Bryan Brown

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Bryan Brown
Born (1947-06-23) 23 June 1947 (age 71)
Sydney, New South Wales Australia
Occupation Actor
Years active 1977–present
Spouse(s) Rachel Ward (1983–present)
Children 3

Bryan Neathway Brown,[1] AM (born 23 June 1947) is an Australian actor.[2] He has performed in over eighty film and television projects since the late 1970s, both in his native Australia and abroad. Notable films include Breaker Morant (1980), Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984), F/X (1986), Cocktail (1988), Gorillas in the Mist (1988), F/X2 (1991), Along Came Polly (2004), Australia (2008), Kill Me Three Times (2014) and Gods of Egypt (2016). He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for his performance in the television miniseries The Thorn Birds (1983).

Early life

Brown was born in Sydney, the son of John "Jack" Brown and Molly Brown, a pianist in the early days of the Langshaw School of Ballet, who also worked as a house cleaner.[3] He grew up with his younger sister, Kristine, in the south-western Sydney suburb of Panania, and began working at AMP as an actuarial student. He started to act in amateur theatre performances,[4] where he discovered a passion for acting.


Brown went to Britain 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 in 1975 for a tour of The Rainmaker.[5]

He made his cinema debut in the 1975 film Scobie Malone as a policeman, delivering two lines, and being listed last in the credits as "Brian Bronn". In 1977, he appeared in 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 and Money Movers.

In 1980, Brown became known to international audiences for his performance in Breaker Morant.[2] While he continued appearing in Australian productions, he also appeared in another Australian TV mini-series, "A Town Like Alice", which won popularity in the United States.

He is best known to American television audiences for his role as Luke O'Neil in The Thorn Birds (1983), starring Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward (whom he later married). Brown was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor – Miniseries or a Movie for his work.

He starred in several international productions including Tai-Pan with Joan Chen, F/X – Murder by Illusion[2] Gorillas in the Mist with Sigourney Weaver and Cocktail with Tom Cruise.

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

In 2014 appeared for the Sydney Theatre Company at the Wharf Theatre with Alison Whyte in David Williamson's play Travelling North.[6]

Brown appeared in the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

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."[7]

The Bryan Brown Theatre & Function Centre in Bankstown, Sydney, was named after him in 2013.[8]

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, one of whom, Matilda Brown, is also an actress.

He is a strong supporter of Australian republicanism.[9]



Year Title Role Notes
1977 The Love Letters from Teralba Road Len
1978 Third Person Plural Mark
1978 The Irishman Eric Haywood
1978 Weekend of Shadows Bennett
1978 The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith Shearer
1978 Newsfront Geoff
1978 Money Movers Brian Jackson
1979 Cathy's Child Paul Nicholson
1979 The Odd Angry Shot Rogers
1980 Palm Beach Paul Kite
1980 Breaker Morant Lt. Peter Handcock AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1980 Stir China Jackson Nominated—AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
1980 Blood Money Brian Shields
1981 Winter of Our Dreams Rob
1982 Far East Morgan Keefe
1984 Give My Regards to Broad Street Steve
1984 Kim Mahbub Ali Television movie
1985 Parker David Parker
1985 The Empty Beach Cliff Hardy
1985 Rebel Tiger Nominated—AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1986 F/X Roland 'Rollie' Tyler
1986 Tai-Pan Dirk Struan
1987 The Good Wife Sonny Hills
1987 The Shiralee Macauley Television movie
1988 Cocktail Doug Coughlin
1988 Gorillas in the Mist Bob Campbell
1990 Blood Oath Captain Cooper aka Prisoners of the Sun
1991 Sweet Talker Harry Reynolds
1991 Dead in the Water Charlie Deegan Television movie
1991 F/X2 Rollie Tyler
1992 Blame It on the Bellboy Mike Lawton/Charlton Black
1992 Devlin Frank Devlin Television movie
1993 Age of Treason Marcus Didius Falco Television movie
1993 The Last Hit Michael Grant Television movie
1995 Full Body Massage Fitch Television movie
1996 Dead Heart Ray Lorkin
1997 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Ned Land Television movie
1998 Dogboys Captain Robert Brown Television movie
1998 On the Border Barry Montana Television movie
1999 Dear Claudia Walter Burton
1999 Two Hands Pando AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1999 Grizzly Falls Tyrone Bankston
2000 On the Beach Dr. Julian Osborne Television movie
2001 Risk John Kriesky
2001 Mullet Publican (voice)
2001 Styx Art
2002 Dirty Deeds Barry Ryan
2003 Footsteps Eddie Bruno Television movie
2004 Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman Hal Thorne Television movie
2004 Along Came Polly Leland Van Lew
2005 Spring Break Shark Attack Joel Gately Television movie
2005 The Poseidon Adventure Jeffrey Eric Anderson Television movie
2006 Two Twisted Detective Vincent Westler Television movie
2007 Joanne Lees: Murder in the Outback Rex Wild QC Television movie
2008 Dean Spanley Wrather
2008 Cactus Rosco
2008 Australia King Carney
2009 Beautiful Kate Bruce Kendall Nominated—AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
2010 Limbo Daniel
2011 Love Birds Dr. Buster
2014 Kill Me Three Times Bruce Jones
2016 The Light Between Oceans Septimus Potts
2016 Gods of Egypt Osiris
2016 Red Dog: True Blue Grandpa
2017 Sweet Country Sergeant Fletcher
2017 Australia Day Terry Friedman
2018 Peter Rabbit Peter Rabbit's father


