Personal detailsName: Geoffrey Rush
Born: 6 July 1951 (Age: 63)
Where: Toowoomba, Australia
Height: 6' 1"
Awards: Won 1 Oscar, 2 BAFTAs, 2 Golden Globes
All about this star
For anyone fearing that life after 40 is a slow and mortifying descent towards death, the story of Geoffrey Rush must be a real heart-warmer. Engaged in a decades-long battle to keep theatre alive and vibrant in his native Australia, he was utterly unknown to the outside world. Then, in his mid-forties, he nabbed an Oscar for his stunning performance in Shine, and jumped straight to the top of the Hollywood ladder - while STILL finding time for his beloved theatre work, back in Australia.
Geoffrey Rush was born in Toowoomba, Queensland on July 6th, 1951. His father, Roy Baden Rush was an accountant for the Australian air force, while his mother Merle (nee Kiehne) was a sales clerk. The family would break up quickly, Roy and Merle divorcing when Geoffrey was just 5, the boy going with Merle to live with her parents After school - he attended Everton Park State High School - Rush took an arts degree at the University of Queensland (the institution years later awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Letters) where, acting in a revue in 1971, he was spotted and recruited by the Queensland Theatre Company.
In 1971, Rush would make his stage debut proper in the QTC's production of Wrong Side Of The Moon. He'd then stay with them for some four years, gaining a vital and wide-ranging theatre experience, appearing in Twelfth Night, Juno And The Paycock, The Philanthropist, The Rivals, The Ruling Class, Present Laughter, The National Health, Suddenly At Home and The Imaginary Invalid, as well as Godspell, Expresso Bongo, Lock Up Your Daughters, Aladdin, Puss In Boots, Hamlet On Ice (Hamlet On Ice?) and many more. His first big personal success would be as Snoopy in You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. As said, a wide-ranging theatre experience, indeed.
Still, Rush was looking for more and, in 1975, he took off for Paris for a couple of years, studying mime and pantomime at the famous Jacques Le Coq School Of Mime, then returned to Australia to resume his stage career. In 1978, he'd appear in King Lear, Point Of Departure and as Roy the Wonderboy in the manic Clowneroonies show (which he also directed), the next year headlining as Vladimir alongside Mel Gibson (with whom he shared an apartment) in a production of Waiting For Godot. In the early Eighties, he joined Jim Sharman's Lighthouse troupe (Sharman having directed The Rocky Horror Picture Show and its follow-up Shock Treatment), and would appear in Teeth'N'Smiles, The Revenger's Tragedy, No End Of Blame, You Can't Take It With You, Mother Courage, Silver Lining, The Prince Of Homburg, Blood Wedding and A Midsummer Night's Dream.