Bruce Spence was born on September 17, 1945 in New Zealand. When he was growing up in Henderson, just out of Auckland, the last thing he ever expected to be was an actor. Bruce's family were winemakers, and he worked in the family winery from a very tender age, later attending Henderson High School then Massey University, where he studied horticulture. From this background he retained a passion for growing things, and has created a succession of beautiful gardens for himself and friends. At 20, Bruce moved to Australia, where to his surprise he was accepted into the National Gallery of Victoria Art School. Bruce's mother, Olga, was a painter and potter. In 1969 Bruce joined a ragtag group working at the tiny La Mama theatre in Melbourne. The group became the revolutionary Australian Performing Group, and Bruce's talent for acting was discovered. Forced to choose between art and acting, he decided to try his luck at the latter. He went on to perform in numerous plays with the group, then the Melbourne Theatre Company, the Sydney Theatre Company, the South Australian Theatre Company and several other companies, even the National Arts Centre of Canada where he played the lead in the award-winning "The Floating World" by John Romeril. He now lives in Sydney, where his recent acting credits with the Sydney Theatre Company include "The Secret River", "The Harp in the South", "Endgame" and "Rules for Living". Bruce has appeared in close to 100 films, including Mad Max 2 ("The Road Warrior") and 3 ("Beyond Thunderdome"), "Ace Ventura" Part II, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King", "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith", "Finding Nemo", "The Matrix Revolutions" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell no Tales". He has also appeared in numerous television roles. When starring as the wizard Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander in the cult series "Legend of the Seeker", which was filmed in New Zealand, Bruce found he had come full circle, working directly opposite his old high school in Henderson. At home in Sydney he lives quietly with his wife, Jenny and an adoring tabby cat. They have two children and four grandchildren. Between jobs Bruce works on his own burgeoning garden and as a volunteer at the Royal Botanic Garden, where he and his group propagate plants. He is also currently chair of the NSW Actors' Benevolent Fund.
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