Patriarch of the Otto acting dynasty, Barry Otto was born in 1941 and trained as a graphic artist at Brisbane Technical College before starting his working life drawing fashion illustrations for advertising agencies.
He started acting in amateur theatre and in 1968 he turned professional taking part in the TV soap opera Until Tomorrow, but he retained a love for theatre and, after the formation of the Queensland Theatre Company in 1970, he worked alongside Geoffrey Rush, gaining a reputation as one of the country’s finest stage actors in productions of Proof, Last Cab to Darwin and the title role of King Lear.
During the 80s he appeared in TV blockbusters, The Dismissal and Vietnam.
His first major film role came in Bliss for which he won the AFI and Sydney Film Critics’ Circle Best Actor Award.
He has since appeared in Strictly Ballroom, for which he won an AFI for best supporting actor, Cosi, and Oscar and Lucinda.
Father of actors Miranda and Gracie, Otto is a keen amateur artist and has entered the Archibald Prize twice.
This person has made the short list for the title National Living Treasure, this title is conferred when someone accomplishes an outstanding achievement, swelling the country’s consciousness with admiration, pride and acknowledgement... be they scientists or sports stars; actors, artists or Indigenous activists; politicians, philanthropists or explorers, The National Trust’s 2012 nominees are a true cross section of our country’s finest.
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