Rachel Ward was named one of the ten most beautiful women in the world around the same time she met Bryan Brown. She was a rising star, landing the cover of UK Vogue and having been nominated for a Golden Globe.
Everyone was in love with the gorgeous actress, even her “The Thorn Birds” co-star Richard Chamberlain. Speaking about their time on set, he said all the love scenes were wonderful to do because of his gorgeous co-star. However, while he was falling in love with her, she was in love with someone else.
Chamberlain once revealed that Ward was falling in love with Brown then, which meant she was full of romance, but unfortunately, not for him. Despite this, Chamberlain said that Ward’s energy was contagious, mainly because they played two people in love.
In fact, he claimed that it wasn’t hard to believe that Ward was in love with him and not anybody else. “I thought it was me! It was fabulous. ‘God, she’s really into me,'” he used to think.
From Ward’s point of view, there was something about Brown that attracted her greatly. “He had nice pecs. I mean, you know, it’s pretty chemical, isn’t it? It’s pretty basic,” she gushed about what first led her to fall in love. The truth was, there was just no explanation for what she felt – she liked him, and that was that.
Meanwhile, Brown’s first thought was that Ward was “not a bad sort.” However, despite his instant attraction, it took pretty long for him to start showing her signs of his interest. This wasn’t a big deal for Ward, as Brown claims it was a challenge she was willing to accept until he finally shaped up.
Once Ward was decided on him, it was a no-brainer: the then 35-year-old ladies’ man, who admittedly was just a man afraid of commitment, was done playing games. It was finally time for him to settle down with no less than the beautiful Rachel Ward.
Although Brown never imagined getting married after coming from a broken family, he and Ward wed within nine months. He used to tell his mom that he would never get married until Ward came along and changed his perspective.
While many choose to get married after realizing they have everything they could ever want and need in their partner, Ward and Brown got married in different circumstances. At the time, Brown was in London to film with Paul McCartney. Ward came along and got into a big argument.
“I just thought if we’re gonna argue like that, we may as well get married,” Brown admitted. They got married that year in Ward’s childhood home in Oxfordshire. They eventually settled in Sydney, where they raised their three children, Rose, Matilda, and James.
Choosing a Different Path
Before “The Thorn Birds,” Ward starred in many hits. While her mini-TV series with Chamberlain was popular in 1983, her acting was critiqued harshly, ultimately driving her away from acting. Talking about how it affected her, she admitted:
“When I got slaughtered, I really took it to heart. I never really got my confidence after that.”
Although “The Thorn Birds” affected Ward’s career, it ultimately led her to the love of her life. One day, while waiting for a take, Brown asked Ward to show him her hand. He decided to do a palm reading on her, and upon seeing three lines in her hand, he predicted that she’d have three children. Little did they both know they’d end up having three kids together.
Ward continued to act, but only occasionally. Instead, she moved to her husband’s native Australia, where she chose to focus on raising her family instead.
When asked what he could share with others about how to make a marriage last, Brown shares it’s to “say yes to your wife all the time, and if anything goes wrong, say ‘it’s my fault.’ If men understood that, they’d be happier.”
The lovely couple shares three children together, and all follow in their footsteps: Their daughter Matilda born in 1987, is best known for her work on “Lessons from the Grave,” “How God Works,” and “Let’s Talk About.” Their only son Joe is known for “Let’s Talk About” and “Rake,” and their daughter Rosie is known for “Black Mirror,” “Inside No. 9,” and “Gangs of London.”
In a fun-filled family affair, Ward directed the movie “Palm Beach,” where Brown starred alongside his daughter Matilda. It is the most recent project the family has done together.
The Growing Brown Family
In 2019, Ward and Brown became first-time grandparents when their daughter Matilda gave birth to her first son, Zan Neathway Gooding. Brown was with her daughter, staying by her side and waiting to carry his grandson in his arms finally.
Despite being a doting granddad, the actor did not know what to feel about being called “grandfather,” as if giving away his age. However, whether he liked it or not, he accepted that it was impossible for him not to be called “grandpa.”
Initially, Brown was quite worried about being a grandfather, as many people were preempting how he would love it. He wanted to figure that bit out by himself, and he eventually did: his grandchild came along, and in a snap, he wanted to be around the little boy all the time.
