Woman Davis, Judy


Written by Caitlin Stone, The University of Melbourne

Judy Davis was born in Perth in 1956. She studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), graduating in 1977. Her first major film role was as Sybylla Melvin in My Brilliant Career (1978) for which she was nominated for an Australian Film Institute award and won a British Academy Award.

She was nominated for Oscars for her roles in A Passage to India (1984) and Husbands and Wives (1992). She has won Emmy Awards for her roles in Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (1995) and Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001). In 2012, she won the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) award for best lead actress for her role in The Eye of the Storm. In 1997, she was named one of the National Trust of Australia's 'National Living Treasures'.

Davis has been outspoken on a number of political and social issues. In 1993, she spoke out in support of Australia becoming a republic. In 1997, she was one of 200 well-known Australians who publicly protested against plans by the federal government to extinguish native title. In 2006, Davis presented the Fourth Manning Clark Lecture which she used to condemn Prime Minister John Howard's support for the war in Iraq.

Published Resources

Newspaper Articles

  • 'Judy Davis, the Reluctant Star', Australian Women’s Weekly, 10 October 1979, p. 9. Details
  • Barrowclough, Nikki, 'Judy the Obscure', 20 March 1993, pp. 38-43. Details
  • Jopson, Debra and Bui, Minh, 'Do Not Diminish Nation, Say Stars', The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 May 1997, p. 5. Details
  • Stephens, Tony, 'Judy Brings Fire to Republic Role', The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 December 1993, p. 5. Details

Online Resources

See also