Geoffrey Roy Rush was born on July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, to Merle (Bischof), a department store sales assistant, and Roy Baden Rush, an accountant for the Royal Australian Air Force. His mother was of German descent and his father had English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. He was raised in Brisbane, Queensland, after his parents split up.
Rush attended Everton Park State High School during his formative years. His early interest in the theatre led to his 1971 stage debut at age 20 in "Wrong Side of the Moon" with the Queensland Theatre Company.
Known for his classical repertory work over the years, he scored an unexpected hit with his Queensland role as Snoopy in the musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown". A few years later he moved to France to study but subsequently returned to his homeland within a short time and continued work as both actor and director with the Queensland company ("June and the Paycock," "Aladdin," "Godspell," "Present Laughter," "The