After welcoming her son, Matilda wed her husband Scott Gooding, officially making her a stepmom to his teenage son. They were initially supposed to get married on Brown and Ward’s property in New South Wales, but threats of a raging bushfire had them cancel their plan.
After the bushfires threatened to burn their home, the family had to keep away. Matilda chose to marry in Sydney instead, as although they would have wanted to get married at home as her parents did, they wanted to ensure everyone stayed safe.
During the wedding, Gooding’s son played a big part in it. He stood behind his father during the ceremony with a big smile on his face through it all. The memorable moment couldn’t be better for the celebrity chef, who said the wedding was “possibly the best moment” in his life.
Now that Matilda is a happy mom of two, their eldest son happily takes care of his younger siblings. In one sweet photo shared by Gooding, his son is seen pushing his younger siblings’ stroller while taking a walk.
In the same way that Ward and Brown stay present in their children’s lives, they also try to be with their grandchildren as much as possible. The doting grandparents show bits of their grandparenting on Instagram, where they enjoy many things together.
In one adorable video, Ward is gardening with her eldest grandson Zan. They’re seen scattering sugar cane mulch in their herb garden. Gooding proudly shares that his mother-in-law is “nurturing” towards her grandchildren, the same way she tries to nurture the environment.
When Zan and his grandmother, whom he calls “mopie,” aren’t in the garden, they spend time with the horses on their farm. They even spent one Christmas at their family farm, where the doting grandmother introduced her first grandson to the animals at an early age to get him used to them early on.
With the arrival of her second grandson Anouk, Ward made sure to spend time with them equally. Ward was photographed taking a walk with her second grandson and her daughter Matilda one day, with Gooding behind the lens to capture the sweet moment.
In 2020, their family got even bigger when their daughter Rosie got engaged to her boyfriend, Andrew Cameron. They announced the engagement on Instagram, marking the beginning of a beautiful union.
Two years later, Rosie and Andrew happily moved into a beautiful new home in New South Wales. The property features a humble home surrounded by a forest, waterfalls, and abundant avocado trees.
Their neighbors happily welcomed the lovely couple into the community, who all stopped by to introduce themselves properly. They claim to have everything they could need in the town, declaring they planned to stay awhile.
Like Ward, who has a passion for regenerative farming, Cameron is also a regenerative farmer from Australia. He fit right in with the rest of the Brown family, making it easy for all of them to get along and share their passions with one another.
Through it all, Ward and Brown have done a great job raising their family. Even though their children are all grown up, they remain close and spend time with their in-laws as much as possible. In 2021, they were one happy family spending Christmas together – the Browns, the Goodings, and the Camerons.
Ward says that if she had married an American and lived in Hollywood, she would have probably already been with a third husband at that stage in her life.
Living Their Best Lives
With their children all settled down and living their own lives, Ward and Brown are also in a thriving marriage. However, despite 39 years of marriage and counting, Ward admits that she believes there’s more to life than just her marriage and her family life. She said:
“My marriage and family are important to me, but they aren’t the be-all and end-all either. I love to act, and I plan to pursue my career.”
Despite living in Australia through the years, Ward has all the contacts she needs to stay present in Hollywood. In fact, making the trip to Hollywood whenever needed has been part of her routine for years.
While it might have been more convenient for her to live in America for her career, Ward says that if she had married an American and lived in Hollywood, she would have probably already been with a third husband at that stage in her life.
Instead, she’s in a long-lasting relationship with the love of her life, doing as she pleases with her home and family. Her children often proudly share what the actress does whenever she’s not busy with a project.
Her daughter Rosie once showed her raising a glass during her multiple-day house painting activity, which also showed the ladder she used to achieve her work. The proud daughter aimed to show how much of a super mom Ward was, and her Instagram followers agreed.
Aside from her skills and her precious moments with family, there’s one more thing that Ward showcases on her Instagram: her humor. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, she set the record straight about what she had been up to.
These were the facts she stated: (1) that she hadn’t been to the US for over five years, (2) that she didn’t have a personal trainer, (3) that she’d been in the mid-north coast for the past ten days, and that (5) she didn’t have COVID-19. “Pick on another witch,” she ended her humorous post.
While Brown is working on the TV series “Darby and Joan,” Ward keeps busy with her farm. They also own The Good Farm Shop, which sells organic, ready-made homemade meals, among others.