She is well-known for playing two quintessential if very different Californians, first in the celebrated series on HBO, "Six Feet Under," and now in the ABC drama, "Brothers & Sisters." But Rachel Griffiths was born and bred in Australia.
Her first international notice as an actress came in 1994 in her film debut co-starring in "Muriel's Wedding" with fellow Australian Toni Collette. Her role as a musical prodigy's sister (based on a true story) in "Hilary and Jackie" won her an Academy Award nomination in 1998. She continues to make movies, such as the 2006 "Step Up" with co-star Channing Tatum (left).
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American audiences got to know her, though, primarily through her role in "Six Feet Under." Here she is with Jay Leno in 2002.
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Griffiths played Brenda Chenowith, who has on-again, off-again relationship with Nate Fisher, played by Peter Krause. Here Krause and Griffiths are presenters at the annual prime-time Emmy Awards in 2001, the year "Six Feet Under" began. In subsequent years, Griffiths was nominated twice for an Emmy for her role in the series.
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Over five seasons of the series, Brenda and Nat meet, cheat, marry (somebody else), get back together, console, criticize, condemn -- have, in short, a complicated relationship.
Brenda also had a complicated relationship with her mentally ill brother Billy, played by Jeremy Sisto.
In Griffiths' new series, her character Sarah Whelan, a corporate executive called back to help run the family business, has complicated relationships with much of her family,especially her husband, played by John Pyper-Ferguson...
...and her mother, played by Sally Field (who is also up for an Emmy nomination)...
Griffiths is actually married to artist Andrew Taylor; here they are attending an exhibition of his paintings, entitled "Outside" in an art gallery in Sydney, Australia in May. They have two children, a son named Banjo and a daughter named Adelaide. Griffiths was raised by a single mother; their father walked out when she was 11.
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Griffiths has told interviewers that she is drawn to complicated characters, because people are complicated; they don't have just one mood; they are not just black and white.