Rachel Griffiths

Rachel Griffiths

Her role as Rhonda in 'Muriel's Wedding' (1994)

Background:

“I think drama on commercial television is toothpaste delivery devises, you know
or insurance delivery devises, and I think it’s impossible for people to be as
engaged in a drama when they are being constantly interrupted.” Rachel Griffiths


One of Australian acclaimed actresses, Rachel Griffiths is popular to American
TV viewers for her role as the deeply dysfunctional Brenda in HBO’s
highly-praised series “Six Feet Under” (2001-2005), in which she received
numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe Award, SAG Awards and Emmy
nominations. On the big screen, the award-winning actress gained her first
international recognition with her virtuoso, scene-stealing role as the
trustworthy friend in the hit Muriel’s Wedding (1994), for which she picked up
an Australian Film Institute Award and an Australian Film Critics Award.
Griffiths earned a British Independent Film nod in My Son the Fanatic (1997), an
Oscar nomination in Hilary and Jackie (1998) and a U.S. Comedy Arts Festival
Award in Very Annie Mary (2001).

In addition to acting, Griffiths also writes and directs short movies. For her
significant contributions in Tulip (1998, also a producer) and Roundabout
(2002), she was garnered two Melbourne International Film Festival Awards, a
Palm Springs International Short Film Festival Award and two Aspen Shortsfest
Awards.

As for her personal life, the dark-haired, offbeat-looking Griffiths is married
to Australian artist Andrew Taylor, who becomes the father of her two children,
son Banjo and daughter Adelaide. Getting married in the New Year’s Eve 2002, the
couple reportedly donated all their wedding presents and money from sales of
their wedding photos to the Sacred Heart Mission in Melbourne, Australia. Her
love life has also been linked to actors Eric Stoltz (dated while filming Very
Annie-Mary) and Jason Byrne (met on the set of Hilary and Jackie, briefly
engaged, the tied split up as he wanted Griffiths to stay with him in England).



Deserted Daughter

Childhood and Family:

In Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Rachel Griffiths was born on June 4, 1968, to
Edward Griffiths and Anna Griffiths. She spent her first five years in the Gold
Coast, Queensland before moving back to Melbourne, where she was raised. When
she was 11, Rachel’s dad divorced her mom for an 18-year-old woman and left
Rachel and her two older brothers in the care of their art teacher mother.
Rachel was an excellent student and learned ballet at Star of the Sea Catholic
Girls’ College. She graduated from Victoria College with a degree in drama and
dance in 1990, and further advanced her studies at University of Melbourne in
Victoria, Australia.

Rachel was married to her longtime friend-turned-fiancé, artist Andrew Taylor,
on December 31, 2002 in a moonlit wedding ceremony in their hometown of
Melbourne, Australia. The couple has two children, son Banjo Patrick Taylor
(born in Melbourne, Australia, on November 22, 2003) and daughter Adelaide Rose
(born in Los Angeles, California, on June 23, 2005).


Muriel’s Wedding

Career:

Melbourne-born Rachel Griffiths began her professional career in her native land
of Australia a year after earning a degree in drama and dance with an impressive
performance in the festival-screened short film Barbie Gets Hip (1991), where
she received good reviews. The same year, she expanded her talents by joining
the Australian theater group Woolly Jumpers, and becomes the member of the
Melbourne Theatre Company. With the latter company, she performed in numerous
plays like “The Grapes of Wrath,” “The Sisters Rosenzweig” and “Sylvia.” In
between her theater assignments, she also starred in Aussie TV series “Secrets”
(1993), TV film The Feds (1993) and the comedy special “The Jimeon Show” (1994).


A relative newcomer, Griffiths hit the big time when director P.J. Hogan cast
her in the supporting role of Rhonda Epinstalk, the ABBA-loving, party-hearty
loyal friend to Toni Collette, in comedy-romance film Muriel’s Wedding (1994).
Convincingly playing the part, Griffiths was handed an Australian Film Institute
and an Australian Film Critics for Best Supporting Actress. Additionally, the
huge success of the Sophie Lee and Rosalind Hammond vehicle further launched
Griffiths’ career.

Despite obtaining international attention, Griffiths went on to appear in
Australian productions, including the comedy film Cosi (1996), Peter Duncan’s
Children of the Revolution (1996, starred Judy Davis and Sam Neill) and To Have
and to Hold (1996). The same year, she was also featured as Christopher
Eccleston’s sexy first wife in Michael Winterbottom’s critically-praised
adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Jude (1996, also costarred Kate Winslet and Liam
Cunningham. The demanding performer continued to establish her position as a
burgeoning talent by taking on roles in the Stephen Elliot-directed Welcome to
Woop Woop (1997), P.J. Hogan’s hit My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997, as Cameron
Diaz’s Southern belle cousin), and starring in Udayan Prasad’s My Son the
Fanatic (1997). Her performance opposite Om Puri in the latter film gave
Griffiths a British Independent Film nomination.

