Rachel Ward

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Rachel Ward

Rachel Ward Tropfest 2012 (1).jpg
Ward in 2012
Born
Rachel Claire Ward

(1957-09-12) 12 September 1957 (age 65)
NationalityAustralian[1]
Occupation(s)Actress, film director, screenwriter, television director
Years active1979–present
Spouse
(m. 1983)
Children3; including Matilda Brown
RelativesTracy, Duchess of Beaufort (sister)
WebsiteRachel Ward – New Town Films

Rachel Claire Ward AM (born 12 September 1957) is an English-Australian[1] actress, film director, screenwriter and television director.

Early life[edit]

Ward was born in Cornwell near Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England, the daughter of Claire Leonora (née Baring) and the Hon. Peter Alistair Ward. Her grandfathers were William Ward, 3rd Earl of Dudley and the cricketer Giles Baring.[citation needed] Ward is also the great-granddaughter of William Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley, Governor-General of Australia 1908–11, and sister of environmental campaigner and former actress Tracy Louise Ward, Duchess of Beaufort. She attended Hatherop Castle School, Hatherop, Gloucestershire,[2] then the Byam Shaw School of Art in Kensington, West London. She left school at age 16 to become a fashion and photography model.[3] She briefly dated David Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy.[4]

Career[edit]

During her modelling career, she was featured on the covers of Vogue, Harper's & Queen, and Cosmopolitan magazines. After moving to the United States in 1977, she appeared in television advertisements such as the Lincoln Mercury "Cougar Girl"[5] and Revlon's "Scoundrel Girl".[6] In 1981, she received a Golden Globe Award nomination for "New Star of the Year" for her role in the film Sharky's Machine starring with Burt Reynolds. The following year, she starred in Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid with Steve Martin. Her big break came in 1983, when she starred opposite Richard Chamberlain as the lead role portraying Meggie Cleary in the television miniseries The Thorn Birds, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film. Ward assigns much of the credit for this breakthrough performance to acting coach Sandra Seacat, first for simply helping her get the job (after her disastrous first reading)[7] and then for the quality of the finished performance, assembled over the course of a grueling five-month shooting schedule, while undergoing a simultaneous and no less grueling makeover program at the hands of Seacat.[8] Also in 1983, U.S. audiences voted Ward one of the world's 10 most beautiful women.[4] In 1984, she played Jess in the film noir remake Against All Odds, with Jeff Bridges. After filming Fortress in 1985, Ward then disappeared from film for a few years to study acting.

She reappeared in 1987 playing opposite her husband, Bryan Brown (whom she met on the set of The Thorn Birds), in The Umbrella Woman. In 2001, she was again nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film for her role in On the Beach (2000). Also in 2001, Ward won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Short Fiction Film for The Big House,[9] and Best Australian Film at Flickerfest. The film also won the Film Critics Circle of Australia award, as did her 2003 film Martha's New Coat. That film also won the 2003 ATOM Award.

External images
image icon 1970s photo of Ward with Peter Cook by Michael White, The Daily Telegraph
image icon Portrait of Rachel Ward by Jan Williamson

In 2003, a portrait of Ward by artist Jan Williamson won the Packing Room Prize at the Archibald Prize competition.[10] In 2005, Ward was made a Member of the Order of Australia "for service to raising awareness of social justice through lobbying, mentoring and advocacy for the rights of disadvantaged and at-risk young people, and support for the Australian film and television industry".[11]

In 2006, Ward acted in Kevin Connor's mini-series Blackbeard, made for the Hallmark Channel.[12]

In 2007, Ward returned to television, headlining the new ABC drama Rain Shadow. She played a country veterinarian named Kate McDonald, a free spirit who confronts personal and professional obstacles in a rural, drought-affected town.

In 2009, she directed her first feature-length film titled Beautiful Kate, adapted by Ward from a 1982 Newton Thornburg novel, and premiered at the Sydney Film Festival.

