10 Timeless Australian Actors that made it overseas

January 9, 2014

1. Errol Flynn

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Errol Flynn did not mean to become an actor. He tried multiple other career choices until he finally took acting classes in England.

Here he starred in ‘The Wake of Bounty’, and his performance caught the eye of the Warner Brothers who then shipped him off to America. From this point on, he rose up the Hollywood ladder at a fast pace and soon became a household name.

2. Peter Finch

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Peter Finch was a bad boy off screen and on. His binge drinking and womanizing habits were as well documented, as was his success on screen.

He played quite a few notable roles such as ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ and ‘Network’. He was nominated for 5 BAFTA awards and won the best actor award at the Oscars in 1967. He was also the first actor to win this award posthumously.

3. Judy Davis

Judy Davis on the 'Bop Decameron' film set

Judy Davis gained her international fame through her role in ‘A Passage to India’ in 1984, which resulted in her first Oscar nomination. She starred in many other Woody Allen films over the years and received another Oscar nomination in 1992.

4. Rod Taylor

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Rod Taylor is one of the most handsome and polished actors from the 50s and 60s. He went to the US in the fifties and worked on a number of memorable movies.

His most notable role was the one he played as the inventor in ‘The Time Machine’, which was a massive box office hit. His other movies included Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ and ‘Sunday in New York’.

5. Judith Anderson

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She started her career in Australia, but then moved to New York where she worked on Broadway for a while. Here she gained recognition for her role in Macbeth, causing doors to open for her, which lead her to making movies.

Her most memorable roles were in ‘Blood Money’, Hitchcock’s ‘Rebecca’ and ‘And Then There Were None’ opposite Rene Clair.

6. Jack Thompson

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Jack Thompson starred in numerous box office hits over the span of his career. These include ‘The Chant of Jimmy BlackSmith’ (1982), ‘Breaker Morant’ (1980), ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ (1997) and most recently ‘Star Wars: Episode Two- Attack of the Clones’ (2002).

The actor was also a UN employee, juggling both jobs at the beginning of his career. He has won multiple awards both in Australia and abroad for his performances.

7. Geoffrey Rush

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Geoffrey Rush has worked in Hollywood for many decades now, getting his first big hit back in 1996 with ‘Shine’. Prior to this break, he suffered a nervous breakdown due to his lack of achievements.

After this point though, he starred in one hit after another, setting him off on what would go on to be a long and eminent career.

8. Russell Crowe

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Russell Crowe was born in New Zealand and has made a home in Australia for himself.

He started his career as a child star in Australia and then went on to Hollywood, with his first movie ‘The Quick and the Dead’ opposite Sharon Stone. From that point on the offers kept flooding in and Russell Crow has starred in quite a few memorable roles, taking on diverse characters, which gave his career a lot of depth.

9. Bill Hunter

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Bill Hunter is an Australian legend, who has been in the industry for almost 30 years. During that time, he has starred in multiple movies and TV shows both at home and abroad. His most notable international hit was ‘The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ in 1994.

10. Paul Hogan

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Paul Hogan became an international sensation with his comic role in ‘Crocodile Dundee’ in 1986, which he co-wrote. He has mostly stuck to comic roles, which has suited him well through his career, landing him a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination.

  • Nicholas

    From the ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ photo, I thought Toni Collette would be included. Considering Bill Hunter made it on the list (who I love, but really only appeared in Aussie flicks), I am surprised not to see Rachel Griffiths, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Hugh Jackman, Hugo Weaving, Nicole Kidman, Jacki Weaver or Isla Fisher featured here…….