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Richard Roxburgh is considered one of Australia’s finest actors. He grew up in the country town of Albury in New South Wales as the youngest of six brothers and sisters, the children of John and Mary. He fell in love with acting at the age of 15, playing the lead role in Death of a Salesman to an enchantress named Meryl, but studied economics at university. Richard got as far as applying for an office job before he came to his senses and entered the National Institute of Dramatic Art.

He has won awards for his television roles, and been critically acclaimed for his stage work, particularly as Hamlet. Richard has appeared in several Hollywood blockbusters, where he often seems to be cast as a villain, such as a henchman in Mission Impossible II, and the Duke of Monroth in Moulin Rouge.

He is the only actor who has played, on screen, Sherlock Holmes (in The Hound of the Baskervilles), Holmes’ nemesis, Professor Moriarty (in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), and Count Dracula (in Van Helsing). Orson Welles also managed it, but on radio.

Richard says that he has been attracted to European people and culture since childhood, so it’s no surprise that he married the beautiful Italian actress Silvia Colloca, who played one of the brides of Dracula in Van Helsing. The couple were married in Tuscany in 2004.

Silvia is from Milan, and the youngest of three siblings; her sister is Alessandra, her brother is Giammarco, and they are the children of Loredana and Mario. She trained as a mezzo-soprano at the prestigious Music Academy of Milan, and sang in musical theatre and opera. Van Helsing was her first major movie role; since then she has done more movies, often ones where she again appears as a vampire with a Romanian accent. She has also appeared in Australian film and TV, including the hit drama series, Packed to the Rafters.

Richard and Silvia have two children:

Raphael Jack Domenico “Raffi” (born 2007)

Miro Gianni David (born 2010)

Richard and Silvia live in Sydney and London, consider Italy their home, and are bringing their sons up to be completely bilingual, and equally Italian and Australian. Fittingly, the names of their children are a mixture of names common in both countries.

Raphael (especially with the nickname Raffi) is hugely fashionable here, so they chose a name that doesn’t stand out. Jack is almost stereotypically Aussie, and may honour Richard’s father, John.

Miro has a Slavic name; interesting as they met on a film shot on location in the Czech Republic. However, Richard was drawn to Slavic immigrants as a schoolboy, and became conversant in Yugoslav. Miro is also a word from an Australian Aboriginal language, but they may not have known that. Miro sounds a little like both Richard’s mother Mary, and Silvia’s father, Mario. With the rise of Mira as a name in vogue, the masculine form Miro seems a perfect match with Raphael.

Thank you to Siobhan for suggesting the Roxburgh family as a Celebrity Sibset.