Image by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer
Date of Birth
6 July 1951, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Geoffrey Roy Rush
6' (1.83 m)
Born on July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, but raised in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia after his parents (he an accountant, she a sales clerk) split up, actor Geoffrey Rush attended Everton Park State High School during his formative years. His early interest in the theatre led to his 1971 stage debut at age 20 in "Wrong Side of the Moon" with the Queensland Theatre Company.
Known for his classical repertory work over the years, he scored an unexpected hit with his Queensland role as Snoopy in the musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown". A few years later he moved to France to study but subsequently returned to his homeland within a short time and continued work as both actor and director with the Queensland company ("June and the Paycock," "Aladdin," "Godspell," "Present Laughter," "The Rivals"). In the 1980s Rush became a vital member of the State Theatre Company of South Australia and showed an equally strong range there in such productions as "Revenger's Tragedy," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Mother Courage...and Her Children," "Blood Wedding," "Pal Joey," "Twelfth Night" and as The Fool in "King Lear".
Rush made an inauspicious debut in films with the feature Hoodwink (1981), having little more than a bit part, and didn't carry off his first major role until playing Sir Andrew Aguecheek in a movie production of Twelfth Night (1987). Yet, he remained a durable presence on stage with acclaimed productions in "The Diary of a Madman" in 1989 and "The Government Inspector" in 1991.
Rush suffered a temporary nervous breakdown in 1992 due to overwork and anguish over his lack of career advancement. Resting for a time, he eventually to the stage. Within a few years filmgoers finally began taking notice of Geoffrey after his performance in Children of the Revolution (1996). This led to THE role of a lifetime as the highly dysfunctional piano prodigy David Helfgott in Shine (1996). Rush's astonishing tour-de-force performance won him every conceivable award imaginable, including the Oscar, Golden Globe, British Film Award and Australian Film Institute Award.
"Shine" not only put Rush on the international film map, but atypically on the Hollywood "A" list as well. His rather homely mug was made fascinating by a completely charming, confident and captivating demeanor; better yet, it allowed him to more easily dissolve into a number of transfixing historical portrayals, notably his Walsingham in Elizabeth (1998), Marquis de Sade in Quills (2000), and Leon Trotsky in Frida (2002). He's also allowed himself to have a bit of hammy fun in such box office escapism as Mystery Men (1999), House on Haunted Hill (1999), The Banger Sisters (2002), Finding Nemo (2003) and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). More than validating his early film success, two more Oscar nominations came his way in the same year for Quills (2000) (best actor) and Shakespeare in Love (1998) (support actor) in 2000. Geoffrey's amazing versatility continues to impress, more recently as the manic, volatile comedy genius Peter Sellers in the biopic The Life & Death of Peter Sellers (2004).
Rush's intermittent returns to the stage have included productions of "Marat-Sade," "Uncle Vanya," "Oleanna," "Hamlet" and "The Small Poppies". In 2009 he made his Broadway debut in "Exit the King" co-starring Susan Sarandon. His marriage (since 1988) to Aussie classical actress Jane Menelaus produced daughter Angelica (1992) and son James (1995). Menelaus, who has also performed with the State Theatre of South Australia, has co-starred on stage with Rush in "The Winter's Tale" (1987), "Troilus and Cressida" (1989) and "The Importance of Being Earnest" (as Gwendolyn to his Jack Worthing). She also had a featured role in his film Quills (2000).
IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / email@example.com
Jane Menelaus (20 November 1988 - present) 2 children
Soft, raspy voice
He adapted Beaumarchais's play "The Marriage of Figaro", with Neil Armfield, for the inaugural production in the new Optus Playhouse in the Queensland Performing Arts Complex, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, in September, 1998. He also played the title role of Figaro in the same production.
Children: Angelica (1992) and James (1995)
Once lived with Mel Gibson while they were in college.
He began his acting career with the Queensland Theatre Company in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Has an Arts Degree from the University of Queensland.
Awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Queensland, in Australia.
Attended the Jacques Lecoq School of Mime, Movement and Theater.
Actively involved with Melbourne Community Groups in preserving historical landscapes from adverse development; particularly in regard to Camberwell Railway Station where he organized a protest march, attended by Barry Humphries amongst other luminaries (2004).
He was named Alumnus of the Year by the University of Queensland (Australia) in 1998.
He won an Oscar for playing David Helfgott in Shine (1996), making him one of 12 actors to win the Award for playing a real person who was still alive at the evening of the Award ceremony (as of 2007).
He was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal in the 2001 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to the arts especially through a distinguished acting career.
Is one of 8 actors to have won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critics' Choice Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award for the same performance. The others in chronological order are Jamie Foxx for Ray (2004/I), Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote (2005), Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland (2006), Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men (2007), Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood (2007), Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (2008), and Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (2009).
He was awarded the 2009 Tony Award for Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in the play, "Exit the King" on Broadway in New York City.
Became the 19th actor to win the triple crown of acting: In 2009 won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play (Exit the King) to go with his Oscar for Shine (1997) and his Emmy for Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004).
His favorite film is City Lights (1931) and often shows it at parties to people who have never seen the film before. Other favorites include Zelig (1983), War and Peace (1967), Persona (1966) and Amarcord (1973).
Became the fourth actor to appear in 2 films to gross billion with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), and _Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011). He is the first actor from the southern hemisphere to achieve this feat.
[Regarding he and Joseph Fiennes appearing in both Shakespeare in Love (1998) and Elizabeth (1998)] "He got to make love to Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett. All I got was an Oscar nomination".
"My career has been in theatre for 23 years, with spits and coughs in bits and pieces of films. Scott [Hicks] very nicely said my entire career had been my audition [for the role in Shine (1996)]".
[about Quills] When you get to tongue kiss Kate Winslet and get paid for it, you say: I'll sign!
[on accepting the role of Lionel Logue in The King's Speech]: I first got the script in a fairly unorthodox way. It was in a brown paper package at my front door, like an orphaned child. A neighbour of mine knew this woman in London who wanted to produce it as a play, and on the coverlet it said, "Please forgive me Mr. Rush for sending this to your home, blah blah blah", and I read it and I went wow, great story.
[on performing with Colin Firth] [He] made me better. I didn't have to act listening. I was mesmerized by the hidden areas of truth he was uncovering.
[on accepting roles that might be considered risky] Occasionally you need to jump off a cliff and do things you know are not immediately within your grasp.
[on replaying the role of 'Barbossa' to Johnny Depp's 'Captain Jack Sparrow'] It's become an imaginative metaphor for me and Johnny as actors. It feels like we've been married for a long time and there are certain things that are never going to resolve themselves within the marriage. It's an interesting way for us to find the context for this kind of constant spat.
Where Are They Now
(May 2004) Currently lives in Melbourne, Australia
(January 2009) Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia
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