Russell Dykstra

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Russell Dykstra
The Addams Family Rehearsal (8472723828).jpg
Dykstra in 2013, at the Addams Family rehearsal
Born (1966-12-31) 31 December 1966 (age 48)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Occupation Actor

Russell Dykstra is a multi-award winning Australian actor of screen, stage and TV.

Early life[edit]

Dykstra first appeared on stage at age 10, in a theatre production of Toad of Toad Hall. He later studied acting at the University of Southern Queensland, and in his early career worked alongside fellow actor Geoffrey Rush with the theatre company Grin and Tonic.[1] Dykstra also studied at the schools of Jacques Lecoq in Paris and Philippe Gaulier in London.[2]


Dykstra’s one-man show Children of the Devil toured nationally in 1996-98 with funding from the Australia Council, earning him a Brisbane Theatre Critics’ Matilda Award and a Victorian Green Room Award nomination for Best Actor.[3][4][5][6]

Shortly thereafter Dykstra made his feature film debut in the critically acclaimed Soft Fruit, directed by Christina Andreef, for which he received an AFI Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (1999) and a Film Critics’ Circle Award nomination (2000).[7][8][9]

In 2007 Dykstra was nominated for an AFI Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Romulus, My Father directed by Richard Roxburgh.[10][11] Other film appearances include Oranges and Sunshine, Clubland, Lantana, Garage Days, Ned Kelly, View from Greenhaven Drive, The Wannabes and Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger.

Dykstra’s theatre credits are extensive, including God of Carnage,[12] The Wonderful World of Dissocia,[13][14] The Unlikely Prospect of Happiness,[15] for the Sydney Theatre Company and Babyteeth,[16] Ray’s Tempest, The Underpants, The Laramie Project, Yibiyung and The Ham Funeral for Company B. His performances in Toy Symphony and Stuff Happens earning him national theatre Helpmann Awards for Best Supporting Actor in 2006 and 2008 and a Sydney Theatre Award (2007).[17][18] Dykstra has also worked with the Malthouse Theatre, Theatre of Image, Griffin Theatre, Ensemble, La Boite Theatre and The Queensland Theatre Company.[19]

Television credits include the Australian TV series Spirited, Wild Boys, My Place, Scorched, Blackjack, ABC TV’s Loot, All Saints and White Collar Blue.

Dykstra is perhaps most well known for his portrayal of the character Barney, in the award winning ABC TV series Rake.

In 2013 Dykstra appeared as Uncle Fester in the Australian production of the Broadway musical The Addams Family.[20] For this performance, Dykstra was honored with his third Helpmann Award, for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical (2013).[21]

Currently Dykstra is playing Pumbaa in the Australian tour of Disney's landmark musical event The Lion King.[22] For this performance Dykstra received a Sydney Theatre Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical (2013) and at the upcoming 14th Annual Helpmann Awards will contend for his fourth Helpmann, for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical (2014).[23][24]


Title Year Role Notes
MEDIVAC 1996 Fitzpatrick
SOFT FRUIT 1998 Bo AFI Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (1999) | Film Critics’ Circle Award nomination (1999)
BEACH STORY (Short film) 2000 Frank
LANTANA (Film) 2001 Michael
GARAGE DAYS (Film) 2001 Bruno
VERSUS (Short film) 2001 Jay
WATER RATS (Series) 2001 Tino
GRASS ROOTS (Series) 2001 Bill Hooks
BACKBURNER (TV show) 2002 Mr Dennis McCauley
BLACKJACK (Series) 2002 Buchanan
STUFFED BUNNY (Short film) 2002 Man
NED KELLY (Film) 2002 Wild Wright
THE WANNABEES (Film) 2002 Marcus
WHITE COLLAR BLUE (Series) 2003 Dale Trindle
ALL SAINTS (Series) 2003 Grant Jenkins
LOOT (Series) 2003 Bruno Batelli
AMORALITY TALE (Short film) 2004 Brian Chappell
THE WATER DIARY (Short film) 2005 Rog
BLACKJACK: GHOSTS (Series) 2006 Buchanan
CLUBLAND (Film) 2006 Shane
ROMULUS MY FATHER (Film) 2006 Mitru AFI Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor (2007)
HEY HEY IT’S ESTHER BLUEBURGER (Film) 2007 Osmond Blueburger
STRIKE TEAM (Series) 2008 Keith
MY PLACE (Series) 2009 Mr. Merry
NIGHTWALKING (Short film) 2009 Voices
SPIRITED (Series 1) 2009 Adam
RAKE Series 1 2010 Barney Meagher Equity Award for Most Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
WILD BOYS (Series) 2011 Winston
RAKE Series 2 2012 Barney Meagher
MAIDEN (Short film) 2013 Mick
RAKE Series 3 2013 Barney Meagher

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Year Category Result Work
Victorian Green Room Award 1998 Best Male Actor Nominated Children of the Devil
Brisbane Theatre Critics’ Matilda Award 1998 Best Male Actor Won Children of the Devil
Film Critics’ Circle Award 1999 Best Male Actor Nominated Soft Fruit
Australian Film Institute Award (AFI) 1999 Best Actor in a Leading Role Won Soft Fruit
Helpmann Award 2006 Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play Won Stuff Happens
Australian Film Institute Award (AFI) 2007 Best Supporting Actor Nominated Romulus, My Father (Film)
Sydney Theatre Critics Circle Award 2007 Best Actor in a Supporting Role Won Toy Symphony
Helpmann Award 2008 Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play Won Toy Symphony
Equity Award 2011 Most Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series Won RAKE Series 1
USQ Alumnus Awards 2013 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Won Outstanding Achievement
Helpmann Award 2013 Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical Won The Addams Family
Sydney Theatre Critics Circle Award 2013 Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical Nominated The Lion King


  1. ^ "", retrieved 12/04/13.
  2. ^ "", retrieved 12/04/13.
  3. ^ "", retrieved 12/04/13
  4. ^ "", retrieved 12/04/13
  5. ^ "", retrieved 12/04/13
  6. ^ "", retrieved 12/04/13
  7. ^ "", retrieved 12/04/13
  8. ^ AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, retrieved 12/04/13
  9. ^ "", retrieved 27/07/14
  10. ^ Romulus, My Father (film), Wikipedia retrieved 12/04/13
  11. ^ "", retrieved 27/07/14
  12. ^ "", retrieved 12/04/12
  13. ^ "", retrieved 12/04/13
  14. ^ "", retrieved 12/04/13
  15. ^ "", retrieved 12/04/13
  16. ^ "", retrieved 12/04/13
  17. ^ "", retrieved 12/04/13
  18. ^ Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play, retrieved 12/04/13
  19. ^ "", retrieved 25/12/13
  20. ^ "", retrieved 25/12/13
  21. ^ "", retrieved 25/12/13
  22. ^
  23. ^ "", retrieved 25/12/13
  24. ^ "", retrieved 24/07/14

External links[edit]