The Top 20 Australian Actors of All-Time

When thinking of the big Hollywood stars, it is often those who are born in the United States who spring to mind followed closely by British actors. However, there are amazingly talented actors from right across the globe who have made it big in the film industry. Australia is the birthplace of some of the biggest stars to have hit the big screen. These talented actors have performed in many blockbuster movies and have become in-demand as they have established themselves in the movie industry. There are many Australian actors you may not even realize are native to this country as they have starred in American or British movies and performed using an accent. Here are 20 of the top actors from Australia.

20. Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth hails from Melbourne where he was born on August 11, 1983. He is the middle son of Leonie and Craig Hemsworth. His brothers, Luke and Liam, are also actors. Hemsworth’s career in the entertainment industry began in 2002 when he played King Arthur in two episodes of ‘Guinevere Jones’. He rose to prominence when he landed the role of Kim Hyde in ‘Home and Away’. He appeared in 171 episodes of this soap opera. He has since established himself as a movie star and some of his best-known films include ‘Star Trek’, ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, ‘Red Dawn’, the ‘Thor’ series of films, and the ‘Avengers’ series of films. Hemsworth has won several awards for his work. He now lives on Phillip Island in Australia with his wife, Elsa Pataky, and his three children.

19. Rose Byrne

Rose Byrne was born in Balmain, New South Wales, on July 24, 1979. However, since she has become a successful actress, she now lives in Manhattan, New York City. She is married to Bobby Cannavale and they have two children together. She began her acting career at the age of just 13 when she had a small role in ‘Dallas Dolls’. She became famous on television for her role as Ellen Parsons in ‘Damages’ which she played between 2007 and 2012. She has gone on to star in many movies. Some of her best-known films include ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘Sorority Rising’, ‘Spy’, ‘28 Weeks Later’, and the ‘X-Men’ series of films. She has also performed on stage and appeared in music videos.

18. Greta Scacchi

Greta Scacchi is an Italian-Australian. Although she was born in Milan in 1960, her family moved to Australia when she was five years old and this is where she was raised. She has officially been an Australian citizen since 1995. She has also previously applied for British citizenship but has been refused on two occasions. She began her career in television in 1981 and made her film debut the following year in the German film ‘The Second Face’. She then starred in many more films, including ‘Presumed Innocent’, ‘The Player’, ‘White Mischief’, and ‘The Ebony Tower’. She famously turned down the role of Catherine Trammell in the 1990 film ‘Basic Instinct’. She has been nominated for numerous awards throughout her career and won an Emmy Award for her role in the television film ‘Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny’.

17. Eric Bana

Eric Bana is both a comedian and an actor. He was born in Melbourne on August 9, 1968. He spent the first decade of his career working solely in Australian television series and films. He first came to the attention of Hollywood when he acted in the 2010 movie ‘Black Hawk Down’ and then played the titular role in the 2003 film ‘Hulk’. Other films for which he is well-known include ‘Munich’, ‘Star Trek’, ‘Deliver Us from Evil’, ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’, and ‘Lone Survivor. He is married to Rebecca Gleeson and the couple lives in Melbourne with their two children.

16. Toni Collette

Toni Collette is an actress and musician who was born in Blacktown, New South Wales, on November 1, 1972. She has acted extensively on stage, in television, and in film. Collette has won many awards for her work. These have included a Golden Globe, an Emmy Awards, and six AACTA Awards. She has also been nominated for a Tony Award, and Academy Award, and two BAFTA Awards. At the beginning of her career, she usually played comedy roles. Some examples of her films at this time include the 1994 film ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ and the 1992 movie ‘Spotswood’. She first became an international star when she plated Lynn Sear in the 1999 movie ‘The Sixth Sense’. Other films for which she is well-known are ‘About a Boy’, ‘The Hours’, ‘Imperium’, The Night Listener’, and ‘Jesus Henry Christ’. Toni Collette has been married to Dave Galafassi since 2003. Their daughter, Sage Florence, was born in 2008 followed by the birth of their son, Arlo Robert, in 2011.

