17 Australian Stars Taking Over America

If you’ve found yourself slipping into saying “no worries” and “G’day” recently, there’s a good reason. The evidence is getting clearer every day that Australians are invading America.

Gothamist recently reported there are now more than 20,000 Aussies in New York, and we’ve found another 18 who have gained fame in the United States.

Some Americans may not even realise their favourite stars are Aussies, but these performers all grew up in Australia or spent a significant part of their lives there.


When she’s not swinging from a “Chandelier” — her 2014 top-ten Billboard hit — it seems Sia Furler from Adelaide, South Australia, is busy shunning the spotlight. The anti-celebrity celebrity recently performed on “Ellen” without showing her face and has shied away traditional publicity during the rollout of her number one album, “1,000 Forms of Fear.”

The voice behind the memorable hooks in recent hits such as David Guetta’s “Titanium” and Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones,” Sia has written songs for some of the world’s biggest stars including Christina Aguilera, Shakira, Beyonce, and Britney Spears.

Chris Hemsworth

Best known as Marvel’s Thor, Hemsworth also appeared in “Star Trek” in 2009 and “The Cabin in the Woods.” He was born in Melbourne, Victoria, and his two brothers are also actors. Who knows, another one may be on this very list …

Nicole Kidman

From “Eyes Wide Shut” to “Moulin Rouge,” Nicole Kidman is a veteran of modern Hollywood classics. Formerly married to Tom Cruise, Kidman is now married to fellow Aussie Keith Urban. She was actually born in Hawaii but grew up in Australia and now lives between Nashville and Sydney.

Mel Gibson

“Lethal Weapon” and “Mad Max” star Mel Gibson was born in New York but grew up in Australia, where he studied acting at Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). Gibson isn’t officially a citizen, but Australia still claims him as one of its own. NIDA alumni also include Cate Blanchett and Sam Worthington.

Iggy Azalea

This singer of the number one hit “Fancy” was born in Mullumbimby, New South Wales. Azalea dropped out of high school and moved to America when she was 15, drawn to the country by her love of hip-hop. Initially, she told her parents she was going only for a holiday, but we all know how that turned out.

Russell Crowe

This one is controversial. Born in New Zealand, Crowe spent parts of his childhood there and in Australia. The rival nations have both claimed Crowe as their own, though maybe they were less proud after he famously threw a phone at a hotel clerk. The “Gladiator” and “Noah” star has an apartment in the Sydney suburb of Woolloomooloo and co-owns the South Sydney Rabbitohs, an Australian National Rugby League team.

Portia de Rossi

She’s not just Ellen’s wife. Portia de Rossi also played lead roles in “Ally McBeal” and “Arrested Development” and appeared in “Better Off Ted” and “Nip/Tuck.”

De Rossi grew up in Horsham, Victoria, and will be joining the cast of “Scandal” for its upcoming season.

Simon Baker

Star of “The Mentalist” and “The Guardian,” Simon Baker was born and raised in Launceston, Tasmania. Baker is married to fellow Australian actress Rebecca Rigg, while Australian actresses Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts serve as godmothers to his children.

Hugh Jackman

Yes, the Wolverine is Australian. The all singing, all dancing, all buffed-up Aussie was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in “Les Misérables” and won a Tony Award for his portrayal of fellow Australian Peter Allen in “The Boy from Oz.”

Jackman is also a great host. He hosted the Oscars in 2009 and has done the honours at the Tony Awards four times. In 2004 he got an Emmy for his hosting of the Tonys — figure that one out.

Rose Byrne

The star of “Damages” with Glenn Close, Rose Byrne also starred in “Bridesmaids,” “X-Men: First Class,”and the newly released “This Is Where I Leave You.” Byrne was born in the Sydney suburb of Balmain and will make her Broadway debut later this month in the play “You Can’t Take It With You.”

Geoffrey Rush

You probably know Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa in “Pirates of the Caribbean” or Lionel Logue in “The King’s Speech,” but the veteran actor also has an Academy Award, a Tony Award, an Emmy Award, two Golden Globes, and three BAFTAs for a host of other characters.

It was his lead role as a pianist in the 1996 film “Shine” which won him the Oscar for Best Actor, and he was also nominated for “Shakespeare in Love” (Best Supporting Actor) and “Quills” (Best Actor).

Keith Urban

The other half of the Kidman/Urban power-couple has been a judge on “American Idol” since 2012, previously serving as a judge on Australia’s version of “The Voice” in 2011. The New Zealand-born country music singer was raised in Queensland and married Kidman in Sydney in 2006.

Sam Worthington

Imagine Sam Worthington’s face in all blue with massive yellow eyes, and it might all come together. Worthington was the main star of “Avatar” and its upcoming sequels. The action-man also starred in “Terminator Salvation,” “Clash of the Titans,” and the blockbuster video game, “Call of Duty: Black Ops.”

Liam Hemsworth

Not quite as famous as his brother Thor, Liam is the youngest of three brothers and has plenty of time to catch up. He’s currently appearing at Jennifer Lawrence’s side as Gale Hawthorne in “The Hunger Games” series. Last year he co-starred with Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman in “Paranoia.”

Toni Colette

Perhaps best known for playing the title role in Showtime’s “United States Of Tara,” Toni Colette also starred in “About a Boy,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and the Australian classic, “Muriel’s Wedding.” She was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Haley Joel Osment’s mother in “The Sixth Sense,” though recently had less luck when her newest TV show, “Hostages,” was cancelled by CBS after one season.

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett is one of Australia’s most successful acting exports. She’s won two Academy Awards, three Golden Globes, and three BAFTAs. Blanchett won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in “The Aviator” and won Best Actress for her role as Jeanette Francis in “Blue Jasmine.” She’s come a long way since her first stage role opposite Geoffrey Rush in 1992.

Blanchett also played Galadriel in “The Lord of The Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies and was also a main star in “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Notes on a Scandal,” “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and “The Monuments Men.”

The veteran Australian actress now lives on Sydney Harbour with her family. She recently spent several years as co-director of the Sydney Theatre Company with her husband, playwright Andrew Upton.

Ryan Kwanten

Sookie’s all-American brother in HBO series “True Blood” actually grew up in Sydney. While he plays a rather simple character, Kwanten has a degree in commerce from Sydney University. Now that “True Blood” has ended,he’s set to star in several upcoming films.

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