Personal life[edit]

Ward has been married to Bryan Brown since 1983. They have three children: Rosie, Matilda and Joe.[13][14]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Type
1981 Night School aka 'Terror Eyes' Eleanor Adjai Feature film, US
1981 Sharky's Machine Dominoe Brittain Feature film, US US Nominated – Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress
1982 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid Juliet Forrest Feature film, US
1983 The Final Terror Margaret Feature film, US
1984 Against All Odds Jessie Wyler Feature film , US
1985 Fortress Sally Jones TV film, AUSTRALIA
1987 Hotel Colonial Irene Costa Feature film, US/Mexico/Italy
1987 The Umbrella Woman Marge Hills Feature film, AUSTRALIA
1989 How to Get Ahead in Advertising Julia Bagley Feature film, UK
1990 After Dark, My Sweet Fay Anderson Feature film, US
1992 Christopher Columbus: The Discovery Isabella I of Castile Feature film, UK/US/Spain
1992 Double Obsession Grandmother Feature film, US
1993 Wide Sargasso Sea Annette Cosway Feature film
1994 The Ascent aka "Revenge Of The Virgin" Patricia Feature film, CANADA/US
2007 Shotgun! [An Opening Sequence] Adrianna Film Short
2013 The Last Impresario Herself - Interviewee Feature film documentary, AUSTRALIA/US/UK/FRANCE
2016 The Death and Life of Otto Bloom Dr. Ada Fitzgerald Feature film
2018 Peter Rabbit Josephine Rabbit (voice) Animated Feature film
2020 I Am Burt Reynolds Herself Feature film documentary, CANADA

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1979 Christmas Lilies of the Field Jenny TV film, US
1979 Fashion Herself TV series US, 1 episode
1981 Dynasty Edna Macready TV series US, 1 episode "The Dinner Party"
1982 39th Annual Golden Globe Awards Herself - Nominee TV special, US
1982 The 54th Annual Academy Awards Herself - Presenter TV special, US
1982 NBC Today Show Herself - Guest TV series US, 1 episode
1983 The Thorn Birds Meggie Cleary TV miniseries US, 4 episodes
1984 The 41st Annual Golden Globe Awards Herself TV special, US
1987 The Australian Film Institute Awards Herself - Presenter TV special
1988 Mike Willesse's Australians Lead role: Vivian Bullwinkle TV film series, episode 9: "Vivian Bullwinkle"
1989 The Arsenio Hall Show Herself - Guest TV series US, 1 episode
1989 Shadow of the Cobra Chris Royston TV miniseries, 2 episodes
1989 Down To Earth Herself TV special
1990 The 62nd Annual Academy Awards Herself - Presenter TV special, US
1990 1990 MTV Video Music Awards Herself - Presenter TV special, US
1991 The 48th Annual Golden Globe Awards Herself - Presenter TV special, US
1991 The 62nd Annual Academy Awards Herself - Presenter TV special, US
1991 And the Sea Will Tell Jennifer Jenkins TV film, US
1991 World Vision: The Silent Tragedy Herself TV special
1992 Black Magic Lillian Blatman TV film, US
1992 Double Jeopardy Lisa Burns Donnelly TV film, US
1992 Getaway Herself TV series, 1 episode
1992;1998 The Midday Show Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
1992 The 1992 Australian Film Institute Awards Herself - Host ABC TV special
1993;1998 A Current Affair Herself TV series, 1 episode
1994 All You Need To Know Role unknown TV film, US
1994 In the Name of Love Herself - Hostess TV series, US
1994 Mulray Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
1994;1995 World Vision Appeal: Vision For A Better World Herself TV special
1995;1998 Ten Eyewitness News Herself TV series, 1 episode
1995 The Australia Remembers Gala Tribute Herself ABC TV special
1995 World Vision Appeal: Vision for a Better World Herself TV special
1996 Twisted Tales Sara TV film series, 1 episode 3: "Third Party"
1996 World Vision: Power of One Herself - Presenter TV special
1996 World Vision Appeal: A Christmas Wish Herself TV special
1997 Gary Sweet's World Herself TV special
1997 My Stepson, My Lover Caitlin Cory / Wife TV film, US
1998 Eleven A.M. Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
1998;2003 Ten News Herself TV series, 1 episode
1998;2003 Seven Nightly News Herself TV series, 1 episode
1998;2003 National Nine News Herself TV series, 1 episode
1998;2003 ABC News Herself ABC TV series, 1 episode
1998 A Current Affair Herself TV series, 1 episode
1998 Laws Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
1998 Midday With Kerri-Anne Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
1998;2000 Good Morning Australia Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
1999 Seasons of Love Kate Linthorne TV miniseries US, 2 episodes "1.1", "1.2"
2000 On the Beach Moira Davidson TV miniseries, 2 episodes
2000 Good Morning Australia Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
2000 The Big Schmooze Herself - Guest ABC TV series, 1 episode
2001 And Never Let Her Go Christine Sheve TV film, US
2002 Bobbie's Girl Roberta Langham TV film, US
2002 Johnson County War Queenie TV film, US/GERMANY
2003 What's Going On? Herself TV series US, 1 episode
2003 Enough Rope With Andrew Denton Herself - Guest ABC TV series, 1 episode
2003 Ten News Herself TV series, 1 episode
2003 Nine News Herself TV series, 1 episode
2003 Seven News Herself TV series, 1 episode
2003 Sky News Herself TV series, 1 episode
2003 ABC News Herself ABC TV series, 1 episode
2006 Blackbeard Sally Dunbar TV miniseries US, 3 episodes
2006 Monarch Cove Lead role: Adrianna Preston TV series US, 14 episodes
2007 Rain Shadow Lead regular role: Kate McDonald ABC TV series, 6 episodes
2009 Kerri-Anne Herself - Guest TV series
2009 The Chaser's War On Everything Herself ABC TV series, 1 episode
2010 Moving Pictures Live! Herself TV series US, 1 episode
2010 Breakfast Herself - Guest TV series, 1 episode
2011 Free Rain Herself Film documentary
2012 Adam Hills In Gordon St. Tonight Herself - Guest ABC TV series, 1 episode
2013 Pioneers Of Television Herself TV series US, 1 episode
2019 Studio 10 Herself with Heather Mitchell & Jacqueline McKenzie TV series, 1 episode
2019 Sunrise Herself TV series, 1 episode
2019 The Morning Show Herself TV series, 1 episode
2019 Today Extra Herself TV series, 1 episode
2019 News Breakfast Herself ABC TV series, 1 episode
2019 Better Homes and Gardens Herself & Bryan Brown TV series, 1 episode
2019 The Living Room Herself & Bryan Brown TV series, 1 episode
2022 Darby And Joan Guest role: English Sat Nav TV series, 1 episode

