of Wrong Side of the Moon. He worked with the QTC for four years, appearing in roles ranging across classical plays to pantomime, from Juno and the Paycock to Hamlet on Ice. Following these early years in Brisbane, Rush left for Paris where he studied further.

Rush's acting credits include Shakespeare's plays, The Winter's Tale (with the State Theatre Company of South Australia in 1987 at The Playhouse in Adelaide), and Troilus and Cressida (at the Old Museum Building in 1989). He also appeared in an on-going production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest as John Worthing (Ernest) (in which his wife, Jane Menelaus, appeared as Gwendolen).

In September 1998, Rush played the title role in the Beaumarchais play The Marriage of Figaro for the QTC. 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 Eugène Ionesco's Exit the King at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne and Company B in Sydney, directed by Neil Armfield. Rush has appeared on stage for the Brisbane Arts Theatre and in many other theatre venues. He has also worked as a theatre director.

Rush made his Broadway debut in a restaging of Exit the King under Malthouse Theatre's touring moniker Malthouse Melbourne. This restaging featured a new American cast including Susan Sarandon. The show opened on 26 March 2009 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Rush won the Outer Critics Circle Award, Theatre World Award, and Drama Desk Award, as well as the Distinguished Performance Award from the Drama League Award, and was the winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play.

Film career

Rush's film debut was in the Australian film Hoodwink in 1981. His next film was 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-born actor to win an Oscar.

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, for which he won a BAFTA Award; and Shakespeare in Love in which he played Philip Henslowe, 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 film House on Haunted Hill. 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 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, as Captain Hector Barbossa, also appearing in its sequels, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

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 (including one at Tokyo Disneyland).He also voiced Nigel the pelican in Finding Nemo.

Rush played actor Peter Sellers in the television film The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. For this performance, he won an Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Mini-series or Movie, a SAG Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture made for Television. 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. He was the Master of Ceremonies again at the 2007 AFI Awards.

In 2010, Rush played Speech Therapist Lionel Logue in The King's Speech, a part that got him Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor.

Rush has confirmed that he is returning as Captain Hector Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, starring Johnny Depp, who has signed on to return as Captain Jack Sparrow as of September 2008. The probable story will be them going to find the fountain of youth, a story revealed at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Rush is also preparing for a film version of The Drowsy Chaperone, an award-winning stage musical, in which he'll be portraying The Man in the Chair.

In the beginning of 2009, Rush appeared in a series of special edition postage stamps featuring some of Australia's internationally recognised actors. He, Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, and Nicole Kidman each appear twice in the series, in a contemporary portrait, and as one of their notable characters. Rush's film image is taken from Shine
Buy Movie Tickets