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Born: July 6, 1951 Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Geoffrey Rush has received many critical accolades during a film career that went from zero to sixty in what seems to be seconds.
Equally at home on the screen or stage, Geoffrey Rush was born in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia on July 6th, 1951. A classically trained and respected stage actor in his homeland, Rush’s early stage days saw him sharing an apartment at one time with another Aussie actor by the name of Mel Gibson. Between 1981 and 1995, Rush had only appeared in a few films, but his acting ability led him being cast as the psychologically disturbed pianist David Helfgott in Shine despite protests from the investors who wanted a “name” for the role.
His 1996 performance impressed audiences and critics worldwide and Geoffrey won accolade after accolade: an Oscar®, a Golden Globe, a SAG award, a BAFTA, Australian Film Institute Best Actor, and Best Actor from the New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
His out-of-nowhere wins led some to believe that he was one of those flukes that would disappear after a big role. Comedian Craig Kilborn, then hosting The Daily Show said “there goes Geoffrey, Rush-ing off into obscurity.”
However, Rush is not a fluke, but a fine actor. He followed his Shine performance with the role of Javert in Bille August’s 1998 adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les MisÃ©rables, which also starred Liam Neeson. 1998 also saw him star in Elizabeth with Cate Blanchett and Shakespeare in Love with Gwyneth Paltrow. His role in Shakespeare in Love earned him Best Supporting Actor nominations from the Oscars®, Golden Globes, BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild, while his role in Elizabeth won him a BAFTA for Supporting Actor. Do you think Mr. Kilborn likes his crow served cooked or raw?
The two films he made in 1999 showed that Rush wasn’t going to limit himself to awards fodder. He played the over-the-top Casanova Frankenstein in Mystery Men with Ben Stiller and appeared in the cheesy remake of House on Haunted Hill.
Rush’s Y2K performance as the Marquis de Sade, opposite Joaquin Phoenix and Kate Winslet in Quills, earned him both Golden Globe and Oscar® nominations.
In 2001, Geoffrey appeared in The Tailor of Panama and Lantana. He appeared in 2002’s The Banger Sisters and Frida, while the 2003 saw him working on two of that season’s biggest films, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Finding Nemo.
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