A handsome, sharp-featured actor who has played everything from action baddies to charming romantic comedy leads, Australian actor Richard Roxburgh became a familiar face to international audiences thanks to roles in such high-profile Hollywood features as Moulin Rouge and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Born the youngest of six siblings in Albury, Australia, Roxburgh's interest in acting wasn't sparked until he became somewhat disillusioned with studying economics (his father was a successful accountant) at A.N.U. in Canberra. An interest in acting prompted the young Roxburgh to enroll in Sydney's National Institute of Dramatic Arts, though it wasn't a successful film career to which he aspired, but one in the theater. He gained a reputation as a talented actor and stage director capable of both classic and contemporary work, and soon found his star rising in Europe as well. The actor had an early supporting role in the made-for-TV feature The Saint: Fear in Fun Park, which showed the stage-oriented actor possessing remarkable onscreen charisma.
Though he continued to work on-stage, Roxburgh also began making appearances in television miniseries, and grew increasingly comfortable in front of the cameras. After more supporting roles in such features as Billy's Holiday (1995) and Children of the Revolution (1996), Roxburgh landed his first feature lead in the country & western-themed road movie Doing Time for Patsy Cline (1997) -- a role that earned the rising star an AFI award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. That same year, he charmed Australian audiences opposite Cate Blanchett in the romantic comedy Thank God He Met Lizzie as a reluctant groom whose fantasies about an ex-girlfriend threaten to sour his wedding day. Though Roxburgh's onscreen exposure, to this point, had been limited mostly to European audiences, all of that changed in the early 2000s. Cast as the villainous henchman in John Woo's high-profile sequel Mission: Impossible II, Roxburgh made quite an impression despite his limited screen time. The following year, he made even more of an impact on international audiences thanks to a role as the sniveling Duke of Worcester in Baz Luhrmann's breakout musical hit Moulin Rouge. Roxburgh's later role as legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes in 2002's The Hound of the Baskervilles courted controversy by depicting Holmes as a drug addict, and, in 2003, he suited up to fight crime once again in the comic book adaptation The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Roxburgh played another famous character -- Count Dracula -- in the eagerly anticipated horror feature Van Helsing in 2004.