MELBOURNE, Australia, 2009. Four of Australia's most celebrated actors Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, and Geoffrey Rush will be immortalized on postage stamps released in Australia this month.
The four Academy Award winners have been named the 2009 Australia Post Australian Legends in recognition of the outstanding contribution they have made to Australian entertainment and culture.
Australia Post Managing Director Graeme John said the 2009 Australia Post Legends were admired around the world for their achievements. "Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman AC and Geoffrey Rush are already household names," Mr. John said.
"These four outstanding Australians have captured the imagination of millions of people around the world with their award-winning performances." The Legends will be honored at Australia Day events held across Australia. Each will be presented with 24-carat gold replicas of their stamps.
Nicole Kidman said she hoped her children would have an opportunity to stick her stamp on their mail. "I have a vested interest in Australia. I want my children to live here at certain times of their life and see how wonderful it is. It would be lovely for them to lick a stamp, put it on an envelope and say 'that's my mum'," she said.
Cate Blanchett said she was very excited about featuring on a stamp. "I am utterly, deeply, humbled and chuffed by the fact that I'm a stamp. I'm going to be licked by millions of Australians and I can't wait. It is also recognizing the value of the arts in Australia. It brings it into general consumption and if I'm part of that, I feel intensely proud," she said.
Geoffrey Rush said he was delighted about being on a stamp, having grown up in the 50s and 60s when "the only person on a stamp was the Queen."It's a classy thing to know you're on security paper," he said.
The Legends will feature on eight 55 cent stamps, a first day cover and a set of maxicards. A biography, Shining Lights: Australian Legends of the Screen, by entertainment writer Michael Adams accompanies the stamp issue. The stamps and book can be purchased online at www.auspot.com