Hugo Weaving was born in 1960 in Nigeria to British parents. His father's work as a seismologist, and later in the computer industry, took the family between England, Australia and South Africa during his youth. In 1973-76 they returned to England, when Weaving attended the Queen Elizabeth's Hospital school in Bristol. There he showed early promise in theatrical productions, and also excelled at history, achieving an A in his O-level examination. Since 1976, Weaving has lived in Australia - he completed his education at Knox Grammar school, Sydney, and graduated from NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art) in 1981.
Weaving received his first major role in 1986, in the TV series "Bodyline". In 1991, Weaving won the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award for Best Actor in a leading role for his work in Proof. He later received an AFI Award nomination for Best Actor in a leading role for his work in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994). He won his second AFI Award for Best Actor in a leading role for his work in The Interview (1998), and he also won best acting prize at the Montreal Film Festival from the same work. In 1998, Weaving won Australian star of the year. He has subsequently received AFI / Australia Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Best Actor Awards in 2005 for his performances in Little Fish (for which he also received an award from Inside Film Awards) and 2012 for Oranges and Sunshine (he also received a nomination for Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor for this role). His work in both Little Fish and Oranges and Sunshine also received awards from the Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA). Other nominations include an AFI International Award for Best Actor for his work in V for Vendetta (2006) and an AFI Award for Best Actor for The Last Ride (2009).
In addition to his role as Elrond in The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy (2001-2003) - reprised in The Hobbit (2012-2014) - Weaving is probably best known as Agent Smith in The Matrix (1999) and its two sequals, The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and Matrix Revolutions (2003).
Weaving is also a distinguished theatre actor. Theatre credits include Judge Brack in Ibsen's Hedda Gabler (Sydney TC, 2004), Henry in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing (Sydney TC, 2003), The Duke of Bracchiano in Webster's The White Devil (Sydney TC, 2000), Benedick in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (Melbourne TC, 1993), and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew (Melbourne TC, 1991). In 1987 he received a nomination for best actor from Sydney Theatre Critics' Circle for his role as the Compte de Valmont in Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Nimrod Theatre) - a role he returned to in 2012 in the Sydney Theatre Company's new adaption of the play. He received both the 2011 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actor and the 2012 Helen Hayes Award for Best Supporting Perfomer (Non-resident Production) for his role in the Sydney Theater Company's Uncle Vanya.