Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Oscar winning Aussies go postal

Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush on their stamps.
The actors will be shown in and out of character.

Four Oscar-winning Australian actors are to be immortalised in postage stamp form in their home country.

Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe and Geoffrey Rush will be mailed across Australia after they were named legends of the year by the post office.

They have each been presented with 24-carat gold replicas of their special edition 55 cent (25 pence) stamps.

Cate Blanchett said she felt "utterly, deeply humbled and chuffed by the fact I'm on a stamp".

"I'm going to be licked by millions of Australians and I can't wait."

Nicole Kidman has already received her country's highest civilian award when she was made Companion of the order of Australia in 2006 but said she was bowled over by this further honour.

"Something like this - when you see your face on a stamp - says 'wow'".

The star added that she was excited her children would one day be able to "lick a stamp, put it on an envelope and say 'that's my mum.'"

Celebration of us

Geoffrey Rush - Shine, 1996
Russell Crowe - Gladiator, 2001
Nicole Kidman - The Hours, 2002
Cate Blanchett - The Aviator, 2005

Russell Crowe, who won his Oscar as Maximus in Gladiator, attended a special ceremony on Australia's national holiday to mark the creation of the stamps.

He took to the stage alongside Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush, who said he felt that the stamps "can actually be a celebration of us".

The Shine star noted he had grown up in the 1950s 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 Australian Post started its Australian Legend award in 1997 when cricketer Don Bradman was chosen.

The Oscar-winners were selected this year for their "outstanding contribution" to entertainment and culture in Australia.

Each of the film stars gets two stamps - showing them both in and out of character.

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