Date of Birth: July 6, 1951
Born in Toowoomba in Australia's Queensland district, Rush had a very famous roommate while going to college -- Mel Gibson (Gibson was actually born in Peekskill, New York, but moved to Australia with his family when he was 12). But while Gibson was thrust into movie stardom with Mad Max, Rush pursued a very successful stage career in Australia beginning with the Queensland Theater Company in Brisbane.
It was the movie Shine (1996) that brought Rush to a mass audience when he played musical genius David Helfgott who cracks under the strain of his talent and ends up spending 15 years confined to psychiatric hospitals before being rescued by the love of a good woman (played by Lynn Redgrave in the film). Rush won both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Actor for that film and suddenly found himself an in-demand actor.
As he said at the time about all the post-Shine offers being thrown his way: "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."
Married to Jane Menelaus, the couple have two children: Angelica who was born in 1992 and James, born three years later.
As for how Rush would like to be perceived as an actor, he says, "If there are two baskets that you put actors into, I'd like to be put into the serious, deep actor basket rather than the personality basket."
In 2005, Rush won a second Golden Globe, as well as his first Emmy award, this time for portraying the late, great comedic actor Peter Sellers in the TV movie The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. He has since starred in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies alongside Johnny Depp. As of 2009, Rush is one of 21 actors to have won the "Triple Crown of Acting," an Academy Award, an Emmy and a Tony award. He most recently starred in The Book Thief (2013).
* 1996 Actor in a Leading Role Oscar winner for Shine.