He started out as a stage performer, but broke through to film stardom together with his lead character in the movie Shine (1996), which earned him a Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Actor. He was likewise an executive producer of the Academy Award-winning The King’s Speech (2010).
His dad, Roy, worked as an accountant for the Australian air force and his mom, Merle, as a department store clerk. They divorced when Rush was 5 years old, after which he resided together with his mother at her parents’ house.
Rush graduated in 1971 from the University of Queensland in Brisbane having a bachelor’s degree in English. He loved the dramatic arts, and the exact same year the Queensland Theatre Company found him while he was playing in a revue.
Rush pursued a stage career and also lived in Paris from 1975-1977, registering in the Jacques Lecoq School of Mime, Movement and Theatre. Several years after he appeared onstage with the actor named Mel Gibson in a Sydney production of Waiting for Godot. The two even roomed together; little did they understand the success that awaited them.
Rush located consistent work as an actor, but it had not been before the movie Shine (1996) that he became a household name. Costarring with Lynn Redgrave, Rush won both a Golden Globe and an Oscar as Best Actor for this particular part.
Following the success of Shine, Rush declared, “It Is been an incredibly fulfilling career, and I do not need to suddenly throw all that out the window and do something trashy that pays lots of cash. But I am going to need to face that awful matter of, well, just how much cash.”
In his long career, Rush is one among fewer than two dozen performers to ever have won the “Triple Crown of Performing”–an Academy Award, Emmy Award and Tony Award. He’s been nominated for, or won, several BAFTA and SAG awards.
Working on another side of the camera, Rush became a first-time executive producer when he helped to shoot The King’s Speech (2010) in the stage to film. Rush continues to play in TV series and movies now.
Rush met celebrity Jane Menelaus when they were both performing in a tour of The Importance of Being Earnest. The tour was their honeymoon, of which Rush said, “”(Every night) I got to propose to my wife in Oscar Wilde’s delightful language, and I got paid for it.”
Both wed in 1988 and had daughter Angelica (born 1992) and son James (born 1995). Rush and his family reside in Australia.