Bryan Neathway Brown

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Bryan Neathway Brown

Birthplace: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Immediate Family:

Son of John "Jack" Brown and Molly Brown
Husband of Rachel Ward
Father of <private> Brown; <private> Brown and <private> Brown

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Bryan Neathway Brown

Bryan Neathway Brown, AM (born 23 June 1947) is an Australian actor.

Early life

Brown was born in Sydney, the son of John (Jack) Brown and Molly Brown, a house cleaner who worked as a pianist in the early days of the Langshaw School of Ballet. He grew up in the south-western Sydney suburb of Bankstown and began working at AMP as an actuarial student. He started to act in amateur theatre performances, where he discovered a passion for acting.


Brown went to England in 1964, eventually winning minor roles at the Old Vic. He returned to Australia and became a member of the Genesian Theatre, Sydney. He appeared in Colleen Clifford's production of A Man for All Seasons, before joining the Queensland Theatre Company. He made his cinema debut in 1977 with a small role in The Love Letters from Teralba Road and appeared in several more Australian films over the next two years such as Stir.

In 1980, Brown became known to international audiences for his performance in Breaker Morant. While he continued appearing in Australian productions, he also appeared in American TV mini-series, winning popularity in the United States in A Town Like Alice (1981).

He is best known to American television audiences for his Golden Globe and Emmy nominated role as Luke O'Neil in The Thorn Birds (1983), starring Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward, whom he later married.

He starred in several international productions including Tai-Pan with Joan Chen, Gorillas in the Mist with Sigourney Weaver, and Cocktail with Tom Cruise.

He is one of the few Australian actors who regularly plays Australians,[original research?] thereby retaining his accent. Two exceptions are Tai-Pan and his role in the TV series Against the Wind, which called for an Irish accent.

In the 1990s and more recently, Brown appeared in American and Australian TV productions and movies, such as Two Hands (1999), as well as in British TV commercials.

Production work

Brown's production company made the series Twisted Tales and Two Twisted (similar to Alfred Hitchcock Presents). The second series had an additional twist: both stories in each episode were connected in some way, and the audience was invited to try to spot the connection.

Honours and awards

Brown was inducted into the Logie Hall of Fame in 1989. He received the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Breaker Morant (1980) and for Two Hands (1999).

In June 2005, Brown was made a Member of the Order of Australia "for service to the community through a range of charitable organisations committed to providing assistance and support to families and young people and to the Australian film and television industry."

Personal life

When Bryan Brown was first introduced to Rachel Ward on the set of the TV miniseries The Thorn Birds in 1983, he read her palm and predicted she would have three children. They married a few months after filming wrapped. They have three children—Rosie, Matilda and Joe. He is a strong supporter of Australian republicanism.


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Bryan Neathway Brown's Timeline

June 23, 1947
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia