Sullivan Stapleton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Sullivan Stapleton
Sullivan Stapleton by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Stapleton in 2013
Born(1977-06-14) 14 June 1977 (age 37)[1]
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Years active1994–present
Jump to: navigation, search
Sullivan Stapleton
Sullivan Stapleton by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Stapleton in 2013
Born(1977-06-14) 14 June 1977 (age 37)[1]
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Years active1994–present

Sullivan Stapleton (born 14 June 1977)[1] is an Australian actor who is best known for his roles in the SKY (BSkyB)/Cinemax/HBO television series Strike Back and the 2010 Sundance Film Festival selection Animal Kingdom.

Stapleton played the lead role, Greek leader Themistocles, in the film 300: Rise of an Empire (2014).[2][3] He was honored on 24 October 2013 with a Breakthrough Award at an exclusive Australians in Film Benefit Dinner held in Los Angeles.[4]

Life and career[edit]

Stapleton was born in Melbourne, Victoria.[5] He was eight years old when he and his younger sister, actress Jacinta Stapleton, six at the time, joined an acting and modelling agency. The idea first came to their aunt who signed her kids with the agency. She then asked her nephew and nieces if they would like to join and their mother signed them in.[6][7]

His picture caught the attention of a director who then invited him to be in his short film (about high school dropouts at a party where girls were dying, without the graphic violence). Pleased by his performance, the director qualified him as gifted and encouraged him to pursue acting.[7]

Stapleton received training at Melbourne's St. Martin's Theater. He studied drama and theater at Sandringham Secondary College (in Sandringham, Victoria, Australia).[8] He launched his career in Australia.[8] He got his actors' union card at the age of 9 (in 1986) and at the age of 11 he started working in ads.[9] His first onscreen acting performance was in the 1994 Australian TV-movie Baby Bath Massacre as Adrian.[8][10]

Between acting jobs, Stapleton did several types of work: modeling, cleaning animal cages in a pet shop, working as a grip (taking care of the camera equipment) in a considerable number of films and TV productions (The Elephant Princess, Rush, Tangle)[9] in front and behind the camera, working on building sites, and assisting carpenters.[7][8][9][11][12]

Before landing a role as Josh Hughes in Australia's soap opera Neighbours in 1998, he appeared in a string of little-seen features and homegrown dramas.[10] Other notable roles include Justin Davies in the Australian televised serial The Secret Life Of Us (between 2003 and 2005),[13] Fearless in the motion picture December Boys (released in 2007), special agent Wilkins in the mainstream feature, The Condemned (an American action film distributed in 2007).[14] But it was with Stapleton's performance in the Academy Award nominated film Animal Kingdom, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, that he made an international breakthrough.[7][10][13]

When Animal Kingdom won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival interest in him sparked on two continents[9] and his career has taken him across the globe.[11] He made his second appearance in the Underbelly (series), an Australian true crime drama television series. This time he was the lead character, Colin McLaren in Underbelly Files: Infiltration, an endurance test and the first challenging shoot of his career.[9] Previously he played Pat Barbaro in Underbelly (TV series) (episode Suffer the Children) in 2008.[9][11]

In early 2014, Stapleton was in Thailand for the filming of the TV series Strike Back. In February on a night out in Bangkok after work, he fell off a tuk-tuk (a type of motorised rickshaw) and suffered a head injury. Shooting for the show was paused for six months to allow his full recovery. Airing of the final season was also pushed to 2015.[15][16]


Stapleton had a two and a half year relationship with Australian actress Carla Bonner. They split in 2007.[8][17] He first met Australian television personality Jo Beth Taylor in Melbourne in 2004. She found him on Facebook and the two reconnected in 2010.[18] Their first appearance together as a couple was at the 2010 Kodak Inside Film Awards Red carpet (14 November 2010) at Sydney City Recital Hall, Angel Place.[19] The relationship ended a few months before September 2011.[8][12]


1996River StreetChris
1998AmyWayne Lassiter
2000Bored OlivesDom
2003Darkness FallsOfficer Matt Henry
2004Everything GoesJackShort movie
2007The CondemnedSpecial Agent Wilkins
2007The Bloody Sweet HitCarlShort movie
2007December BoysFearless
2010Animal KingdomCraig Cody
2010Centre PlaceJames Ballintyne
2013Gangster SquadJack Whalen
2014300: Rise of an EmpireThemistocles
2014Kill Me Three TimesNathan Webb
2014Cut SnakePommie
1994Baby Bath MassacreAdrianTV movie
1996-2003Blue HeelersGethin Fox/Anthony Hood/Ian Shannon(4 episodes)
  • "Father's Day: Part 1", "Father's Day: Part 2" (as Gethin Fox)
  • "Victims" (as Anthony Hood)
  • "Second Innings" (as Ian Shannon)
1997Good Guys Bad GuysPaul Morello(1 episode); "A Bilby in Rat's Clothing"
1998Raw FMBucky(1 episode) "Raw'n'Sore"
1998NeighboursJosh HughesRecurring role; 10 episodes
1998The Genie from Down Under 2Surfer #2(1 episode); "The Cold Shoulder"
1998Halifax f.p.Hamish(1 episode); "Afraid of the Dark"
1997-1998State Coroner'Bullbar' Benson/Darren Pyke(2 episodes)
  • "Sunday in the Country" (as 'Bullbar' Benson)
  • "Final Approach" (as Darren Pyke)
1999Witch HuntCraig Thomas
1999Pigs Breakfast
1999StingersMatt Wilmott(1 episode); "Dance With the Dragon"
2000Something in the AirWayne Taylor(4 episodes); "The Best Man", "The Things We Do", "The Big Match", "Return of the Prodigal"
2000Green SailsInfanteTV movie
2001My Brother JackYoung JoeTV movie
2002MDABen Quilty(2 episodes); "Rites of Passage", "One Small Step"
2003-2005The Secret Life of UsJustin DaviesMain role; 24 episodes
2005Little OberonMartinTV movie
2006McLeod's DaughtersDrew Cornwell(1 episode); "Winners & Losers"
2007-2009SatisfactionJoshRecurring role; 13 episodes
2008UnderbellyPat Barbaro(1 episode); "Suffer the Children"
2008Canal RoadJack Logan(3 episodes); "Episode 2", "Episode 5", "Episode 10"
2008RushYuri(1 episode) "Episode 12"
2009Carla Cametti PDMatt BrodieRecurring role; 6 episodes
2009Sea PatrolGeoff Kershaw(1 episode); "Guns"
2010The OddsWadeTV movie
2010LowdownOliver Barry
2011Underbelly Files: InfiltrationColin McLarenMain role; TV movie
2011-presentStrike BackSgt. Damien ScottMain role; 30 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]


External links[edit]