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Guy Pearce

05 Oct 1967 (Age 49)
Guy Edward Pearce born in 5 October 1967 is an English-born Australian actor and musician known for his portrayal of Leonard Shelby in Christopher Nolan's Memento, his performance as Lieutenant Ed Exley in the film L.A. Confidential, his depiction of a drag queen in the cult film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and for his role as Mike Young in the popular Australian television series Neighbours.

Early life

Pearce was born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, the son of Anne Cocking (née Pickering), a County Durham-born schoolteacher specialising in needlework and home economics, and Stuart Pearce, a New Zealand-born air force test pilot who died when Pearce was nine. When he was three years old, Pearce moved to Geelong, Australia, where his mother ran a deer farm. He attended The Geelong College and was a member of the GSODA Junior Players. From ages 16 to 22, he was a competitive amateur bodybuilder, culminating in a Mr. Natural Victoria title. Pearce lived in Blackburn North in the late 1980s while working on the Australian drama series Neighbours.


Pearce starred in several theatre productions when he was young, and graduated to television when he was cast in the Australian soap opera Neighbours in 1985, playing the role of Mike Young for several years. Pearce also found roles in other television series such as Home and Away (1988) and Snowy River: The McGregor Saga (1993).

The director/producer/writer Frank Howson cast Pearce in his first three films, and paid for him to go to the Cannes Film Festival in 1991 for the premiere of the Howson-directed Hunting. The accompanying Howson-funded publicity campaign brought Pearce to the attention of the international film industry. He made his first major film breakthrough shortly after, with his role as a drag queen in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 1994. Since then, he has appeared in several U.S. productions including L.A. Confidential, Ravenous, Rules of Engagement, Memento, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Time Machine. Pearce portrayed pop artist Andy Warhol in Factory Girl and Harry Houdini in Death Defying Acts. He also appeared in The Road and in Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler.

Pearce continues to perform in Australian theatre productions as well as Australian films, such as The Hard Word (2002) and the critically lauded The Proposition (2005). In January 2009, Pearce returned to the stage after a seven year absence. He performed in the Melbourne Theatre Company's production of Poor Boy, a play with music, co-written by Matt Cameron and Tim Finn.

Pearce appeared in Australian band Silverchair's music video for "Across the Night" and in Razorlight's video for "Before I Fall to Pieces". He recorded the soundtrack for A Slipping Down Life, singing and playing guitar on cover versions of songs by Ron Sexsmith, Vic Chesnutt, and Robyn Hitchcock.

Personal life

He has been married to Kate Mestitz, a psychologist, since March 1997. He is a long-standing supporter of the Geelong Football Club in the Australian Football League. Pearce does not believe in God but believes "we're all connected."
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