Chris Hemsworth was born in Melbourne, to Leonie, a teacher of English, and Craig Hemsworth, a social-services counselor. He was raised both there and in the Northern Territory, in a small Aboriginal community in the Outback called Bulman. He has stated, "My earliest memories were on the cattle stations up in the Outback, and then we moved back to Melbourne and then back out there and then back again. Certainly most of my childhood was in Melbourne but probably my most vivid memories were up there in Bulman with crocodiles and buffalo. Very different walks of life." He attended high school at Heathmont College before his family again returned to the Northern Territory, and then moved a few years later to Phillip Island. He is the middle of three boys; his brothers Luke (older) and Liam (younger) are also actors.
In 2004, Hemsworth auditioned for the Australian soap opera Home and Away role of Robbie Hunter (played by Jason Smith), but did not receive the part. He was subsequently recalled for the part of Kim Hyde and moved to Sydney to join the cast, appearing in 171 episodes of the series. He left the cast of Home and Away on 3 July 2007.
Hemsworth was a contestant on the fifth season of Dancing with the Stars Australia, partnered with professional dancer Abbey Ross. The season premiered on 26 September 2006, and after six weeks, Hemsworth was eliminated (7 November 2006).
He went on to play Sam in Ca$h, which was the first film he shot when he arrived in the United States. The film's director, Stephen Milburn Anderson, said Hemsworth had only been in the United States for six weeks when he had auditioned for the role, recalling, "Here's a guy who is young, has the right look, is a very good actor and, let's face it, he's beautiful. So I say, we need to get this guy in. I was very impressed". In November 2010, The Hollywood Reporter named Hemsworth as one of the young male actors who are "pushing – or being pushed" onto the Hollywood "A-List".
He starred in the horror filmThe Cabin in the Woods, which though shot shortly after the release of Star Trek went unreleased until 2012. It led Hemsworth to audition for the role of Thor at Joss Whedon's insistence. Also that year, Hemsworth starred opposite Kristen Stewart in the film Snow White & the Huntsman as the Huntsman. He also played Jed Eckert in the 2012 Red Dawn remake, a role he was cast in after MGM saw dailies footage of a scene from Cabin in the Woods. Hemsworth received the part of Thor two days after being hired for Red Dawn. Sony Pictures announced in 2011 that Hemsworth would star in the thriller, Shadow Runner.
Hemsworth began dating Spanish actress Elsa Pataky in early 2010 after meeting through their mutual representatives, and they wed in December 2010. They have three children: daughter India Rose (b. May 2012) and twin sons, Tristan and Sasha (b. March 2014).