Bearded, Scots-born leading man Colin Friels has spent most of his professional career in Australia. A 1976 graduate of that country's National Institute of Dramatic Art, Friels rapidly found work in all branches of popular entertainment, but was particularly successful in such stage productions as Hamlet, Macbeth and The Man From Muckinpin. Entering films in 1983, Friels made his international mark as a cheeky misfit in Malcolm (1986), an assignment that won him the Australian Film Institute "Best Actor" award. Married to actress Judy Davis, Colin Friels has kept busy into the 1990s in films like Class Action (1991) and A Good Man in Africa (1994).
Biography by Hal Erickson
- At age 11, moved from Scotland to Australia with his parents and brother.
- Worked as a labourer before pursuing a career in acting.
- Met wife Judy Davis while both were studying at NIDA.
- Rose to fame playing the title role in Malcolm (1986).
- Has appeared opposite Davis in several films and theatre productions, including Kangaroo (1987), High Tide (1987) and The Man Who Sued God (2001).
- In 1997, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; continued to film Water Rats through chemotherapy treatments until surgery, and has since been in full remission.
- Won the Peter Finch Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 Movie Extra Filmink Awards.
- In 2012, collapsed during a performance of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and taken to hospital.
- Is a keen horseman, and was chosen as one of six riders in the 2013 National Cutting Horse Futurity's celebrity competition.