30 Household names that have made it in Tinseltown from Downunder.
Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson was born January 3, 1956 in Peekskill, New York, USA, as the sixth of eleven children of Hutton Gibson
, a railroad brakeman, and Anne Patricia (Reilly) Gibson (who died in December of 1990). His mother was Irish, from County Longford, while his American-born father is of mostly Irish descent...
Elegant blonde Nicole Kidman, known as one of Hollywood's top Australian imports, was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, while her Australian parents were there on educational visas. Kidman is the daughter of Janelle Ann (Glenny), a nursing instructor, and Antony David Kidman, a biochemist and clinical psychologist...
Hugh Michael Jackman is an Australian actor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer and producer. Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as superhero, period, and romance characters. He is best known for his long-running role as Wolverine in the X-Men film series...
Russell Ira Crowe was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to Jocelyn Yvonne (Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe, both of whom catered movie sets. His maternal grandfather, Stanley Wemyss, was a cinematographer. Crowe's recent ancestry includes Welsh (where his paternal grandfather was born, in Wrexham), English...
Heath Ledger work comprised nineteen films, including 10 Things I Hate About You
, The Patriot
, A Knight's Tale
, Monster's Ball
, Ned Kelly
, The Brothers Grimm
, Lords of Dogtown
, Brokeback Mountain
, I'm Not There.
, The Dark Knight
and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
. He also produced and directed music videos and aspired to be a film director...
Cate Blanchett was born on May 14, 1969 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to June (Gamble), an Australian teacher and property developer, and Robert DeWitt Blanchett, Jr., an American advertising executive, originally from Texas. She has an older brother and a younger sister. When she was ten years old...
Paul Hogan became a worldwide success with his irresistible comic performance in Crocodile Dundee
, which he created and co-wrote. This earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor as well as an Academy Award nomination (for Best Screenplay). The versatile actor got his start in Australian television in a recurring role as comic relief on A Current Affair
Toni Collette is an Academy Award-nominated Australian actress, best known for her roles in The Sixth Sense
and Little Miss Sunshine
. Collette was born Toni Collett (she later added an "e") on November 1, 1972, in Blacktown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She is the first of three children of Judith (Cook)...
Geoffrey Roy Rush was born on July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, to Merle (Bischof), a department store sales assistant, and Roy Baden Rush, an accountant for the Royal Australian Air Force. His mother was of German descent and his father had English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. He was raised in Brisbane, Queensland, after his parents split up...
Hugo Wallace Weaving was born on April 4, 1960 in Nigeria, to English parents Anne (Lennard), a tour guide and teacher, and Wallace Weaving, a seismologist. Hugo has an older brother, Simon, and a younger sister, Anna, who both also live and work in Australia. During his early childhood, the Weaving family spent most of their time traveling between Nigeria...
Naomi Ellen Watts was born on September 28, 1968 in Shoreham, England, to Myfanwy Edwards "Miv" (Roberts), an antiques dealer and costume/set designer, and Peter Watts
(Peter Anthony Watts), the road manager to Pink Floyd
. Her maternal grandfather was Welsh. Her father died when Naomi was seven and she began to follow her mother and her brother around England...
Samuel Henry John Worthington was born August 2, 1976 in Surrey, England. His parents, Jeanne (Martyn) and Ronald Worthington, a power planet employee, moved the family to Australia when he was six months old, and raised him and his sister Lucinda in Warnbro, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia. Worthington...
Guy Edward Pearce was born 5 October, 1967 in Cambridgeshire, England, UK to Anne (Pickering) and Stuart Graham Pearce. His father was born in Auckland, New Zealand, to English and Scottish parents, while Guy's mother is English. Pearce and his family initially traveled to Australia for two years, after his father was offered the position of Chief test pilot for the Australian Government...
