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Also Known As: Geoffrey Roy Rush Died:
Born: July 6, 1951 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Toowoomba, Queensland, AU Profession: actor, director, playwright, musician

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Actor Geoffrey Rush was little known outside his native Australia when he soared to international prominence on the wings of his remarkable portrayal of eccentric pianist David Helfgott in Scott Hicks' acclaimed biopic "Shine" (1996), for which he won a slew of awards, including an Oscar for Best Actor. Arguably his country's top stage actor, he had struggled for years to achieve recognition, but post-"Shine," Rush would remain both prolific and highly regarded as a film presence. Rush chewed the scenery with relish in the Academy Award-winning "Shakespeare in Love" (1998), opposite Gwyneth Paltrow, and brought the depraved Marquis de Sade to life with unsettling voracity in "Quills" (2000). He played brilliantly off of a cast-against-type Pierce Brosnan in the spy thriller "The Tailor of Panama" (2001) before taking to the high seas in the mega-franchise "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003), as the ghost pirate Barbossa, who Rush would portray several more times. He went on to win awards for his title performance in the cable biopic "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" (HBO, 2004), and won critical praise for his role as an early 20th-Century vocal therapist in "The...

Actor Geoffrey Rush was little known outside his native Australia when he soared to international prominence on the wings of his remarkable portrayal of eccentric pianist David Helfgott in Scott Hicks' acclaimed biopic "Shine" (1996), for which he won a slew of awards, including an Oscar for Best Actor. Arguably his country's top stage actor, he had struggled for years to achieve recognition, but post-"Shine," Rush would remain both prolific and highly regarded as a film presence. Rush chewed the scenery with relish in the Academy Award-winning "Shakespeare in Love" (1998), opposite Gwyneth Paltrow, and brought the depraved Marquis de Sade to life with unsettling voracity in "Quills" (2000). He played brilliantly off of a cast-against-type Pierce Brosnan in the spy thriller "The Tailor of Panama" (2001) before taking to the high seas in the mega-franchise "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003), as the ghost pirate Barbossa, who Rush would portray several more times. He went on to win awards for his title performance in the cable biopic "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" (HBO, 2004), and won critical praise for his role as an early 20th-Century vocal therapist in "The King's Speech" (2010). Always unconventional, Rush excelled in essaying characters who were alternately eccentric, cowardly, brilliant, or insane - sometimes a combination of all four - creating one of the most impressive résumés of any actor of his generation.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Gods of Egypt (2016)
2.
 Best Offer, The (2014)
3.
 Book Thief, The (2013)
4.
 Green Lantern (2011)
7.
8.
9.
 Bran Nue Dae (2009)
10.
 $9.99 (2008)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1971:
Joined Queensland Theatre Company in Brisbane; made stage debut in "Wrong Side of the Moon"
1972:
Scored a hit as Snoopy in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"
1975:
Moved to France to study mime
1977:
Returned to Australia
1978:
Made stage directing debut with Queensland Theatre Company's production of "Clowneroonies"; also acted
1979:
Appeared alongside Mel Gibson in "Waiting for Godot"
:
Performed with Jim Sharman's Lighthouse troupe in the early 1980s
1981:
Made debut in the Australian film, "Hoodwink"
1982:
Portrayed a Floor Manager in Gillian Armstrong's "Starstruck"
1986:
Had first major film role as Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Neil Armfield's "Twelfth Night"
1989:
Won praise for his role in Nikolai Gogol's play, "The Diary of a Madman"; re-teamed with Armfield who directed
1991:
Played the title role in Gogol's "The Government Inspector" for the Sydney stage
1992:
Re-teamed with director Sharman for the Australian documentary, "The Burning Bed"
1992:
Directed the Australian stage production of "The Frogs"; also co-adapted (with John Clarke) but did not act in the production
1993:
Co-starred with Cate Blanchett in Sydney stage production of David Mamet's "Oleanna"
1995:
First lead role in a feature, "Dad and Dave: On Our Selection"
1996:
Cast as a crusty newspaper editor in the Australian TV production, "Mercury"
1996:
Won international acclaim for his performance as the adult pianist David Helfgott in "Shine"
1997:
Co-starred in the historical Australian miniseries, "Frontier"
1998:
Dogged Liam Neeson as Inspector Javert in the dramatic adaptation of "Les Miserables"
1998:
Portrayed the mysterious Sir Francis Walsingham, the Master of Spies and royal court enforcer of "Elizabeth"; starred Blanchett in the title role
1998:
Played Philip Henslowe, the acting company manager in "Shakespeare in Love"; garnered Supporting Actor Golden Globe and Oscar nominations
1999:
Appeared as the villainous Cassanova Frankenstein in "Mystery Men"
2000:
Returned to the Sydney stage in "Small Poppies"
2000:
Cast as the Marquis de Sade in the feature adaptation of "Quills"; received a Best Actor Oscar nomination
2001:
Played the title role in John Boorman's adaptation of the spy novel, "The Tailor of Panama"
2001:
Appeared in the critically hailed Austrian film, "Lantana"
2002:
Cast as Goldie Hawn's nebbishy love interest in "The Banger Sisters"
2002:
Portrayed Leon Trotsky in "Frida"
2003:
Played Captain Barbossa in "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"; film based on the popular Disney theme ride
2004:
Joined an ensemble cast in the Australian gangster biopic, "Ned Kelly"
2004:
Played the title role in "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers"; premiered at at the Cannes film festival and aired on HBO
2005:
Portrayed the overbearing, alcoholic father of champion swimmer Tony Fingleton in "Swimming Upstream"
2005:
Cast as Ephraim, a cold Mossad officer, in Steven Spielberg's "Munich"
2006:
Reprised role as the ghostly Captain Barbossa in Gore Verbinski's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"
2007:
Once again played Captain Barbossa in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"
2007:
Reprised the role of Sir Francis Walsingham in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," a sequel to the award winning feature "Elizabeth"
2007:
Starred as King Berenger in a Melbourne production of Eugene Ionesco's "Exit the King"
2009:
Reprised role of King Berenger for the Broadway production of "Exit the King"
2010:
Helps Colin Firth's King George VI overcome his speech impediment of stuttering in "The King¿s Speech"
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture ("The King¿s Speech")
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role ("The King's Speech")
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
2011:
Reprised role as Captain Barbossa in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Queensland Theatre Company: -
University of Queensland: - 1971
Center For Advanced Film Studies, American Film Institute: - 1973 - 1975
L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq: - 1975 - 1977

