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Simon Burke

Simon Burke in June 2013.jpg
Simon Burke, June 2013
Born (1961-10-08) 8 October 1961 (age 61)
Occupation Actor
Years active 1976–present

Simon Gareth Burke AO (born 8 October 1961) is an Australian actor, active in films, television and theatre.


Simon Burke began his career at the age of 12, starring in Michael Cove's Kookaburra; a painful look at a dysfunctional working-class family, focusing particularly on an almost autistic young boy. Soon after at the age of 13, Burke starred in Fred Schepisi's acclaimed feature film The Devil's Playground for which he won the AFI Award for Best Actor at the Australian Film Institute Awards. He remains the youngest person ever to be honoured with this award. Since then he has enjoyed great success both in Australia and internationally in film, television, stage, concert appearances and cabaret.

In 2014, Simon starred in Matchbox Pictures/NBC-Universal's highly acclaimed mini-series Devil’s Playground in which he reprised the role of Tom Allen that he created as a 13-year-old. He is the co-creator and executive producer of the project, which this year won both the AACTA and Logie Awards for Most Outstanding Telefeature or Mini-Series.

He has since starred in numerous film, television and theatre productions in Australia and the UK. He starred as Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music at the London Palladium alongside Connie Fisher and then Summer Strallen. He also played the role of Mr Banks in Mary Poppins in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Auckland.

Burke was Federal President of Actors Equity Australia 2004–2014. He is currently a Vice President of the International Federation of Actors (FIA), a global federation of performers' trade unions, guilds and professional associations.

On 10 September 2015, at the Queens Birthday Honours ceremony presided over by the Governor of New South Wales, General David Hurley, Burke was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) with the following citation: "For distinguished service to the performing arts as an actor, singer and producer, and through senior advocacy roles for performers' rights and access to professional development and education programs."

In 2016 he publicly identified himself as being gay.



Year Title Role Notes
1976 Devil's Playground, TheThe Devil's Playground Tom Allen
1978 Irishman, TheThe Irishman Michael Doolan
1982 Clinic, TheThe Clinic Paul
1987 Slate, Wyn & Me Wyn Jackson
1999 Passion Herman Sandby
2000 Pitch Black Greg Owens
2003 Preservation Mr. Crewe
2003 Travelling Light Ray Sugars
2006 Shuffle Edgar Short
2015 Super Awesome! Jack Simpson
2017 Dirt Tin Burko Short


Year Title Role Notes
1973 Matlock Police Davey Evans "Sky High"
1977 Sullivans, TheThe Sullivans Peter Robinson "1.37"
1977 Restless Years, TheThe Restless Years Stephen Moran TV series
1980 Slippery Slide Steve TV film
1982 Country Practice, AA Country Practice Roger Morrison "The Push: Parts 1 & 2"
1983 Scales of Justice Const. Webber "The Job"
1987 Flying Doctors, TheThe Flying Doctors Daryl Stokes "Keeping Up Appearances"
1988–2007, 2013 Play School Simon Burke Presenter
1988 Great Performances John McCormack "Melba"
1988 Always Afternoon Tom TV series
1991 Brides of Christ Jack Delahunty "Paul"
1991 Heroes II: The Return Capt. Ellis TV film
1996 One That Got Away, TheThe One That Got Away Stan TV film
1997 Water Rats Det. Serg. 'Mac' Phillips "Blood Trail", "Dead or Alive"
1998 Murder Call Guy Searle "Menu for Murder"
2001 South Pacific Harbison TV film
2001 Blue Heelers Mick Boyce "Blood"
2002 Heroes' Mountain Euan Diver TV film
2002 Young Lions Rob Watson "Boy School Bullies", "Asylum Seekers", "Nursing Home"
2003 Grass Roots Tony Ludovic "Egomania"
2003 The Postcard Bandit Thomas TV film
2003 After the Deluge Michael TV film
2004 Alice, TheThe Alice Patrick TV film
2005–2006 Alice, TheThe Alice Patrick Main role
2006 Small Claims: The Reunion Jon TV film
2007 All Saints Brad Douglas "Balancing Act"
2009 Hustle Nick "The Road Less Travelled"
2010 Rescue: Special Ops Warren Thompson "Enemy Mine"
2011 I Shouldn't Be Alive Mike Dillon "Left for Dead on Everest"
2013 Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Nicholas Mortimer "Murder Under the Mistletoe"
2014 Devil's Playground Tom Allen TV miniseries
2016 Rake Warwick Dormann "4.1"
2016 Deep Water Simon Mawbrey TV miniseries


  • 1987–88: Les Misérables as Marius (original Australian cast directed by Trevor Nunn)
  • 1989–90: Anything Goes as Billy Crocker (Australia, New Zealand; opposite Geraldine Turner)
  • 1992: The Phantom of the Opera as Raoul (Her Majesty's Theatre, London)
  • 1993: Falsettos as Whizzer (Sydney Opera House)
  • 1994: Nosferatu the Vampire as The Innkeeper (concept cast recording)
  • 1994: Jeffrey as Steve (London premiere)
  • 1996: A Little Night Music as Carl-Magnus, (Royal National Theatre with Dame Judi Dench)
  • 1999–2000: Chicago as Billy Flynn (Sydney/Perth/Brisbane/Singapore/Hong Kong)
  • 2001: Up for Grabs as Gerry – world premiere, (Sydney Opera House)
  • 2004: High Society as CK Dexter Haven
  • 2005–06: Three Furies – Scenes from the Life of Francis Bacon as Francis Bacon, directed by Jim Sharman
  • 2007: Company as Harry
  • 2007: October as Detective Dick (Griffin Theatre Company, Sydney)
  • 2007: The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and Little Ragged Blossom as Mr Lizard, directed by Neil Armfield
  • 2007–08: The Sound of Music as Captain Georg von Trapp
  • 2009: La Cage aux Folles as Georges (Playhouse Theatre, London)
  • 2010: The Sound of Music (2010) as Captain Georg von Trapp (Toronto)
  • 2010: Holding the Man as Dick Conigrave (Trafalgar Studios, London)
  • 2010–12 Mary Poppins as Mr Banks (Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Auckland)
  • 2014: La Cage aux Folles as Georges (The Production Company)
  • 2017: Noises Off as Lloyd Dallas (Queensland Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company)
  • 2018: Strangers in Between as Peter, Fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne
  • 2019: Mary Stuart (Kate Mulvany's adaptation) as Amias Paulet (Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company)
  • 2020-21: Pippin as Charlemagne, Sydney Lyric Theatre
  • 2021 Moulin Rouge! as Harold Zidler, Regent Theatre, Melbourne
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