Chris Hemsworth was born in Melbourne, Australia, to Leonie (van Os), a teacher of English, and Craig Hemsworth, a social-services counselor. His brothers are actors Liam Hemsworth
and Luke Hemsworth
. He is of Dutch (from his immigrant maternal grandfather), Irish, English, Scottish, and German ancestry. His uncle, by marriage, was Rod Ansell, the bushman who inspired the film Crocodile Dundee
Actress/singer Olivia Newton-John was born on September 26, 1948, in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. She lived there until she was five years old, and her family relocated to Australia when her father was offered a job as the dean of a college in Melbourne. When she was a teen she returned to live in England with her mother...
Eric Bana was born Eric Banadinovic on August 9, 1968, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is the younger of two brothers. His father, named Ivan Banadinovic, came from Zagreb, Croatia, and worked as a manager for Caterpillar Inc. His mother, named Eleanor Banadinovic, came from a German family and was a hairdresser...
Her mother, Anna Griffiths, is an art consultant. Her uncle is a Jesuit priest. Has two older brothers. One brother, Ben, is a ski instructor. Lived on the Gold Coast, Queensland until age five, then moved to Melbourne. Attended Star of the Sea Catholic Girls' College, did well at school and learned ballet...
Portia de Rossi
Portia de Rossi was born and raised in Geelong, Australia. Originally born Amanda Rogers, at 15 she changed her name to Portia, saying that it was the most daring thing she had ever done up until that point. After graduating from high school, she attended the University of Melbourne, and studied law...
Julian Dana William McMahon was born in Sydney, Australia, the second of three children of Lady Sonia McMahon (née Sonia Rachel Hopkins) and Sir Billy McMahon
, the longest continuously serving government minister in Australian history, serving over 21 years as a government minister before serving as Prime Minister of Australia from March 1971 to December 1972...
Simon Baker was first recognized in 1992, when he received Australia's prestigious Logie award for Most Popular New Talent. Upon relocating to Los Angeles with his family, Baker was immediately cast in the Academy Award winning film L.A. Confidential
Joel Edgerton was born on June 23, 1974 in Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia, to Marianne and Michael Edgerton, who is a solicitor and property developer. His brother is filmmaker Nash Edgerton
. He went to Hills Grammar School in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, and after leaving, he attended Nepean Drama School in 1994...
The second of four children, Australian actress Melissa George was born in Perth, Western Australia in 1976. The daughter of Pamela, a nurse, and Glenn George, a construction worker, Melissa initially expressed interest in various forms of dance rather than acting. During her childhood, George studied tap...
Rose Byrne was born in Balmain, Sydney, Australia. She is the daughter of Jane, a primary school administrator, and Robin Byrne, a semi-retired statistician and market researcher. She landed her first role in a movie, Dallas Doll
, when she was 15 years old. Since then, Rose has appeared in a variety of Australian televisions shows including Heartbreak High
Noah George Taylor, the elder of two boys, was born in 1969 in London, England, to Maggie (Miller), a journalist and book editor, and Paul Taylor, a copywriter and journalist. His family lived in both England and New Zealand before returning to his parents' native Australia in 1974. His parents divorced when he was a teenager and his father remarried--to theater publicist...
Despite his prominence in Hollywood as a character actor known for playing villains and criminals, Ben Mendelsohn has been a leading man in Australia since starting acting as a teenager. Paul Benjamin Mendelsohn was born in Melbourne, Australia, to Carole Ann (Ferguson), a nurse, and Frederick Arthur Oscar Mendelsohn...
Isla Lang Fisher was born on February 3, 1976 in Muscat, Oman, to Scottish parents Elspeth Reid and Brian Fisher, who worked as a banker for the U.N. She spent her early childhood in Scotland before moving to Australia with her family in the early 1980s. From a young age, Isla showed an interest in both acting and writing...
Abbie Cornish grew up on her parents' 170 acre farm in the Hunter Valley town of Lochinvar with her 3 brothers and younger sister. Abbie started modeling at age 13. Her first acting job was at age 15 on the Australian Broadcasting Commission series Children's Hospital
playing a quadriplegic.