Bruce Spence to receive Equity Lifetime Achievement Award

Bruce Spence.

Veteran actor Bruce Spence is the newest Equity Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, with the prize to be presented at an awards ceremony in Sydney later this year.

Spence has amassed over 100 credits across the past five decades, appearing in Hollywood franchises such as The Matrix, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Pirates of the Caribbean, and homegrown classics like Mad Max 2 and The Dry.

Having started his acting career in Melbourne in the late 1960s as an inaugural member of the Australian Performing Group, his career includes numerous credits with the Melbourne Theatre Company, South Australian Theatre Company, Griffin, and Sydney Theatre Company, where he still performs regularly.

Spence has been a proud Equity member since 1971, serving as NSW state president and federal vice president, while also chairing the Actors Benevolent Fund of NSW from 2019-2023.

Equity president Jason Klarwein said the Equity National Performers’ Committee had previously considered Spence multiple times for the award.

“Bruce is someone who has the utmost respect from his peers, his union and his industry,” he said.

“He’s a performer we love to watch and to work with. He’s a mentor and teacher to the next generation. A huge supporter of Equity’s work. And as chair of Actors Benevolent Fund during COVID he carried his community through a very dark time, earning deep admiration from all who were touched by his and the fund’s remarkable efforts.”

The Equity Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2009 to honour the achievements of leading Australian performers who have had a distinguished career and have inspired other Australian performers.