Mendelsohn at a screening of Killing Them Softly in 2012.
|Born||Paul Benjamin Mendelsohn
3 April 1969
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Spouse(s)||Emma Forrest (m. 2012)|
Paul Benjamin "Ben" Mendelsohn (born 3 April 1969) is an Australian actor, who first rose to prominence for his role in the Australian film The Year My Voice Broke (1987) and continued to have major roles in Australian films such as The Big Steal (1990), Metal Skin (1994), Cosi (1996), Mullet (2001) and Australia (2008).
He earned critical acclaim for his work in the Australia crime drama Animal Kingdom, raising his profile as an actor and leading to roles in such films as The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Starred Up (2013), Mississippi Grind (2015) and the upcoming Rogue One (2016). Mendelsohn currently stars in the Netflix series Bloodline, for which he received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe nomination.
Mendelsohn was born in Melbourne, Australia, the son of Carole Ann (née Ferguson) and Frederick Arthur Oscar Mendelsohn. His father is a prominent medical researcher who previously headed the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne, Australia, where he maintains the status of Professor Emeritus. Ben and his two brothers, Tom and David, as well as his mother (deceased), a registered nurse, lived in Europe and the US for long periods of time, and returned to Melbourne in high school. He attended Heidelberg Primary School and Eltham High & Banyule High Schools. He took drama because he thought it was an easy class. Mendelsohn was the only one of his friends to follow up with an audition for Crawford Productions that was being advertised.
In October 2009, Mendelsohn was featured in the Australian series Who Do You Think You Are?, tracing the ancestry of his paternal grandfather, who was from a Jewish family, as well as convicts on his mother's side. Searching for a connection to composer Felix Mendelssohn, which was eventually dismissed, he discovered links to 19th century Prussia. His ancestors were amongst the first Prussian Jews to be naturalised in Schneidemühl in the province of Posen, now Piła in modern Poland.
After several early television roles, including The Henderson Kids, he attracted notice in his breakout film, The Year My Voice Broke (1987), winning him the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Supporting Actor. His next major role was in The Big Steal (1990), and Spotswood (1992) co-starring with Anthony Hopkins; this was followed in 1996 by Cosi and Idiot Box. In 2000 he was in two contrasting films, the Australian Mullet and the Hollywood Vertical Limit.
In 2007, Mendelsohn starred in the third season of the TV series Love My Way and in 2008, he appeared in Baz Luhrmann's Australia and filmed the 10-part Melbourne series Tangle, which premiered on Showcase in 2009. In 2009, he appeared in the American science fiction film Knowing directed by Alex Proyas. The same year, Mendelsohn starred as Ned in Beautiful Kate, directed by Rachel Ward, opposite Bryan Brown and Rachel Griffiths.
In 2010, he appeared in Animal Kingdom, starring in the film as Andrew 'Pope' Cody, a criminal on the run from the law living in the notorious Melbourne Underworld. This role won him many awards including IF Award's Best Actor and the AFI's award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He was also named GQ Australia's Actor of the Year for 2010.
In 2012, he appeared in Florence + the Machine's music video for "Lover to Lover". The video was directed by Vincent Haycock. In 2013, he guest starred in the TV series Girls as the father of Jessa, played by Jemima Kirke.
In 2014, Mendelsohn joined the cast of Bloodline, a Netflix original from the creators of Damages. The first season premiered on the site on 20 March 2015 and was well received. Mendelsohn's performance on the series has been critically lauded, with IGN reviewer Matt Fowler saying in his review of the first season "Everyone on the show shines...but it's Mendelsohn's lanky, damaged, bitter Danny Rayburn that truly drives the show into harrowing places. Spectacular work that I hope gets recognized come awards season."
|1987||Special Squad||Episode: "Slow Attack"|
|1985||A Country Practice||Luke Dawson||2 episodes|
|1985||The Henderson Kids||Ted Morgan||4 episodes|
|1986||Prime Time||Bartholomew 'Bart' Jones|
|1986||Fame and Misfortune|
|1986–1987||Neighbours||Warren Murphy||19 episodes|
|1987, 1989||The Flying Doctors||Brad Harris / Brian||2 episodes|
|1988||All the Way||Lindsay Seymour||3 episodes|
|1989||This Man... This Woman||Matthew Clarke||3 episodes|
|1989, 1994||G. P.||Max Fisher / Phillip Barton||2 episodes|
|1994||Roughnecks||Joe 90||Episode 1.4|
|1995||Snowy River: The McGregor Saga||Dale Banks||Episode: "High Country Justice"|
|1995||Police Rescue||Dean Forman||Episode: "Wild Card"|
|1995||Halifax f.p.||Peter Donaldson||Episode: "My Lovely Girl"|
|1997||Good Guys Bad Guys||Brian O'Malley||Episode: "Unfinished Business"|
|1999||Queen Kat, Carmel & St Jude||Vince McCaffery||4 episodes|
|2002||Farscape||Sko||Episode: "I-Yensch, You-Yensch "|
|2005||The Secret Life of Us||Rob||5 episodes|
|2006–2007||Love My Way||Lewis Feingold||15 episodes
Nominated—Logie Award for Most Outstanding Actor (2007)
Nominated—AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama (2007)
Nominated—ASTRA Award Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor - Male (2007–2008)
|2009||Tangle||Vince Kovac||10 episodes
Nominated—Logie Award for Most Outstanding Actor (2010)
Nominated—ASTRA Award Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor - Male (2010)
|2013||Girls||Salvatore Johansson||Episode: "Video Games"|
|2015–present||Bloodline||Danny Rayburn||22 episodes
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2015)
Pending—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2015–2016)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2016)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film (2016)
|2016||Squadron 42||TBA||Voice / Motion Capture|
- "Ben Mendelsohn | Episode 3 | Season 2 | Who Do You Think You Are on SBS". Sbs.com.au. 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- Who's who in Australia - Leanne Sullivan - Google Books. Books.google.ca. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- "Professor Fred Mendelsohn | The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health". www.florey.edu.au. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
- "Who Do You Think You Are - TV Documentary - SBS". Programs.
- "Ben Mendelsohn: Mark Antony" on Life Matters, ABC Radio National (18 July 2005)
- "Ben Mendelsohn". GQ. 2010-12-17. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- "Everything under Australia's media, marketing & entertainment umbrella". Encore Magazine. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- McFarland, K.M. (24 March 2015). "Kyle Chandler Isn't Bloodline's Star. This Unknown Actor Is". Wired. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- Grozdanovic, Nikola (31 March 2015). "Netflix Neo-Noir 'Bloodline' Gives Viewers The Tragic Anti-Hero Television Has Been Waiting For Since Walter White". Indiewire. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
- Fowler, Matt (24 March 2015). "Bloodline: Season 1 Review". IGN. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- Garry Maddox. "Killing Them Softly, How Hollywood Fell For Ben Mendelsohn". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- "Ben Mendelsohn is everywhere. Finally.". Washington Post. 5 April 2013.
- Romei, Stephen. (2005). "The Face: Stephen Romei meets Ben Mendelsohn (actor)". Review liftout, p. 3, The Weekend Australian, 25–26 June 2005
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