10 Most Famous Australian Actors
Five of the men and women who make up our list of the 10 Most Famous Australian Actors have brought home Oscars. Others were among the top box office draws of their generations clearly showing the impact actors from down under have had on Hollywood.
Russell Crowe. He won an Oscar in 2001 for his performance in “Gladiator” putting him atop our list of the 10 most famous Australian actors of all time. Despite being known for occasional emotional outbursts, it is his work in such films as “The Insider,” and “A Beautiful Mind” that has earned Russell Crowe status as one of Hollywood’s most respected actors.
Mel Gibson. Born in the U.S., Mel Gibson spent much of his formative years in Australia and returned to America complete with an Aussie accent and handsome looks that made him a huge box office draw. Recent anger issues and anti-Semitic remarks have virtually destroyed his marketability, but haven’t diminished his standing as one of the most famous Australian actors of all time.
Errol Flynn. Gaining fame in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s for his many roles as a swashbuckler, Errol Flynn is perhaps the first Aussie actor to make a major impact in the film industry. His dashing good looks and well-earned reputation as a ladies’ man didn’t hurt his appeal at the box office earning Flynn a spot on our list of most famous Australian actors of all time.
Nicole Kidman. Her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in the 2002 film “The Hours” earned Nicole Kidman an Oscar and puts her high on our list of famous Australian actors. Early on, the tall, beautiful redhead earned fame merely as the wife of box office star Tom Cruise, but over the years Kidman has developed a reputation as one of Hollywood’s top female actors.
Geoffrey Rush. Despite winning a Best Actor Oscar for “Shine,” Geoffrey Rush is best known to moviegoers as the ruthless Barbossa in the popular “Pirates of the Caribbean” series. That, plus his Oscar-nominated work in the 2011 Best Picture “The King’s Speech,” earns him a place on our list of most famous Australian actors.
Heath Ledger. A highly publicized death at 28 and posthumous Oscar win for a spectacular performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight” cemented Heath Ledger’s standing as one of the most famous Australian actors of all time. But his most impressive work may have come in the controversial and groundbreaking 2005 drama “Brokeback Mountain.”
Cate Blanchett. Next on our list of top Australian actors is the only performer to win an Academy Award for playing a former Academy Award winner. Cate Blanchett won a 2005 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her portrayal of four-time Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn in “The Aviator.”
Hugh Jackman. One of Hollywood’s most versatile performers, Hugh Jackman is as comfortable on the Broadway stage as he is on the big screen. He won a 2004 Tony Award then followed that up with an Emmy the following year for his performance at the 2004 Tony Award Ceremonies. Not a bad night’s work.
Naomi Watts. Born in England and raised in Australia, Naomi Watts first gained notice among moviegoers for her steamy love scenes with fellow actress Laura Harring in David Lynch’s “Mulholland Dr.” Since then, she has starred in numerous films earning a 2004 Best Actress nomination for her performance in “21 Grams.”
Portia de Rossi. Going from a failed marriage to announcing you are a lesbian will get you some publicity. When you marry popular talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, you get a ton of publicity. Portia de Rossi did just that making the former teen model and “Ally McBeal” actress one of the most famous Australian actors off all time.