Russell Dykstra Biography
Russell Dykstra is a multi-award winning Australian actor of both stage and screen known for his transformative roles. He won the prestigious AFI Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in his feature film debut, Soft Fruit, for which he also received a Film Critics Circle of Australia Award nomination. Russell has won several national theatre awards, received his second AFI nomination for his performance in the film Romulus My Father and stars as Barney in the acclaimed Australian ABC TV series Rake.
Dykstra first appeared on stage at age 10, in a theatre production of Toad of Toad Hall. He later studied acting at the University of Southern Queensland and in his early career worked alongside fellow actor Geoffrey Rush with the Grin and Tonic theatre troupe. Dykstra also studied at the schools of Jacques Lecoq in Paris and Philippe Gaulier in London.
Dykstra’s one-man show Children of the Devil toured nationally in 1996-98 with funding from the Australia Council, earning him a Matilda Award and a Victorian Green Room Award nomination for Best Actor. Shortly thereafter Dykstra made his feature film debut in the critically acclaimed Soft Fruit, directed by Christina Andreef, for which he received an AFI Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and a Film Critics’ Circle Award nomination.
Dykstra was nominated for an AFI Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Romulus in 2007. Dykstra’s theatre credits are extensive, including God of Carnage, the Wonderful World of Dissocia, the Unlikely Prospect of Happiness, for the Sydney Theatre Company and Babyteeth, Ray’s Tempest, The Underpants, The Laramie Project, Yibiyung and The Ham Funeral for Company B.
Currently Dykstra is playing Pumbaa in the Australian tour of Disney’s The Lion King. For this performance Dykstra received a Sydney Theatre Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical and was nominated Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical at the 14th Annual Helpmann Awards.
In 2015, Dykstra won his second Equity Award, for Most Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series, for his portrayal of Barney in the ABC TV series Rake.