Paul Mercurio

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Paul Mercurio

Paul Joseph Mercurio

(1963-03-31) 31 March 1963 (age 58)
Spouse(s)Andrea Mercurio
FamilyGus Mercurio (father)

Paul Joseph Mercurio AM (born 31 March 1963) is an Australian actor, dancer, and TV presenter. Mercurio is best known for his lead role in Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom (1992). His father was the character actor Gus Mercurio.


Mercurio was born in Swan Hill, Victoria in 1963 and began ballet at nine. By the age of 19 in 1982, he was Principal Dancer with the Sydney Dance Company—a position he held for ten years.[citation needed] During this time, he was commissioned to choreograph six works performed by the company. Mercurio left the Sydney Dance Company in August 1992 to found the Australian Choreographic Ensemble which danced from 1992 to 1995, where he was the director, principal dancer and principal choreographer.

Mercurio made his film debut in Strictly Ballroom, receiving an Australian Film Institute Award nomination in 1993.[citation needed] His film credits have included: Exit to Eden, Back of Beyond, Così, Red Ribbon Blues, Welcome to Woop Woop, The Dark Planet, The First 9½ Weeks, Kick and Sydney – A Story of a City. He starred, wrote, choreographed, produced and directed the short film Spilt Milk. Mercurio made his TV debut in a documentary on his life called Life's Burning Desire in 1992. He starred in the lead role of Joseph in the Emmy Award-winning US TV mini-series The Bible: Joseph in 1995. Later, he joined the ensemble cast for the 1998 mini-series drama The Day of the Roses, depicting the 1977 Granville railway disaster. Most recently, Mercurio has taken roles in independent films, such as Hunting for Shadows and A Silent Agreement with director Davo Hardy, as well as Promised in 2019.

Mercurio has appeared in Australian shows such as, Blue Heelers, All Saints, Murder Call, Medivac, Heartbreak High, Water Rats and The Day of the Roses. Mercurio continues to dance and choreograph professionally. He was a movement consultant on the Will Smith movie I, Robot, and has choreographed an American TV campaign for Coca-Cola, the Harry M. Miller production of Jesus Christ Superstar and Annie Get Your Gun. In January 2004, he appeared on stage in The Full Monty. Mercurio teaches students full-time at Dance World Studios in Melbourne.

Mercurio was a judge on the Australian version of Dancing with the Stars until August 2008, when he was dropped from the judging panel.[1] He was also a judge in the New Zealand version.[2] In 2008, he began hosting a series called Mercurio's Menu where he travels Australia, cooking in different locations.

Mercurio has completed filming an acting supporting role, as Sal, in the new Australian feature film Promised (2019), directed and co-produced by Nick Conidi. He co-stars with Tina Arena, Antoniette Iesue and Daniel Berini.[3] The film is due for general theatrical release in Australia on 24 October 2019.[4]

In November 2020, Mercurio was elected as a councillor for Mornington Peninsula Shire.


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Strictly Ballroom Scott Hastings
1994 Exit to Eden Elliot
1995 Joseph Joseph 2 episodes
1995 Back of Beyond Tom McGregor
1996 Cosi Mental Patient Uncredited
1996 Red Ribbon Blues Troy
1997 Welcome to Woop Woop Midget
1997 Dark Planet Hawke
1998 The First 9½ Weeks Matt Wade
1998 The Day of the Roses Bryan Gordon 2 episodes
1999 Kick David Knight
1999 Sydney – A Story of a City Archaeologist marco Short
2007 Razzle Dazzle: A Journey Into Dance Self
2014 Creative Kids Guest Episode: "How to Be a Dancer"
2016 Hunting for Shadows James Beasley
2017 A Silent Agreement Gareth Donahue
2019 Promised Sal
2019-2020 Neighbours Grant Hargreaves 8 episodes


  1. ^ "Paul Mercurio out of Dancing and Ian Dickson's Idol fears". The Daily Telegraph. 12 August 2008. Archived from the original on 13 August 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2008.
  2. ^ "New faces for Dancing with the Stars". TVNZ. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  3. ^
  4. ^

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