Australian Stars - Most really aren't Aussie

I knew Mel Gibson was born in New York and moved to Australia as a teenager. I was surprised to read how many celebrities aren’t native Australians.

It’s odd that the author skipped two famous Aussies that were born there. Paul Hogan and Steve Irwin were native born. Steve (The Croc Hunter) died a couple years ago.

The first name I could think of, outside of the list of people in the article, was Naomi Watts. Checking her on Wikipedia, it seems that she’s British-born Australian as well.

Some full Aussies:

Eric Bana
Cate Blanchett
Portia de Rossi
George Lazenby
Heath Ledger
Elle Macpherson
Kylie Minogue
John Noble
Geoffrey Rush
Yahoo Serious
Peta Wilson

Some other not-quites:

Olivia Newton-John
Guy Pearce
Hugo Weaving
Sam Worthington

Hugh Jackman is.

Errol Flynn was.

Then you have the flip side, like Betty Bobbit who starred in Australia’s “Prisoner” ("Prisoner: Cell Block H) who was an American but famous on Aussie TV.

The Bee Gees are always often thought to be Aussies too.

Helen Reddy was an Aussie who sounds like an American

I think it comes down to the fact that not many *people *are Australian. There’s only 20 million of them.

And he’s either the only, or almost the only, one of his siblings who was born in Australia. Most or all of the others were born in England, before their parents decided to take advantage of one-way fare to Sydney.

I wouldn’t entirely trust the facts given in the link in post #1. Nicole Kidman didn’t spend the first four years of her life in Hawaii. She was born in Hawaii, where her father was finishing his Ph.D. She only spent a few months there. Her family moved on to Washington, D.C. (or the suburbs thereof), where her father did a post-doc at the National Institute of Health for three years or so.

Australia has a long and proud (ahem) tradition of appropriating any interesting-looking Kiwi around and claiming them as “one of us”. See also: Sam Neill, the Finn Brothers (split Enz/Crowded House) etc etc.

Still, claiming that someone like Julia Gillard belongs on a list of people who are “not really Australian” is pretty funny. The woman’s lived in this country for more than four decades. Who cares where she was born and probably doesn’t even have any memories of since she was just five when she left?

No love for Toni Colette and Rachel Griffith in the “famous Aussies” stakes?

Are you only Australian if born there? Do any of these “non-Australian” people have Australian citizenship? Do they self-identify as primarily Australian?

Seems like kind of a strict overly narrow definition of what is required to be Australian? I’m guessing my wife wouldn’t take kindly to it if I started saying she isn’t American because she was born in Japan.

Russell Russ-La-Roq-Go-Russell-Go Crowe is an Aussie-claimed Kiwi. He refers to himself as Australian, but then he also thinks he’s a god; so I don’t know what to believe.

Given the high tax rate a lot of these stars deserve to call their selves Aussie. It costs a lot to live there. Paul Hogan had tax problems a few years ago.

The op article simply pointed out who isn’t natural born.

Fun fact - a quarter of all Australians aren’t “natural born” either. In fact, I bet there are plenty of folks alive today who remember when it was the norm to be born overseas, not here.

Nick Cave is an authentic Aussie.

I wonder how many people know Anthony LaPaglia and Simon Baker are too?

Flynn was a Tasmanian. Tasmania is part of Australia but it is seperate from the rest of the country. Sort of like Alaska and the United States.


Tasmania is ‘separated’ from mainland Australia by Bass Strait, which is roughly 200 or so kilometres wide. This fact however should not be taken to mean that Tasmanians are any less Australian than those who live on the mainland. Are you implying that any person who lives on an island cannot (or should not) claim citizenship of the country who holds the territorial rights?


Phil Rudd is the only member of AC/DC who is native-born Australian. In fact, him and original bassist Mark Evans are the only two Australians who ever were in the band. The Young brothers, as well as Bon Scott were from Scotland. Brian Johnson, Cliff Williams, Simon Wright, Stevie Young and Dave Evans are from England, and Chris Slade is Welsh.

Tim Minchin (v. funny singer/songwriter) was born in Northampton, UK.

The UK’s most famous aussies are “genuine” - Kylie and Jason, Rolf Harris (although he has strong Welsh links through parents and wife), Natalie Imbruglia etc.

Darren Hayes from Savage Garden, the last Australian act to go to number one on the US singles charts, is a “full Australian”, but the other one in the band, Daniel Jones, is not.

It’s interesting to read just how many of the stars were born overseas, but I don’t think it has much importance. I think basically everyone, including the stars themselves, would consider them very much Australian, born here or not.

Plus, we don’t get to claim that many international celebrities, we need all the stars we can get. :slight_smile: