Paul Joseph Mercurio (born 31 March 1963) is an Australian actor, dancer, and TV presenter. Mercurio is best known for his lead role in Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom (1992). His father was the character actor Gus Mercurio.
Paul Joseph Mercurio
31 March 1963
|Family||Gus Mercurio (father)|
Mercurio was born in Swan Hill, Victoria in 1963 and began ballet at nine. By the age of 19 in 1982, he was Principal Dancer with the Sydney Dance Company – a position he held for 10 years. During this time, he was commissioned to choreograph six works performed by the company. Mercurio left the Sydney Dance Company in August 1992 to found the Australian Choreographic Ensemble which danced from 1992 to 1995, where he was the Director, Principal Dancer and Principal Choreographer.
Mercurio made his film debut in Strictly Ballroom, receiving an Australian Film Institute Award nomination in 1993. His film credits have included: Exit to Eden, Back of Beyond, Così, Red Ribbon Blues, Welcome to Woop Woop, The Dark Planet, The First 9½ Weeks, Kick and Sydney – A Story of a City. He starred, wrote, choreographed, produced and directed the short film Spilt Milk. Mercurio made his TV debut in a documentary on his life called Life's Burning Desire in 1992. He starred in the lead role of Joseph in the Emmy award–winning US TV mini-series The Bible: Joseph in 1995. Later, he joined the ensemble cast for the 1998 mini-series drama The Day of the Roses, depicting the 1977 Granville railway disaster. Most recently, Paul has taken roles in independent films, such as 2016's Hunting for Shadows.
Mercurio has appeared in popular Australian shows such as, Blue Heelers, All Saints, Murder Call, Medivac, Heartbreak High, Water Rats, and The Day of the Roses. Mercurio continues to dance and choreograph professionally. He was a movement consultant on the Will Smith movie I, Robot, and has choreographed an American TV campaign for Coca-Cola, the Harry M Miller production of Jesus Christ Superstar and Annie Get Your Gun. In January 2004, he appeared on stage in The Full Monty. Mercurio teaches full-time students at Dance World Studios in Melbourne, Australia.
Mercurio was a judge on both the Australian and New Zealand versions of Dancing with the Stars until August 2008, when he was dropped from the judging panel of the Australian version. Dancing with the Stars Australia was broadcast on Channel Seven from 2004 to 2007. He was a judge in the New Zealand version. In 2008, he began hosting a series called Mercurio's Menu where he travels Australia, cooking in different locations.
- "Paul Mercurio out of Dancing and Ian Dickson's Idol fears". The Daily Telegraph. 12 August 2008.
- "New faces for Dancing with the Stars". TVNZ. Retrieved 1 March 2009.