Guy Pearce

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This article is about the Australian actor. For those of a similar name, see Guy Pierce.
Guy Pearce
Guy Pearce Cannes 2012.jpg
Pearce in 2012
Born Guy Edward Pearce
(1967-10-05) 5 October 1967 (age 48)
Ely, Cambridgeshire, England
Nationality British and Australian
Occupation Actor, musician
Years active 1986–present
Spouse(s) Kate Mestitz (m. 1997–2015)
Partner(s) Carice van Houten (2015-present)
Children 1

Guy Edward Pearce (born 5 October 1967) is an Australian actor and musician.[1] He is well known for having starred in the role of Mike Young in the Australian television series Neighbours and in films such as The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994), L.A. Confidential (1997), Memento (2000), The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), The Road (2009), The King's Speech (2010), Prometheus (2012), and Iron Man 3 (2013). In Australian cinema, he has appeared in The Proposition (2005), Animal Kingdom (2010), The Rover (2014), Holding the Man (2015) and The Wizards of Aus (2016). He has won an Emmy Award and received nominations for Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and AACTA Awards. Since 2012 he has played the title role in the TV adaptations of the Jack Irish stories by Australian crime writer Peter Temple.

Early life[edit]

Pearce was born in Ely, Cambridgeshire.[2] His mother, Anne Cocking (born as Pickering), was from County Durham, England; she was a schoolteacher specialising in needlework and home economics. His father, Stuart Pearce, was a New Zealand-born RAAF test pilot who died flying a GAF Nomad when Pearce was eight.[3][4][5] When he was three years old, Pearce moved to Geelong, Victoria, where his mother ran a deer farm. He attended the Geelong College, a local private school, and was a member of the GSODA Junior Players. From the age of 15 to 22, he was a competitive amateur bodybuilder, leading to the title of Junior Mr. Victoria. He also took part in fencing. He lived in Box Hill North, Victoria in the late 1980s while working on the Australian drama series Neighbours.

Pearce starred in several theatre productions when he was young. At 17 years of age, whilst still at school at Geelong College, he auditioned for his first film role; a part in "Life and Study at University", a promotion for university study produced and directed by Peter Lane of Deakin University. The lead part called for a 23-year-old university student and at first he was turned down due to his young age, but his mother insisted that her son could play the part.[citation needed]


Pearce transitioned to television when he was cast in the Australian soap opera Neighbours in 1985, playing the role of Mike Young for several years. Pearce also found roles in other television series such as Home and Away (1988) and Snowy River: The McGregor Saga (1993).

The director/producer/writer Frank Howson cast Pearce in his first three films, "Heaven Tonight", "Hunting" and "Flynn", and paid for him to go to the Cannes Film Festival in 1991 for the premiere of the Howson-directed Hunting. The accompanying Howson-funded publicity campaign brought Pearce to the attention of the international film industry. He made his first major film breakthrough shortly after, with his role as a drag queen in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 1994. Since then, he has appeared in several US productions including L.A. Confidential, Ravenous, Rules of Engagement, Memento, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Time Machine.

Pearce portrayed pop artist Andy Warhol in Factory Girl and Harry Houdini in Death Defying Acts. He also appeared in The Road and in Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler.[6]

Pearce continues to perform in Australian films, such as The Hard Word (2002) and the critically lauded The Proposition (2005), written by fellow Australian Nick Cave.

In January 2009, Pearce returned to the stage after a seven-year absence.[7] He performed in the Melbourne Theatre Company's production of Poor Boy, a play with music, co-written by Matt Cameron and Tim Finn.[7]

A wax figure at Madame Tussauds in Sydney portraying Pearce as Felicia Jollygoodfellow.

In 2010, he appeared as playboy David, the Prince of Wales, who became King Edward VIII, in the award-winning film The King's Speech. He is the eponymous lead in the Australian TV miniseries Jack Irish, an adaptation of the detective novels of author Peter Temple broadcast on the ABC network in 2012. In May 2012, Pearce was cast to star in David Michôd's The Rover. In 2013, Pearce portrayed the villain character Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3.

Pearce had a supporting role in the Neil Armfield's romantic-drama film Holding the Man, as Dick Conigrave. The 2015 film stars Ryan Corr and Craig Stott, with supporting performances from Pearce, Anthony LaPaglia and Geoffrey Rush. Holding the Man was adapted from Timothy Conigrave's 1995 memoir of the same name.

Next to acting, Guy has a lifelong passion for music and songwriting. He released his first album, Broken Bones, in November 2014.[8] Pearce appeared in a documentary special celebrating Neighbours' 30th anniversary titled Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite, which aired in Australia and the UK in March 2015.[9][10]

Videos and awards[edit]

Pearce appeared in Australian band Silverchair's music video for "Across the Night" and in Razorlight's video for "Before I Fall to Pieces." He recorded the soundtrack for A Slipping-Down Life, singing and playing guitar on cover versions of songs by Ron Sexsmith, Vic Chesnutt and Robyn Hitchcock.

On 18 September 2011, Pearce won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries for his work in Mildred Pierce as Monty Beragon opposite Kate Winslet.

