Simon Burke

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Simon Burke

Simon Burke in June 2013.jpg
Simon Burke, June 2013
Born (1961-10-08) 8 October 1961 (age 60)
Years active1976–present

Simon Gareth Burke AO[1] (born 8 October 1961) is an Australian actor, active in films, television and theatre.


Simon Burke began his career at the age of 12, starring in Michael Cove's Kookaburra; a painful look at a dysfunctional working-class family, focusing particularly on an almost autistic young boy.[2] Soon after at the age of 13, Burke starred in Fred Schepisi's acclaimed feature film The Devil's Playground for which he won the AFI Award for Best Actor at the Australian Film Institute Awards. He remains the youngest person ever to be honoured with this award. Since then he has enjoyed great success both in Australia and internationally in film, television, stage, concert appearances and cabaret.[citation needed]

In 2014, Simon starred in Matchbox Pictures/NBC-Universal's highly acclaimed mini-series Devil’s Playground in which he reprised the role of Tom Allen that he created as a 13-year-old. He is the co-creator and executive producer of the project, which this year won both the AACTA and Logie Awards for Most Outstanding Telefeature or Mini-Series.[3][4][5][6][7]

He has since starred in numerous film, television and theatre productions in Australia and the UK. He starred as Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music at the London Palladium alongside Connie Fisher and then Summer Strallen. He also played the role of Mr Banks in Mary Poppins in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Auckland.[citation needed]

Burke was Federal President of Actors Equity Australia 2004–2014. He is currently a Vice President of the International Federation of Actors (FIA), a global federation of performers' trade unions, guilds and professional associations.[citation needed]

On 10 September 2015, at the Queens Birthday Honours ceremony presided over by the Governor of New South Wales, General David Hurley, Burke was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) with the following citation: "For distinguished service to the performing arts as an actor, singer and producer, and through senior advocacy roles for performers' rights and access to professional development and education programs."

In 2016 he publicly identified himself as being gay.[8][9]



Year Title Role Notes
1976 The Devil's Playground Tom Allen
1978 The Irishman Michael Doolan
1982 The Clinic Paul
1987 Slate, Wyn & Me Wyn Jackson
1999 Passion Herman Sandby
2000 Pitch Black Greg Owens
2003 Preservation Mr. Crewe
2003 Travelling Light Ray Sugars
2006 Shuffle Edgar Short
2015 Super Awesome! Jack Simpson
2017 Dirt Tin Burko Short


Year Title Role Notes
1973 Matlock Police Davey Evans "Sky High"
1977 The Sullivans Peter Robinson "1.37"
1977 The Restless Years Stephen Moran TV series
1980 Slippery Slide Steve TV film
1982 A Country Practice Roger Morrison "The Push: Parts 1 & 2"
1983 Scales of Justice Const. Webber "The Job"
1987 The Flying Doctors Daryl Stokes "Keeping Up Appearances"
1988–2007, 2013 Play School Simon Burke Presenter
1988 Great Performances John McCormack "Melba"
1988 Always Afternoon Tom TV series
1991 Brides of Christ Jack Delahunty "Paul"
1991 Heroes II: The Return Capt. Ellis TV film
1996 The One That Got Away Stan TV film
1997 Water Rats Det. Serg. 'Mac' Phillips "Blood Trail", "Dead or Alive"
1998 Murder Call Guy Searle "Menu for Murder"
2001 South Pacific Harbison TV film
2001 Blue Heelers Mick Boyce "Blood"
2002 Heroes' Mountain Euan Diver TV film
2002 Young Lions Rob Watson "Boy School Bullies", "Asylum Seekers", "Nursing Home"
2003 Grass Roots Tony Ludovic "Egomania"
2003 The Postcard Bandit Thomas TV film
2003 After the Deluge Michael TV film
2004 The Alice Patrick TV film
2005–2006 The Alice Patrick Main role
2006 Small Claims: The Reunion Jon TV film
2007 All Saints Brad Douglas "Balancing Act"
2009 Hustle Nick "The Road Less Travelled"
2010 Rescue: Special Ops Warren Thompson "Enemy Mine"
2011 I Shouldn't Be Alive Mike Dillon "Left for Dead on Everest"
2013 Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Nicholas Mortimer "Murder Under the Mistletoe"
2014 Devil's Playground Tom Allen TV miniseries
2016 Rake Warwick Dormann "4.1"
2016 Deep Water Simon Mawbrey TV miniseries



  1. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours: 519 recipients, with scientists the big winners". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 June 2015.
  2. ^ Richard., Wherrett (2000). The floor of heaven : my life in theatre. Sydney, NSW: Hodder Headline Australia. ISBN 9780733610493. OCLC 48144620.
  3. ^ "The devil's in the detail for Simon Burke". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Simon Burke: from Devil's Playground to gilded Cage". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 November 2014.
  5. ^ Giles Hardie (September 2014). "Devil's Playground is not solely about abuse: Simon Burke". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  6. ^ "Simon Burke and The Devil's Playground demand attention". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 September 2014.
  7. ^ Nicole Elphick (5 September 2014). "My secret Sydney: Simon Burke, actor". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  8. ^ Gay News Network. Retrieved 12 September 2016 Archived 15 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Simon Burke: 'I didn't hide being gay so much as I didn't talk about it'" by Nicholas Fonseca, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 9 July 2017
  10. ^ "October – Griffin Theatre Company" by Rebecca Whitton, Australian Stage, 7 May 2007
  11. ^ "The Homosexuals, or Faggots (Malthouse, Melbourne)". 22 February 2017.
  12. ^ Noises Off review, Arts Review, 6 June 2017
  13. ^ "Strangers In Between review: Coming-of-age story funny, tender and wild" by Cameron Woodhead, The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 January 2018
  14. ^ "Mary Stuart review: Feminist take on a gripping game of thrones" by Joyce Morgan, The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 February 2019


  • Holmstrom, John. The Moving Picture Boy: An International Encyclopaedia from 1895 to 1995. Norwich, Michael Russell, 1996, p. 338.

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