Actors Geoffrey Rush, Jacki Weaver and Rhonda Burchmore are in the spotlight with Australia Day honours.
Celebrated Australian actor Geoffrey Rush may have missed out on an Oscar nomination this year but he is being honoured on our national day.
Rush, who is currently gracing our movie screens in The Book Thief, has been appointed a Companion in the Order of Australia.
He was named the 2012 Australian of the Year and has won a swag of awards for his film roles, achieving the triple crown: Academy, Tony and Emmy awards.
Rush’s breakthrough performance in Shine earned him an Oscar in 1996 and he became the first Australian-born actor to win an Academy Award.
“I’ve been fortunate to belong to a particular generation that was driven to explore our national imagination and who enabled a vibrant and distinctive energy to flourish on our stages and screens,” he says.
“To have that recognised is the greatest honour.”
Born in Toowoomba, Queensland, Rush now lives in Melbourne.
His other popular films roles include swashbuckling Captain Barbossa in Pirates Of The Caribbean opposite Johnny Depp and language therapist Lionel Logue in The King’s Speech.
Compatriot Jacki Weaver has also been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia.
Weaver made her film debut in 1971 with Stork and picked up her first Australian Film Institute Award.
During the 1970s, she had roles films such as Alvin Purple, Picnic at Hanging Rock and Caddie.
She has been nominated for two Academy Awards in recent years: for her role opposite Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook (2013) and the Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom (2011).
Fellow Australian actor Rhonda Burchmore was also awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.
Burchmore is known for her role in the dancing musical Hot Shoe Shuffle and for her cabaret spectacular Red Hot & Rhonda. She was also a regular on long-running variety show Hey Hey It’s Saturday.