Personal life[edit]

Pearce married his childhood sweetheart,[11] psychologist Kate Mestitz, in March 1997.[12] In October 2015, Pearce confirmed he had split from Mestitz after 18 years of marriage.[13]

He supports a number of charitable organisations for many causes such as animal rights, animal welfare and protecting ecology.[14]

On 19 March 2016 Pearce and his girlfriend Carice van Houten announced that they were expecting a child, the first for both parents.[15] On the 29th of August 2016 the couple announced the birth of their son on Twitter.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Heaven Tonight Paul Dysart
1991 Hunting Sharp
1994 Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, TheThe Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Adam Whitely/Felicia Jollygoodfellow
1996 Dating the Enemy Brett
1997 Flynn Errol Flynn
1997 L.A. Confidential Ed Exley Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1998 Brand New World aka Woundings Jimmy Compton New York International Independent Film Award for Best Actor
1999 Ravenous Capt. John Boyd
1999 Slipping-Down Life, AA Slipping-Down Life Drumstrings Casey
2000 Rules of Engagement Maj. Mark Biggs
2000 Memento Leonard Shelby Won – San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Saturn Award for Best Actor
2002 Hard Word, TheThe Hard Word Dale Nominated – Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor
2002 Time Machine, TheThe Time Machine Alexander Hartdegen
2002 Count of Monte Cristo, TheThe Count of Monte Cristo Fernand Mondego
2002 Till Human Voices Wake Us Dr. Sam Franks
2004 Two Brothers Aidan McRory
2005 Proposition, TheThe Proposition Charlie Burns Nominated – Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor
Inside Film Award for Best Actor
2006 First Snow Jimmy Starks
2006 Factory Girl Andy Warhol
2008 Death Defying Acts Harry Houdini Nominated – Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
2008 Winged Creatures Dr. Bruce Laraby
2008 Traitor Roy Clayton
2008 Bedtime Stories Kendall
2009 In Her Skin Mr. Barber aka I Am You
2009 Road, TheThe Road The Veteran
2009 Hurt Locker, TheThe Hurt Locker Staff Sergeant. Matt Thompson Won – Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
2010 King's Speech, TheThe King's Speech King Edward VIII Won – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
2010 Animal Kingdom Det. Nathan Leckie Nominated – Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
2011 33 Postcards Dean Randall Nominated – AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
2011 Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Alex Hirst
2011 Seeking Justice Simon
2012 Lockout Marion Snow
2012 TED 2023 Peter Weyland
2012 Prometheus
2012 Lawless Charley Rakes
2013 Breathe In Keith Reynolds
2013 Iron Man 3 Aldrich Killian
2013 Hateship, Loveship Ken Gaudette
2014 The Rover Eric Nominated – AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
2015 Results Trevor
2015 Holding the Man Dick Conigrave
2015 Lorne Lorne Short film
2015 Equals Jonas
2016 Genius F. Scott Fitzgerald
2016 Brimstone The Reverend
2016 Holding the Man Dick Conigrave


Year Title Role Notes
1986–89 Neighbours Mike Young 496 episodes
1991 Home and Away David Croft 12 episodes
1994–96 Snowy River: The McGregor Saga Rob McGregor 65 episodes
Nominated – Logie Award for Most Popular Actor (1996)
1997 Devil Game, TheThe Devil Game Michael Movie
1997 Halifax f.p: Deja Vu Daniel & Richard Viney Movie
2011 Mildred Pierce Monty Beragon HBO miniseries
Won – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2012 Jack Irish: Bad Debts Jack Irish Movie
2012 Jack Irish: Black Tide Jack Irish Movie
2014 Jack Irish: Dead Point Jack Irish Movie
2015 Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite Himself Documentary
2015 Between a Frock and a Hard Place Himself Documentary
2016 Jack Irish Jack Irish Six-part series
2016 Wizards of Aus, TheThe Wizards of Aus Morgan Wright TV series/Web series
2017 When We Rise Cleve Jones Miniseries


  1. ^ Gary Dretzka (1 June 2003). "An Interview With Guy Pearce". Movie City News. Archived from the original on 15 November 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2009. 
  2. ^ "In profile: Iron Man actor Guy Pearce". 19 April 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Iley, Chrissy (4 March 2007). "Portrait of the artist". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Guy Pearce biography". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Guy Pearce Biography (1967–)". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Phillips, Michael (2008). "'Bedtime Stories' stars Adam Sandler, Keri Russell, Guy Pearce". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Tracee Hutchison (27 January 2009). "Guy Pearce returns to the stage". The 7.30 Report. Retrieved 15 February 2009. 
  9. ^ Knox, David (28 February 2015). "Airdate: Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (4 March 2015). "Neighbours 30th anniversary schedule confirmed by Channel 5". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  11. ^ A real details Guy, Los Angeles Times
  12. ^ The Adventures of Guy Pearce. MovieMaker Magazine.
  13. ^ 'We will always love and support one another and be the best of friends': Guy Pearce confirms he has split from his wife Kate after 18 years of marriage
  14. ^ Charity section at official website
  15. ^ Hollywood Reporter
  16. ^

External links[edit]