Early lifePearce was born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England. His father, Stuart Pearce, was a Royal New Zealand Air Force pilot and RAF test pilot, and his mother, Anne Cocking (née Pickering), was an English schoolteacher. When Pearce was three years old, the family relocated to Geelong, Victoria, Australia. When Pearce was eight years old, his father died in an aviation accident. Pearce attended Geelong College, and was a member of the Geelong Society of Dramatic Arts (GSODA) Junior Players. At the age of 16, he was a competitive amateur bodybuilder, leading to the title of Junior Mr. Victoria. He lived in Box Hill North, Victoria in the late 1980s while working on the Australian drama series ''Neighbours''. His first film appearance, while still at Geelong College, was in a Victorian Vice Chancellors-funded film ''Life and Study at University'', produced and directed by Peter Lane of Deakin University. Pearce was 17 years old and played a 21-year-old student.
Film and televisionPearce transitioned to television when he was cast in the Australian soap opera ''Neighbours'' in 1985, playing the role of Mike Young for several years. Pearce also found roles in other television series such as ''Home and Away'' (1988) and ''The Man from Snowy River (TV series), Snowy River: The McGregor Saga'' (1993). The director/producer/writer Frank Howson cast Pearce in his first three films, ''Heaven Tonight (film), Heaven Tonight'', ''Hunting (film), Hunting'' and ''Flynn (film), Flynn'', and paid for him to go to the Cannes Film Festival in 1991 for the premiere of the Howson-directed ''Hunting''. The accompanying Howson-funded publicity campaign brought Pearce to the attention of the international film industry. He made his first major film breakthrough shortly after, with his role as a drag queen in ''The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert'' in 1994. Since then, he has appeared in several US productions including ''L.A. Confidential (film), L.A. Confidential'', ''Ravenous (1999 film), Ravenous'', ''Rules of Engagement (film), Rules of Engagement'', ''Memento (film), Memento'', ''The Count of Monte Cristo (2002 film), The Count of Monte Cristo'' and ''The Time Machine (2002 film), The Time Machine''. Pearce portrayed pop artist Andy Warhol in ''Factory Girl (2006 film), Factory Girl'' and Harry Houdini in ''Death Defying Acts.'' He also appeared in ''The Road (2009 film), The Road'' and in ''Bedtime Stories (film), Bedtime Stories'' with Adam Sandler. Pearce continued to perform in Australian films, such as ''The Hard Word'' (2002) and ''The Proposition (2005 film), The Proposition'' (2005), written by fellow Australian Nick Cave. In January 2009, Pearce returned to the stage after a seven-year absence. He performed in the Melbourne Theatre Company's production of ''Poor Boy'', a play with music, co-written by Matt Cameron and Tim Finn. In 2009, he portrayed Staff Sergeant Matthew Thompson in ''The Hurt Locker''. In 2010, he appeared as David, Prince of Wales, who became King Edward VIII, in ''The King's Speech''. Both films won the Academy Award for Best Picture, making Pearce the first actor to appear in back-to-back Best Picture winners since Michael Peña (who appeared in ''Million Dollar Baby'' and ''Crash (2004 film), Crash''). Pearce starred as the eponymous lead in the Australian TV miniseries ''Jack Irish'', an adaptation of the detective novels of author Peter Temple broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC network in 2012. In May 2012, Pearce was cast to star in David Michôd's ''The Rover (2014 film), The Rover''. In 2013, Pearce played the villain character Aldrich Killian in ''Iron Man 3''. Pearce had a supporting role in Neil Armfield's romantic-drama film ''Holding the Man (film), Holding the Man'', as Dick Conigrave. The 2015 film stars Ryan Corr and Craig Stott, with supporting performances from Pearce, Anthony LaPaglia and Geoffrey Rush. ''Holding the Man'' was adapted from Timothy Conigrave's 1995 memoir of the same name.
MusicNext to acting, Guy has a lifelong passion for music and songwriting. He released his first album, ''Broken Bones'', in November 2014. Pearce appeared in a documentary special celebrating ''Neighbours'' 30th anniversary titled ''Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite'', which aired in Australia and the UK in March 2015. Pearce released his second studio album ''The Nomad'' in 2018. Pearce appeared in Australian band Silverchair's music video for "Across the Night" and in Razorlight's video for "Before I Fall to Pieces." Furthermore, he appeared in the video for the song "Follow Me Around" by Radiohead. He recorded the soundtrack for ''A Slipping-Down Life'', singing and playing guitar on cover versions of songs by Ron Sexsmith, Vic Chesnutt and Robyn Hitchcock.
Personal lifePearce married his childhood sweetheart, psychologist Kate Mestitz, in March 1997. In October 2015, Pearce confirmed he and Mestitz had ended their marriage after 18 years. Pearce is in a relationship with Dutch actress Carice van Houten; they have a son, Monte, who was born in August 2016. As an Australian rules football fan who supports the Geelong Football Club in the Australian Football League, Pearce has done media work with the club, including a documentary narration. He supports a number of charitable organisations for many causes such as animal rights, animal welfare and protecting the Earth's ecology.
Awards and nominationsOn 18 September 2011, Pearce won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his work in Todd Haynes' limited series ''Mildred Pierce (miniseries), Mildred Pierce'' as Monty Beragon. Pearce received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his performance. Pearce has been nominated for three Screen Actors Guild Awards winning for Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture along with the cast of ''The King's Speech'' (2010). Pearce was nominated with the cast of ''L.A. Confidential'' (1997) and ''Mildred Pierce'' (2011).
Discography* ''Broken Bones'' (2014) * ''The Nomad'' (2018)