15. Miriam Margolyes

Miriam Margolyes was born in Oxford, England, on May 18, 1941. However, she has had Australian citizenship since 2013. She has been with her Australian partner, Heather Sutherland, since 1967. Margolyes has homes in New South Wales, Tuscany, and London. She and Sutherland divide their time between these three homes. Miriam Margolyes has had a prolific career as an actress that spans six decades. She is possibly best-known for her role as Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter series of films. She won a BAFTA for her role in the 1993 film ‘The Age of Innocence’. Other notable films in which she has appeared include ‘Little Dorrit’, ‘Romeo + Juliet’, ‘James and the Giant Peach’, and ‘Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers’. Margolyes has also provided voices for many films, including ‘Babe’, ‘Happy Feet’, ‘Mulan’, and ‘Flushed Away’.

14. Guy Pearce

Guy Pearce was born in Cambridgeshire, England, on October 5, 1967. However, his family moved to Victoria in Australia when he was five years of age. This actor and musician shot to fame when he played the role of Mike Young in the Australian soap opera ‘Neighbours’. He also has a very successful career in the movie industry. Some of his most notable films include ‘The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’, ‘The Proposition’, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, ‘The King’s Speech’, and ‘Prometheus’. He was married to his childhood sweetheart Kate Mesitz from 1997 to 2015. He has been with his current partner Carice van Houten since 2015.

13. Isla Fisher

Isla Fisher was born to Scottish parents in Muscat, Oman, on February 3, 1976. Her family moved to Perth when she was six years old. She was a child actress who began her career in ‘Bay Cove’, a children’s adventure series, and also ‘Paradise Beach’. She shot to fame when she landed the role of Shannon Reed in the popular Australian soap opera ‘Home and Away’. She has since established a successful career in the movie industry and is particularly well-known for her comedic roles. Some of the films she has starred in include ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’, ‘Hot Rod’, ‘Scooby-Doo’, ‘Rango’, ‘Bachelorette’, ‘Definitely, Maybe’, ‘Wedding Crashers’, and ‘I Heart Huckabees’. She has also starred in ‘Arrested Development’ and ‘Rise of the Guardians’. She has been married to Sacha Baron Cohen since 2010 and the couple has three children together.

12. Geoffrey Rush

Geoffrey Rush is from Toowoomba, Queensland, where he was born on July 6, 1951. He is one of the few talented actors who has had the honor of winning the ‘Triple Crown of Acting’. This is a Tony Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, and an Academy Award. He has also won two Golden Globes, three British Film Academy Awards, and four Screen Actors Guild Awards. Many of his awards were for playing the role of David Helfgott in the 1996 film ‘Shine’. Other films in which he has starred include ‘Shakespeare in Love’, ‘Quills’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’, ‘Swimming Upstream’, ‘The Life and Death of Peter Sellers’. ‘The King’s Speech’, and ‘The Eye of the Storm’. Geoffrey Rush has been married to Jane Menelaus since 1988 and the couple live in Melbourne. They have one daughter, Angelica, and one son, James, together.

11. Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie has enjoyed an astronomic rise to fame since she first launched her career in the entertainment industry in 2008. She was born in Dalby, Queensland, on July 2, 1990. At the beginning of her career, she had roles in several independent films and also appeared on ‘Neighbours’ between 2008 and 2011. Her feature was in the 2013 film ‘About Time’ in which she played Charlotte. IN the same year, she starred in the Martin Scorsese film ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’. However, one of her most famous roles is as Harley Quinn in the 2016 film ‘Suicide Squad’. Other movies in which she has starred include ‘Mary Queen of Scots’, ‘The Legend of Tarzan’, and ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’. She has been married to Tom Ackerley since 2016 and the couple now has a home in Los Angeles.

