Born July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba, Australia. Before receiving the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of David Helfgott, the psychologically disturbed classical pianist in 1997’s Shine, few outside of Australia had ever heard of Geoffrey Rush. He got his start on the stage, and in 1979, co-starred in Waiting for Godot with Mel Gibson, a fellow struggling actor with whom he shared an apartment. Despite his artful performance in the Samuel Becket classic, his first hit stage role was as the dog “Snoopy” in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
In 1981, Rush made his film debut in a bit part in the Australian thriller Hoodwink. Over the next 15 years, he continued his stage career and appeared in only four more Australian films before winning the starring role in Scott Hicks’s Shine, based on the true story of David Helfgott, a brilliant piano protégé who returns to music years after suffering a debilitating mental breakdown. The world-class Australian production was honored with seven Academy Award nominations, and Rush took home the Best Actor Oscar.
With his reputation firmly established in both his native land and in Hollywood, Rush starred in 1998’s Les Miserables opposite Liam Neeson, Uma Thurman, and Claire Danes. That same year, he had meaty supporting roles in two acclaimed films: Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett, and the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love, costarring Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, and Judi Dench. For the supporting role of Philip Henslowe, the Rose Theatre owner, in Shakespeare in Love, Rush received his second Academy Award nomination.
In 2000, he played the notorious literary figure Marquis de Sade in Quills, director Philip Kaufman's acclaimed film version of Doug Wright's play, which costarred Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, and Michael Caine. For his portrayal of Sade, Rush earned another Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
In the spring of 2001, Rush costars with Pierce Brosnan in The Tailor of Panama.
Rush and his wife, the actress Jane Menelaus, have two children, Angelica and James.
Biography by Biography.com