Year Title Role Notes
1978 Against the Wind Michael Connor 2 episodes
1981 A Town Like Alice Joe Harmon 3 episodes
1983 The Thorn Birds Luke O'Neill 3 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
1984 Eureka Stockade Peter Lalor 3 episodes
1994 The Wanderer Adam 3 episodes
1996 Twisted Tales Jack Johnson Episode: "The Confident Man"
1999 Journey to the Center of the Earth Casper Hastings 2 episodes
2012 The Good Wife Jack Copeland 2 episodes
2013 Better Man Lex Lasry 4 episodes
2014 Old School Lennie Cahill 8 episodes


  1. ^ "Rachel Ward: Not just a glamour girl". The Sydney Morning Herald. 13 June 2005. 
  2. ^ a b c "Bryan Brown". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2016-03-07. 
  3. ^ Bryan Brown Biography – Film Reference
  4. ^ Brown, Bryan (7 February 2005). "Opening speech: Bryan Brown". Art Gallery of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 30 July 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2008. 
  5. ^ "Five places that made me: Bryan Brown" by Julietta Jameson, The Border Mail, 8 October 2016
  6. ^ "Travelling North, Sydney Theatre Company – review" by Jessica Keath, The Guardian, 30 January 2014
  7. ^ "It's an Honour website". Australian Government. Retrieved 29 March 2008. 
  8. ^ The Man behind the name, Bryan Brown Theatre & Function Centre
  9. ^ "Mountain-top republicans". 1999-10-08. 

External links

  • Bryan Brown on IMDb
  • Bryan Brown, Australian Film Commission
  • |%20Number%3A347926%20|%20Number%3A347881%20|%20Number%3A349070%20|%20Number%3A347853%20|%20Number%3A347965%20|%20Number%3A349242%20|%20Number%3A349780%20|%20Number%3A350421%20|%20Number%3A349432%20|%20Number%3A579234%20|%20Number%3A353031%20|%20Number%3A350851%20|%20Number%3A374785%20|%20Number%3A374798%20|%20Number%3A355527%20|%20Number%3A352077%20|%20Number%3A352509%20|%20Number%3A546449%20|%20Number%3A353254%20|%20Number%3A352700%20|%20Number%3A363468%20|%20Number%3A354643%20|%20Number%3A353820;querytype=;resCount=10 Bryan Brown[permanent dead link] at the National Film and Sound Archive
  • Bryan Brown's official website, New Town Films
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