‘Thorn Birds’ Rachel Ward Looks ‘Stunning’ at 65 – She Found Love with a Co-star & Is a Doting Grandma

American actress Rachel Ward rose to stardom after her role in “The Thorn Birds” in 1983.

She is now in her mid-60s, but fans don’t think she has changed much since she starred in the series.

The series brought Ward not only fame but love too. Ward and her husband met on the production’s set, and their romance quickly blossomed.

Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward on the set of "The Thorn Birds" in 1983 | Source: Getty Images

Yet the actress says it was not love at first sight.

Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward on the set of "The Thorn Birds" in 1983 | Source: Getty Images

Ward played the heroine in the series, and Bryan Brown played her husband. Their relationship turned romantic and culminated in the couple’s onscreen marriage translating into their real life, although their first attraction was “basic.”

Brown and Ward have been married for four decades and are still as in love as they were when they first met. They tied the knot a couple of months after filming for “The Thorn Birds” had ended.

Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward on the set of "The Thorn Birds" in 1983 | Source: Getty Images

While Ward says she is grateful that the show brought her many work opportunities and other things in her life that have been invaluable, the one thing she remains the most thankful for and proud of is her enduring marriage to Brown.

Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown at their wedding at Ward's father's estate in 1983 | Source: Getty Images

Once, when the couple was on set, Brown offered to read Ward’s palm. She agreed, and he told her she would have three children. Later, he quipped:

“Yes, I did say that. But I didn’t say they would be mine!”

Brown’s reasoning for wanting to marry Ward was somewhat unconventional. The pair had traveled to Ireland together so Brown could film “Give My Regards to Wall Street” when they argued.

Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward at the 1984 Golden Globe Awards | Source: Getty Images

Brown said the argument was big, and he figured if they were going to argue so severely, they might as well get married. They tied the knot in Ward’s childhood home before they moved to Sydney, Australia.

The couple celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on April 16, 2023, and have shared the secrets to their long and happy marriage. Ward has also shown off her ageless beauty at 65.


On February 18, 2023, Ward shared a photo of herself with Hilary Shapiro and Daryl Hannah at the premiere of her movie “Rachel’s Farm,” featured at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown at the "Staying Alive" premiere in 1983 | Source: Getty Images

While some fans were excited about watching Ward’s film, others could not believe how wonderful she looked at 65. One person called her a “goddess,” and another described her as “fantastic.”

Other fans said she would always be Meggie from “The Thorn Birds” in their minds, and one gushed:

“Rachel, you’re absolutely stunning!”

A comment left under a post by Rachel Ward on Instagram | Source: Instagram.com/rachelwardofficial
A comment left under a post by Rachel Ward on Instagram | Source: Instagram.com/rachelwardofficial
A comment left under a post by Rachel Ward on Instagram | Source: Instagram.com/rachelwardofficial

A comment left under a post by Rachel Ward on Instagram | Source: Instagram.com/rachelwardofficial

When Ward was not working on movies or building up her Hollywood resume, she created a family with her husband. The couple shares two daughters named Rosie and Matilda and a son named Joe.

All three of the children followed in their parents’ acting footsteps. Joe is known for his roles in “Rake” and “Let’s Talk About,” yet there are no other known titles the 31-year-old has starred in.

36-year-old Matilda expanded her horizons to encompass not only acting but directing too. She worked alongside her brother on “Let’s Talk About” but also has credits on “Lessons from the Grave” and “How God Works.” Ward’s eldest child, 39-year-old Rosie, has credits in “Luther,” “Black Mirror,” and “See How They Run.”

Ward and Brown are incredibly proud of each of their children, and their daughter, Matilda, blessed them with their first grandchild in 2019. The little boy named Zan was born with his grandfather in the room. When asked about why he chose to stay and watch the birth, Brown said:

“No one in the delivery room told me to get out, so I didn’t.”

Only Ward was meant to be in the room when Zan was born, but his delivery surprised his grandparents. The couple was having dinner with Anthony Albanese, Australia’s Prime Minister when they received frantic messages from Matilda. She was clearly in labor, and the couple rushed to the hospital.

When they arrived, Brown took up his position behind his daughter, patting her head to reassure her. He believed he had seen the births of all his children and shouldn’t miss his grandson’s birth.

Now, the couple has more grandchildren and loves spending time with them whenever possible. Brown feels a keen longing when he has to be away from his family, which happened when he had to film a movie during COVID.

Rachel Ward and her son Joe Brown at Dein Perry's Tap Dogs "The Dogs Are Back" opening night in Sydney, Australia. April 27, 2005 | Source: Getty Images

However, any time Brown and Ward spend with their family, they treat it as sacred and rejoice that they are all healthy and happy. Their beautiful family often leads fans to ask how they managed to stay so happy and in love all these years. The couple readily answers the question each time.


Now that Brown and Ward’s careers have slowed and their children have all made their way in life, they have found themselves with few responsibilities and more time to spend with one another.

Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward at the 2019 Sydney Film Festival Program Launch | Source: Getty Images

Ward and Brown like riding horseback to embrace their newfound freedom fully. Brown began riding horses when he filmed “The Thorn Birds” while Ward grew up riding horses, so it turned into a shared passion for the couple.

Brown and Ward have ridden horses in Bulgaria, Canada, and Israel and have even planned horseriding trips closer to home in New Zealand.

When they are not galloping around the globe, the couple enjoys snuggling up in front of the TV and streaming their favorite British television shows. Yet watching TV and riding horses together is not the only thing that keeps their marriage together.

Bryan Brown, Matilda Brown, and Rachel Ward at the YMCA New South Wales' fundraiser in October 2010 | Source: Getty Images

Brown talked about what he thought had led to the couple being together for so many years, joking:

“The main thing is 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.”

Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward attend the 2018 AACTA in Sydney, Australia | Source: Getty Images

Brown’s philosophy appears to have worked, as the pair often look happy and very much in love on Ward’s Instagram page. In 2019, Ward shared a photo of her husband pointing at her as he sat in a comfortable chair surrounded by greenery.

Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward at the "At the Movies" farewell party in December 2014 in Sydney, Australia | Source: Getty Images

She joked that she was shooting her husband’s centerfold for Women’s Weekly Center and was glad he was fully clothed. She has also shared many photos of herself and her husband at special events.

Ward enjoys showing Brown off on social media and once posted a photo of him with an open shirt, messy hair, and a semi-precious stone necklace. She quipped: “I’ve got my complaints, but I wouldn’t change a thing.” What a beautiful couple!

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