From nomadic childhood to the Hollywood high life, Brendan Fraser made his name playing kooky comedy characters before The Mummy turned him into an action superstar.
Brendan Fraser was born on December 3, 1968 in Indianapolis. Thanks to his father's job as a Foreign Service officer for the Canadian Government Office of Tourism, Fraser travelled extensively during his early years.
It was on one of these trips to London that Fraser discovered his love for acting after enjoying the West End production of Oliver. Within a few short years of starring in school plays, Fraser picked up his BFA in Acting at Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts.
Finding work straight away, he made his debut in Dogfight alongside the late River Phoenix. While his part was a one-liner, it helped him pick up small TV roles.
In 1992 he appeared in School Ties alongside Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Chris O'Donnell and, although not a huge hit at the time, it later became a cult classic. Fraser worked hard over the next few years, starring in such film as Encino Man, The Scout and Glory Daze.
Fraser’s big time break came in the shape of wacky kids' flick George Of The Jungle, based on the Sixties cartoon series. Here he played a clumsy Tarzan figure and, thanks to his comic timing and muscled loin cloth appeal, the film became a huge worldwide hit. When Robert Downey Jr pulled out of Gods And Monsters, Fraser was next in line to play Ian McKellen’s gardener and object of affection. Although Brendan’s career continued to make all the right noises, with a series of commercially successful films, it wasn’t until he was cast in Stephen Sommers' The Mummy that he became a true Hollywood A-lister.
His portrayal of a slightly dodgy adventurer who helps Egyptologist Rachel Weisz discover the city of the dead was a sure-fire hit! The film capitalised on the previous Indiana Jones successes and shattered the $100 million mark. The sequel - The Mummy Returns – was also a huge hit.
Brendan then moved on to something more serious, starring alongside Michael Caine in an adaptation of Graham Greene's The Quiet American. The film charted the origins of the US war in south-east Asia, and both Caine and Fraser were acclaimed for their performances. Fraser played Brick in Tennessee Williams' Cat On A Hot Tin Roof in London's West End from September 2001 to January 2002.
In 2004, Brendan appeared in the Academy Award-winning film Crash, which explored racial and social tensions in Los Angeles. As well as securing three Oscars for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing at the 78th Academy Awards, the film was awarded the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Later in March 2006, the actor achieved a new milestone when he became the first American-born actor to be inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame, his parents' Canadian roots justifying the accolade. The same year saw him appear in the films Journey To The End Of The Night and The Last Time, followed by The Air I Breathe and Journey To The Center Of The Earth in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Having received a staggering $12.5 million for The Mummy Returns, it would have probably proved difficult for Fraser to resist another outing as the swashbucking Egyptologist and Rick O'Connell returned in 2008 with The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor, albeit without Rachel Weisz.
Brendan continues to star in both action movies and smaller dramatic features, and enjoys his passions for travel, culture and photography.