Notes

"My career has been in theater 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']" --Rush quoted in New York Post, November 21, 1996.

"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 on his sudden fame in Entertainment Weekly, November 29, 1996.

"It was the second day of filming in Adelaide, the day we did the comeback concert at the end of the film, where David (Helfgott) has this curious catharsis, with everyone applauding him. It felt like a theater performance that day; there was a stage and an audience. And for this scene, Gillian (Helfgott's wife) sat among the extras. And Lynn Redgrave came up to me and said, 'Don't get upset, Gillian's out front, and she's crying.' And I said, 'Well, what's the matter?' And she said, 'She was watching you while you were running through your takes and she went, "Oh my God, it's David."' And that night Gillian faxed me in my hotel room. She said, 'I wanted to run down on stage today and kiss you.' I got the best notice for this film on the second day of filming." --Geoffrey Rush quoted in The New York Times, January 1, 1997.

"I have to say that after 26 years of relative poverty--and to a degree, struggle--it is nice to be able to say that now I can educate my kids properly without compromise, and set myself up in a way that will allow me to work with greater freedom and greater choices." --Rush quoted in the Daily News, November 1, 1998.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jane Menelaus. Actor. Married c. 1988; met when they co-starred in an Australian stage production of "Benefactors" (1986); retired from stage to raise family; acted opposite Rush in "Quills" (2000).

Family close complete family listing

father:
Roy Rush. Accountant. Kept accounts for the Australian Air Force; born c. 1927; split with wife when Rush was five.
mother:
Merle Rush. Sales clerk. Born c. 1927; when marriage splintered, took children to live with her parents in the suburbs.
daughter:
Angelica Rush. Born c. 1992.
son:
James Rush. Born c. 1995.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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