10. Hugo Weaving

Although Hugo Weaving now lives in Sydney, Australia, and is one of the best-known current Australian movie stars, he actually moved around a lot during his childhood. He was born in Ibadan in the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria to English parents on April 4, 1960. The family then moved to England before spending some time living in both Australia and South Africa. They then returned to England before making their final move to Australia in 1976 when Weaving was 16. Some of the films in which he has starred include ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, ‘The Matrix’ trilogy, ‘V for Vendetta’, and ‘The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’. He has also provided voices for the ‘Transformers’ film series, ‘Babe’, ‘Happy Feet’, and ‘Happy Feet Two’. Weaving married Katrina Greenwood in 1984 and they have two children together.

9. Sam Worthington

Although Sam Worthington was born in England on August 2, 1976, his nationality is Australian as his family moved to Perth when he was two months old. He began his acting career in 2000 when he played the role of Mitchell Okden in ‘Bootmen’. His first major role was in the 2004 film ‘Somersault’ and he also played the lead in the Australian film version of ‘Macbeth’ in 2006. He is also well-known for his roles in ‘Avatar’, ‘Terminator Salvation’, ‘Clash of the Titans’, ‘Wrath of the Titans’, ‘Hackshaw Ridge’, ‘Manhunt: Unabomber’, ‘Everest’, and ‘The Shack’. He now lives in Rockingham, Western Australia, with his wife Lara Bingle and their two children.

8. Anthony LaPaglia

Anthony LaPaglia was born in Adelaide on January 31, 1959. Prior to becoming an actor, LaPaglia was a professional soccer player for both West Adelaide and Adelaide City. He began his career as an actor in 1985. He is well-known for his roles as Joe in ‘Empire Records’ and FBI agent Jack Malone in ‘Without a Trace’. For the latter, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor-Television Series Drama. Some of the Australian films in which he had appeared include ‘Balibo’, ‘Lantana’, ‘Looking for Alibrandi’, and ‘Holding the Man’. LaPaglia has worked as a voice actor and provided voices for ‘Happy Feet’, ‘Happy Feet Two’, ‘All-Star Superman’, and ‘Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole’. LaPaglia’s first marriage was to Cherie Michan. He married his second wife, Gia Carides, in 1998 and their daughter was born in 2003. LaPaglia and Carides split in 20215. He now lives in Santa Monica, California.

7. Russell Crowe

Russel Crowe was born in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 7, 1964. However, his family moved to Australia when he was four years old. Although his family moved back to New Zealand when he was 14, Crowe returned at 21 and made Australia his home. He now lives in Sydney and also owns a home in Townsville in North Queensland. Crowe began his career in the entertainment industry in 1985 and then landed a role in ‘Neighbours’ in 1987. His first movie was the 1990 movie ‘Prisoners of the Sun’ in which he played Lieutenant Jack Corbett. Since then he has starred in many hit movies. These include ‘A Beautiful Mind’, ‘Master of Steel’, ‘Robin Hood’, ‘L.A. Confidential’, ‘Les Misérables’, and ‘American Gangster’. He was in a long-term on-off relationship for many years with singer Danielle Spencer and the couple had two sons together. The relationship finally came to an end in 2012.

6. Radha Mitchell

Radha Mitchell is an Australian actress who was born in Melbourne on November 12, 1973. In the early stages of her career, she predominantly worked in Australian television before getting roles in Australia films. She later progressed to starring many Hollywood movies. These have included ‘Finding Neverland’, ‘The Crazies’, ‘Pitch Black’, ‘Silent Hill’, ‘Melinda and Melinda’, ‘Phone Booth’, and ‘Man on Fire’. She has won many awards throughout her career.

