Geoffrey Rush Biography

Actor, Producer (1951–)
Geoffrey Rush is an Australian actor best known for his award-winning performance in the 1996 film 'Shine.'

Who Is Geoffrey Rush?

Geoffrey Rush is an Australian actor who was born on July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. He started out as a stage actor, but broke through to film stardom with his lead role in the movie Shine (1996), which earned him a Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Actor. Other notable parts include the title role in the TV feature The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2005) and Captain Hector Barbossa in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series (2003-2011). He also served as a star and executive producer of the Academy Award-winning The King's Speech (2010).

Early Life

Geoffrey Rush is an Australian actor who was born on July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba in Australia's Queensland district. His father, Roy, worked as an accountant for the Australian air force and his mother, Merle, as a department store clerk. They divorced when Rush was 5 years old, after which he lived with his mom at her parents' house.

Rush graduated in 1971 from the University of Queensland in Brisbane with a bachelor's degree in English. He enjoyed the dramatic arts, and that same year the Queensland Theatre Company discovered him while he was acting in a revue.

Rush pursued a stage career and even lived in Paris from 1975-1977, enrolling in the Jacques Lecoq School of Mime, Movement and Theater. A couple of years later he appeared onstage with an actor named Mel Gibson in a Sydney production of Waiting for Godot. The two even roomed together; little did they know the success that awaited them.

Career Success

Rush found consistent work as an actor, but it was not until the film Shine (1996) that he became a household name. Rush portrayed the brilliant David Helfgott, who ended up in a psychiatric hospital for 15 years after succumbing to the pressures of his musical talent. Co-starring with Lynn Redgrave, Rush won both a Golden Globe and an Oscar as Best Actor for this role.

After the success of Shine, Rush admitted, "It's been a very fulfilling career, and I don't want to suddenly throw all that out the window and do something trashy that pays a lot of money. But I will have to confront that nasty thing of, well, how much money."

Rush continued to receive accolades, including winning a second Golden Globe and his first Emmy Award, in 2005 for his role as comedic actor Peter Sellers in the TV feature The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.

Audiences also known Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa in the Pirates of the Caribbean films (2003-2011) featuring mega movie star Johnny Depp.

In his long career, Rush is one of fewer than two dozen actors to ever have won the "Triple Crown of Acting"–an Academy Award, Emmy Award and Tony Award. He has also been nominated for, or won, several BAFTA and SAG awards.

Working on the other side of the camera, Rush became a first-time executive producer when he helped to take The King's Speech (2010) from the stage to the big screen. Rush continues to take on roles in TV and film, including a Golden Globe-nominated turn in 2017 as Albert Einstein on National Geographic's Genius.

Personal Life

Rush met actress Jane Menelaus when they were both acting in a tour of The Importance of Being Earnest. The tour was their honeymoon, of which Rush stated, "(Every night) I got to propose to my wife in Oscar Wilde's beautiful language, and I got paid for it."

The two married in 1988 and had daughter Angelica (born 1992) and son James (born 1995). Rush and his family reside in Australia.

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