Rachel Claire Ward
12th September, 1957
Cornwell Manor, Chipping Norton
5 ft 9 in ( 1,73 m)
husband: Australian actor Bryan Brown
children: daughters Rose and Mathilda and son Joe
Rachel Ward is a woman of uncommon beauty, thick dark hair, seductive voice
and large brown eyes. No wonder that, with these attributes, she became a
top fashion model at 16 after finishing Byram Art School in London.
At the beginning of 1980's she transferred her modelling career to acting and soon she has dazzled movie and television audiences and was voted one of the ten most beautiful women in the U.S.
She has made her first screen debut in the movie Night School in 1981, the second one The Final Terror was shot in 1981 but released in 1984. That's why the movie has two different dates of release. Nevertheless her official feature film debut was in Burt Reynolds crime-drama Sharky's Machine in 1981.
In 1982 the Moviegoer magazine brought an article about a hot new-coming movie star Rachel Ward but she was still waiting for her big role which would made her a world-wide known actress. She was not waiting for so long. Rachel was chosen for the role of Meggie Cleary in The Thorn Birds TV mini-series (1983) from about 70 actresses. Later the casting of Rachel Ward as Meggie in the mini-series turned up to be a "strike home". There was also an actress Jane Seymour testing for the role but unlike Rachel, Jane was a little tougher. The producer needed an extremely vulnerable woman and Rachel looked like you can blow and she'll fall over. Everybody loved her as Meggie and I can say that Rachel will always stay in our eyes as a "poor" Meggie.
For Rachel herself The Thorn Birds had also another signification. She met her future husband on the set, an actor Bryan Brown who performed her "ill-mannered" husband Luke O'Neal in the mini-series. Even though Rachel comes from a noble family and was raised to marry a fellow blue blood she fell for a red blooded Aussie from Sydney's western suburbs. They got married a few months later after finishing the mini-series and they are still happily living in Australia.
Rachel has gone on to work and she stared in the next movie
Against All Odds (1984) opposite Jeff Bridges. After that she disappeared
from pictures for some time as she played wife to husband Bryan Brown. Their
first child Rose was born in 1984. More films followed, but she hasn't appeared
in the "big" movies since the great success of The Thorn Birds.
She preferred family to her career.
Rachel has also made her mark as a director of short films. Her first "Overdose" became a finalist at Sydney's Tropfest film festival in Sydney and her second, "Blindman's Bluff", made its Australian premiere at St Kilda Festival in Melbourne 1999. The third short film named"The Big House" has won an AFI award for best short film in Fiction Drama category at St Kilda Film Festival in 2000.
Recently Rachel has just finished a 50-minute feature "Martha's New Coat" again as a director and as an actress she's appeared in a TV movieBobbie's Girl with Bernadette Peters performing a lesbian couple.
Though Rachel has delivered several outstanding performances on the screen and has many fans all over the world, this great and talented actress seems to be still omitted and underrated by filmmakers. We would like to see her more on the screen because she's definitely worth it.