5. Ben Mendelsohn

Mendelsohn was born in Melbourne on April 3, 1969. He first became famous for his role in the 1987 film ‘The Year My Voice Broke’. He is now possibly best-known for his role in ‘Bloodline’, a Netflix series he has starred in since 2015. Some of his most famous films include ‘Mississippi Ground’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, and ‘Starred Up’. He has won many awards throughout his career for his performances on television and film. Ben Mendelsohn already has one daughter when he married British Author Emma Forrest in 2012. Mendelsohn and Forrest also have a daughter together.

4. Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger was a talented actor and director who was born in Perth on April 4, 1979. In the early stages of his career, he had roles in many Australian television and film roles. In 1998, he made the decision to move to the United States to further his career in the film industry. Some of his best works were ‘Monster’s Ball’, ’10 Things I Hate About You’, ‘A Knight’s Tale’, ‘The Patriot’, and ‘Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’. However, it was his work immediately before his tragic death on January 22, 2008, for which he is most famous. Ledger sadly died of a prescription drug overdose that led to a cardiac arrest. Just three years before his death, he had played one of the lead roles in ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and his performance in this led to him winning many awards. At the time of his death ‘The Dark Knight’ was in post-production. He had played the role of the Joker in this 2008 film. He did not live to receive the awards his performance earned him. Some of the awards he won posthumously included a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, a BAFTA, an Australian Film Institute Award, and a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award.

3. Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman is an Australian actor whose career began in 1994. He was born in Sydney on October 12, 1968. In addition to working as an actor, he is also a singer and producer. Jackman is now probably best-known for playing the role of Wolverine in the ‘X-Men’ series of films. However, he has starred in many more fantastic movies. These include ‘Les Misérables’, ‘Australia’, ‘Kate & Leopold’, ‘The Fountain’, ‘Van Helsing’, ‘Prisoners’, and ‘The Prestige’. Hugh Jackman has been married to Deborra-Lee Furness since 1996. After Furness suffered two miscarriages, she and Jackman adopted two children; Oscar and Ava.

2. Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett was born on May 14, 1969, in Ivanhoe, Victoria. She is an actress and stage director who began her career in 1992. The role which shot her to international fame was when she played Queen Elizabeth I in the 1998 film ‘Elizabeth’. For her performance in this, she won a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, and a BAFTA. This movie was directed by Shekhar Kapur. She also received great critical acclaim when she played Katherine Hepburn in the 2004 movie ‘The Aviator’, which was directed by Martin Scorsese. She won an Academy Award for this performance and it made her the first actress to win an Oscar for portraying another Oscar-winning actress in a movie. She won another Academy Award for her portrayal of Jasmine Francis in Woody Allen’s 2013 film ‘Blue Jasmine’. Other films for which Cate Blanchett is well-known include ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’, Thor: Ragnorak’, ‘Robin Hood’, ‘Cinderella’, the ‘Hobbit’ trilogy, and ‘Babel’. Blanchett has been married to Andrew Upton since 1997 and has four children. She now lives with her family in East Sussex, England.

1. Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman was born to Australian parents in Honolulu, Hawaii, on June 20, 1967. Her family returned to Sydney, Australia, when she was four years old. Kidman began her career as an actress in 1983 when she had a role in the film ‘Bush Christmas. She went on to play the lead in ‘BMX Bandits’ in the same year. Her popularity increased when she performed in ‘Dead Calm’ and ‘Bangkok Hilton’ in 1989. She made her breakthrough in Hollywood in 1990 when she played the lead female opposite her future husband Tom Cruise in ‘Days of Thunder’. Some of her most famous movies include ‘Moulin Rouge’, ‘Batman Forever’, ‘Eyes Wide Shut’, ‘Far and Away’, ‘To Die For’, and ‘The Others’. She has won many awards throughout her career. She was married to Tom Cruise between 1990 and 2001. The couple had adopted two children together. She went on to marry Keith Urban, with whom she has two daughters, in 2006. The couple has two homes in Australia; one in Sydney and another in New South Wales. They also have homes in Los Angeles and Nashville, Tennesse.


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