Birthdate: October 5, 1967
Birthplace: Ely, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Without ever becoming a regular above-the-title star, Guy Pearce (birthname: Guy Edward Pearce) has a distinctively star-like presence on screen, creating a strong body of work over three decades. With his jaw-jutting good looks and striking intelligence, Pearce has balanced an active resume in both Hollywood and his home country of Australia.
He got out of the gate as an actor early, starring in the popular Aussie sitcom, Neighbours straight from high school. But it was his turn as the flamboyant drag queen Felicia Jollygoodfellow in the hit The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, that brought Pearce to Hollywood’s attention.
Pearce made the most of it, landing a coveted role in Curtis Hanson’s Los Angeles crime epic, L.A. Confidential (1997), followed by powerful work in Antonia Bird’s Western, Ravenous (1999), William Friedkin’s Rules of Engagement (2000) with Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, and memorably, in Christopher Nolan’s Memento (2000), which, for some, remains Pearce’s greatest performance.
Guy Pearce has shown a knack for working in major, prestige productions, including several Oscar-winning movies: Katheryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker (2009), The King’s Speech (2010) with Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, and two stunning turns with director John Hillcoat: The Proposition (2005) and the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2009).
Despite his contemporary look, Guy Pearce has thrived in period work in a wide range of genres, from literary (John Logan’s The Time Machine (2000) and F. Scott Fitzgerald in Genius (2016)), to recent pop history (as Andy Warhol in Factory Girl (2006)), to Westerns (David Michod’s The Rover (2014), Brimstone (2016)), WW2 (The Catcher Was a Spy (2018)), to British royal drama (The King’s Speech and Mary Queen of Scots (2018)).
He has also been a regular in Ridley Scott’s recent sci-fi epics, including Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017). Pearce remains a natural and heavily recruited actor for action thrillers, most recently in Spinning Man (2018) with Pierce Brosnan, and Memory (2022) with Liam Neeson and Monica Bellucci.
Guy Pearce was born in England but raised in Australia by his late New Zealand-born father and ace test pilot Stuart and British-born mother Anne Pearce. After his family moved to Australia, Stuart died on an airplane test flight when Pearce was 8.
Less than a week after graduating from high school, Pearce was cast in the Australian soap opera, Neighbours. He has an older sister, Tracy. In 1997, Pearce was married to Kate Mestitz, whom he has known since childhood; they divorced in 2015. He is in a relationship with actor Carice van Houten, with whom he has a child, Monte. His height is 5’ 10¼”.
Arnold Junior: Guy Pearce won the bodybuilding title Mr. Junior Victoria at age 16.
Real-life Roles: Pearce has played Errol Flynn (Flynn in 1997), Andy Warhol (Factory Girl in 2006), David, Prince of Wales (The King’s Speech in 2010), Harry Houdini (Gillian Armstrong’s Death Defying Acts in 2011), F. Scott Fitzgerald (John Logan’s Genius in 2016), William Cecil (Mary Queen of Scots in 2018) and Dutch Masters painter Hans van Meegeren (The Last Vermeer in 2019).
Oscar Bait: Guy Pearce is one of the few actors to be in consecutive Best Picture Oscars winners: The Hurt Locker and The King’s Speech.
Charitable: Pearce backs many charitable causes, including several in Australia, ranging from Bush Heritage to Save our Sharks, as well as wildlife hospitals.