After Since You’ve Been Gone (1998, TV), the Full Monty-scripted Among Giants
(1998, along side Pete Postlethwaite), the comedy Divorcing Jack (1998,
costarred with David Thewlis) and the Australian comedy Amy (1998), Griffiths
offered a fabulous portrayal as flautist Hilary du Pre, an older sister to Emily
Watson’s cellist Jacqueline du Pre, in the biopic film Hilary and Jackie (1998)
for director Anand Tucker. The high-profile role garnered the actress Best
Supporting Actress at Academy Award, British Independent Film and SAG. Also in
1998, Griffiths took home a number of accolades after producing, writing and
directing a 15-minute-short film, Tulip. For her efforts, she was handed a
Melbourne International Film Festival, a Palm Springs International Short Film
Festival for Best of the Festival as well as two Aspen Shortsfest for Watch It!
Award and Special Recognition Award. Griffiths closed the decade by playing the
lead of a single magazine journalist who apparently goes into a parallel world
in which she discovers herself married with children in comedy film Me Myself I
(1999).

Griffiths then appeared in the Blow Dry (2001), was cast as the frustrated New
England mother of Johnny Depp in Blow (2001) and won a U.S. Comedy Arts Festival
for Best Actress for brilliantly portraying the title role of a young woman from
the valleys of South Wales in Very Annie Mary (2001). In 2002, the accomplished
director-writer again showed her capabilities in these fields by nabbing a
Melbourne International Film Festival for Best Australian Short Film for her
bright work in Roundabout, a 16-minute film starring David Roberts and Alison
Whyte. She then played Dennis Quaid’s wife in The Rookie (2002), costarred with
Aidan Quinn in the telefilm Plainsong (2004) and starred in such Australian
productions as dark comedy The Hard Word (2002), the historical biopic Ned Kelly
(2003, opposite Heath Ledger, Naomi Watts and Geoffrey Rush) as well as the
television miniseries “After the Deluge” (2003).

However, it was her television role as Brenda Chenowith in the award-winning HBO
series “Six Feet Under” (2001-2005) that won Griffiths a number of praises and
recognitions. As Brenda, the acutely dysfunctional who was raised as a mental
and emotional experiment by her psychologist parents, Griffiths was awarded a
2002 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a
Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. She also earned Emmy
nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in 2002 and for Outstanding Supporting
Actress in 2003, as well as a Golden Globe nod for Best Performance by an
Actress in 2003. Along with other costars, she was handed two Screen Actors
Guilds for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2003 and
2004).

Returning to big screen films, Griffiths joined director Jim McKay and actors
Monique Curnen and Jonan Ever for drama film Angel (2005), where she was cast as
Nicole, and has recently completed Step Up (2006), a drama-music by Anne
Fletcher. The 38 is now starring as Sarah Walker in the Jon Robin Baitz –created
series “Brothers & Sisters” (2006). The new ABC drama about maladjusted family
also stars Ted Danson, Taye Diggs, Calista Flockhart, Anne Heche and David
Arquette. She is also set to join the cast of “Comanche Moon,” Larry McMurtry’s
prequel to his western saga “Lonesome Dove.” The miniseries will cast Griffiths
as Inez Scull, opposite Charles Baker as Monkey John, Josh Berry as Bob Allen
and Linda Cardellinias Clara Forsythe, among others.


Awards:

Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama
Series, Six Feet Under, 2004
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama
Series, Six Feet Under, 2003
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a
Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Six Feet Under,
2002
U.S. Comedy Arts Festival: Film Discovery Jury Award - Best Actress,
Very Annie Mary, 2002
Melbourne International Film Festival: Best Australian Short Film,
Roundabout, 2002
Aspen Shortsfest: Audience Award - Special Recognition, Tulip, 1999
Aspen Shortsfest: ‘Watch It! Award, Tulip, 1999
Palm Springs International Short Film Festival: Best of the Festival,
Tulip, 1999
Melbourne International Film Festival: OCIC Award, Tulip, 1998
Australian Film Critics: best supporting actress, Muriel’s Wedding, 1994
Australian Film Institute: best supporting actress, Muriel’s Wedding,
1994
I'm quite intuitive about what I pick. Often it's to do with what I've just done and how I'm feeling.More Rachel Griffiths quotes [08/23/2011 05:08:57]
I think a big part of our attraction to sport movies are the stories contained within the sports.More Rachel Griffiths quotes [08/23/2011 05:08:25]
I think a big part of our attraction to sport movies are the stories contained within the sports.More Rachel Griffiths quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Why movies are so powerful is because you are right in there and you stay in there until they want you to come out, and then you've really gone somewhere.More Rachel Griffiths quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Although I'm not Christian, I was raised Christian. I'm an atheist, with a slight Buddhist leaning. I've got a very strong sense of morality.More Rachel Griffiths quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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