Rush, Geoffrey: Actor profile

The King's Speech

Geoffrey Rush stars in "The King's Speech," directed by Tom Hooper. The film, which also stars Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter, is being released The Weinstein Company on November 26.

After taking a degree in English at the University of Queensland, Geoffrey traveled to Paris in 1975 to study at the Jacques Lecoq School of Mime, Movement and Theatre. He was a principal member of Jim Sharman’s pioneering Lighthouse ensemble in the early 1980s, where he played leading roles in numerous classics. 


In 1989, Geoffrey’s lead performance in Neil Armfield’s production of “The Diary of a Madman” earned him the Sydney Critics’ Circle Award for Most Outstanding Performance, the Variety Club Award and the Victorian Green Room Award.  This highly acclaimed production toured Moscow and St Petersburg before a triumphant return season at the Adelaide Festival.  He has had starring roles in Gogol’s “The Government Inspector,” Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” and Mamet’s “Oleanna”, in which he co-starred with Cate Blanchett.  In 1993 he received the prestigious Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award for his work in theatre. 


Geoffrey’s Australian film credits include CANDY, LANTANA, SWIMMING UPSTREAM, HARVIE KRUMPET, NEDKELLY, ON OUR SELECTION and CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION.   For his role as pianist David Helfgott in SHINE, he won an Oscar for Best Actor, an Australian Film Institute Award, New York and Los Angeles Film Critics’ Awards, a Broadcast Film Critics’ Award, a Film Critics’ Circle of Australia Award, a SAG Award, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA.


For his performance as Henslowe in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, Geoffrey received a BAFTA Award, and Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor.  In Shekhar Kapur’s ELIZABETH, for his role as Walsingham, he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor. 


He was also nominated for Golden Globe, SAG and Oscar Best Actor Awards for his performance as the Marquis de Sade in Philip Kaufman’s QUILLS.


Other films include LES MISERBLES, MYSTERY MEN, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, THE TAILOR OF PANAMA, THE BANGER SISTERS, FRIDA, INTOLERABLE CRUELTY, MUNICH, ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE.  He is the voice of Nigel in Pixar Animation’s hugely successful animated feature FINDING NEMO, and the swashbuckling Barbossa in Jerry Bruckheimer’s PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films directed by Gore Verbinski.  These blockbuster films have set box office records internationally.


Geoffrey’s portrayal of the title role in the HBO biopic THE LIFE AND DEATH O FPETER SELLERS earned him a SAG Award, a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award.


In 2007 he played the lead in Ionesco’s “Exit the King” at The Malthouse in Melbourne and Belvoir Theatre in Sydney.  He co-translated this play with long term theatrical collaborator and director Neil Armfield.  Rush made his Broadway debut in a re-staging of “Exit the King” under Malthouse Theatre's touring moniker Malthouse Melbourne. This re-staging featured a new American cast including Susan Sarandon as Queen Marguerite. The show opened on 26 March 2009 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.  For his performance as King Berenger in the absurdist comedy, Rush won the Outer Critics Circle Award, Theatre World Award, and Drama Desk Award, as well as the Distinguished Performance Award from the Drama League Award, and was the winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play.


He is currently filming PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES and recently completed filming Fred Schepisi's THE EYE OF THE STORM, from the Patrick White novel, alongside Charlotte Rampling and Judy Davis.