As Australian actress Rachel Griffiths turns 50, we revisit her greatest roles

Happy Birthday to one of our greatest talents!
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Rachel Griffiths is celebrating her 50th birthday today! In honour of this special occasion, TV WEEK looks back on her greatest roles.


Rachel along side Toni Colette in Muriel’s Wedding.

ROLE: Rhonda Epinstalk

Arguably the most iconic Australian movie of all time, featuring the most iconic line of all time – “You’re terrible, Muriel!” – Muriel’s Wedding proved to be Rachel Griffith’s breakout role. She stole the show as Muriel’s (Toni Collette) best friend Rhonda, a feisty sidekick who helps Muriel come out of her shell.

Rhonda is also integral in encouraging Muriel stand up to her high school bully, Tania (Sophie Lee), and realise that she’s perfect just the way she is.

Muriel’s Wedding streams on Foxtel Now and Netflix.


Samantha and Mandy make a fun double act.

ROLE: Samantha Newhouse

While Julia Roberts was the Hollywood headliner of this 1997 rom-com, Rachel was a stellar supporting actress, playing Samantha, one of Kimmy’s (Cameron Diaz) bridesmaids. Rewatch the scene when the entire cast sing “I Say A Little Prayer” and try not to laugh as Rachel and her onscreen twin, Mandy (Carrie Preston), nail the chorus in tandem.

My Best Friend’s Wedding streams on Stan.


Rachel with the cast of Six Feet Under.

ROLE: Brenda Chenowith

One of the true pioneers of the “golden age of television”, it’s easy to forget how good Six Feet Under truly was. Watching the Fisher family navigate relationships while trying to run a funeral home was both hilarious and heartbreaking.

For her impressive work as Brenda Chenoweth, Rachel won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in 2001.

Six Feet Under seasons 1-5 streams on Foxtel Now.


Rachel as Bertha in Hacksaw Ridge.

ROLE: Bertha Doss

While it’s hard to fault Mel Gibson’s epic war film Hacksaw Ridge, there’s no denying it was packed with testosterone.

From Vince Vaughan and Andrew Garfield to Hugo Weaving and Sam Worthington, this was a movie by men, for men. Thankfully there was Rachel, who starred as Bertha Doss, mother of Andrew Garfield’s Desmond, who added some much-needed femininity to the story.

Spending much of her time battling her brutal husband Tom (Hugo), Bertha’s resilience is a standout part of Hacksaw Ridge.

Hacksaw Ridge streams on Foxtel Now.


Rachel as Belle, who is back in town to steal Lewis back.

ROLE: Belle Lamont

In its five-season run, House Husbands welcomed some pretty impressive guest stars, but none more so than Rachel.

The actress joined in season three as Belle, the ex-wife of Lewis Crabb (Gary Sweet) and wasted no time in ruffling feathers. First order of business was to drive a wedge between Lewis and Gemma (Julia Morris), before trying to woo back her ex-husband.

House Husbands season 3 streams on Stan and 9Now.


Charlie and Grace have a tough job- and relationship.

ROLE: Grace Gibbs

Taking the buddy cop genre and turning it on its head, Rachel plays disgruntled detective Grace Gibbs in the four-part SBS drama, Dead Lucky.

She’s teamed up with Charlie Fung (Yoson An), a rookie officer who resents Grace for causing the death of his best friend. While Grace and Charlie struggle to find a way to make their partnership work, they must also hunt down a deadly armed robber.

Dead Lucky season 1 streams on SBS on Demand.

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