Friday, December 24, 2010

Top Australian actors making it big in US television

HOME-GROWN Australian talent is scattered throughout the entertainment industry across the world.

Some make it bigger than others and a select few hit the fame jackpot, receiving big pay checks and international acclaim.

television is a honey pot for Australian actors but many fly under the radar due to their convincing foreign accents and Hollywood lifestyles.

Below is (the closest I could get to making) a gallery of Australian actors who have staring roles in American television series.

Some made a career for themselves before making the move to the US while other’s careers took off the moment they reached American soil.

Which are your favourites? Have I missed any familiar faces?

  • Toni Collette has graced the screen in films like Muriel’s Wedding, The Sixth Sense and Little Miss Sunshine but recently made the switch to television playing the lead role in US series United States of Tara. Her performance as a suburban housewife with dissociative identity disorder has already won much acclaim; Collette won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for best actress this year.
  • Simon Baker hails from Tassie and appeared in Aussie soaps Home and Away and Heartbreak High before making the move to the US and landing the lead role in CBS television series The Mentalist. The charming blonde-hair-and-blue-eyes consultant ruffles a few feathers and many a ladies hearts in the 3 season strong show.

  • Rachel Griffiths’ claim to fame came from budding up with pal Toni Collette in Muriel’s Wedding but she has found great success in American drama series Six Feet Under and currently stars in ABC Primetime drama Brothers & Sisters with veteran Sally Field and Callista Flockhart.
  • Anthony LaPaglia may be a gifted football player but he has certainly made his mark on the world of film and television. His performance as protagonist “Jack” Malone in all seven seasons of Without a Trace has made such an impact that LaPaglia now speaks naturally in an American accent.
  • Rose Byrne hails from Balmain in Sydney’s inner-west but the brunette beauty has found her home in US prime time television as protégée to ruthless lawyer (played by Glenn Close), Ellen Parsons, in Damages.
  • Jesse Spencer is further evidence Australia is fantastic at producing gorgeous blonde hair and blue-eyed charmers. After spending six years playing Billy Kennedy in Aussie soap Neighbours Spencer found his international break as Dr. Chase in hit medical drama House.
  • Yvonne Strahovski graduated with straight A’s from the University of Western Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts in Performance and went on to work in a string of Aussie series like Headland and Sea Patrol. Her career has since taken off staring as CIA agent Sarah Walker in the US spy comedy Chuck.
  • Dominic Purcell is of British blood but moved to Bondi on Australia’s east coast when he was two. Purcell landed the title role in US sci-fi drama series John Doe in 2002 but most audiences know him as Lincoln Burrows in Prison Break.
  • Emilie de Ravin was accepted into the Australian Ballet School in Victoria at fifteen but later gave up her dance shoes for acting when she moved to Los Angeles at eighteen. While there she stared as alien/human hybrid Tess Harding in teen television series Roswell and later Claire in hit ABC drama Lost.
  • Julian McMahon began his career as a model and later stared in Home and Away. Ten years later the son of former Australian Prime Minister, Sir William McMahon, has become a staple of American television staring as demon Cole Turner in Charmed for five years and currently as the womanising plastic surgeon Dr. Christian Troy on the hit drama Nip/Tuck.
  • Anna Torv learnt the acting craft on Australian shores, having studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), but has achieved acclaim as the lead star of sci-fi drama Fringe. Torv plays Olivia Dunham, a young FBI agent assigned to investigate the spread of unexplained phenomena.


Anonymous said...

Hugh Jackman, Sam Worthington. More Aussie Actors that would be worth a mention

Stephanie M. Hasty said...

it would seem that 'Home and Away' is a starting point for many actors. i enjoy this post and did one of my own...aimed at some of their more 'aesthetic' points. oh, and referring to ^ i'm not sure that sam or hugh made it big on US TV...did they? i think for sam i was avatar and for hugh it was x-men and all those romcoms in the early 2000s. i mean there was that singing show, Viva Laughlin, but he was already popular here in The States by then...

Maryann Wright said...

Yes, I left out both Hugh J and Sam W because they are predominantly film stars. That's a good idea for a follow up post, though! Australia has some fantastic famous actors.

Anonymous said...

Simon Baker has green eyes