Other work[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Blindman's Bluff Director, writer Film Short
2001 The Big House Director, writer Film Short
2003 Martha's New Coat Director
2006 Knot at Home Project Director TV series documentary
2006 Two Twisted Director TV film series, 1 episode "Heart Attack"
2009 Beautiful Kate Director, writer Feature film
2010 Rake Director ABC TV series, 2 episodes "R vs Dana", "R vs Lorton"
2011 My Place Director ABC TV series, 3 episodes "1848 Johanna", "1838 Davey", "1828 Alice"
2012 The Straits Director SBS TV series, 3 episodes "The Hunt for Vlad", "Epiphanies", "The Price"
2013 An Accidental Soldier Director ABC TV film
2014 Devil's Playground Director TV miniseries, 3 episodes "The Tail of the Serpent", "I Will Bring Fire Onto This Earth", "He Maketh My Way Perfect"
2019 Palm Beach Director, writer Feature film


STAGE/THEATRE

  • How To Get Ahead In Advertising (1989) (US)
  • Hopping To Byzantium (1990)
  • The Piccadilly Bushman (1998)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Rachel Ward asks 'Aren’t we good enough?' " by Raymond Gill, dailyreview.com.au, 8 December 2016
  2. ^ Scobie, Claire (10 July 2010). "Rachel Ward returns to Hollywood as a director". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  3. ^ Haller, Scott (28 March 1983). "The Torrid Trio of The Thorn Birds". People (cover story). Retrieved 15 February 2017. At 16, she left school to pursue a modeling career.
  4. ^ a b Wood, Stephanie (20 July 2009). "Double or nothing". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  5. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (29 March 1983). "Thorn Birds Producers Gambled on Rachel Ward". The Hour. p. 12.
  6. ^ Thomas, Bob (18 June 1989). "Actress Rachel Ward Cooses a low-key lifestyle in Australia". Toledo Blade. p. 37.
  7. ^ "Casting Gamble in Thorn Birds". The Telegraph. Nashua. 29 March 1983. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  8. ^ Preston, Marilyn (29 March 1983). "Tempo: Thorn Birds gives Ward chance to win her wings". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6 September 2012. (subscription required)
  9. ^ Australian Film Institute official site, retrieved 15 March 2008.
  10. ^ "Winner: Packing Room Prize 2003: Jan Williamson, Rachel Ward", Art Gallery of New South Wales
  11. ^ "It's an Honour website". Australian Government. Retrieved 4 November 2007.
  12. ^ Marill, Alvin H. (11 October 2010). Movies Made for Television: 2005–2009. Scarecrow Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-8108-7659-0.
  13. ^ Lehmann, Megan (14 September 2013). "Rachel Ward is calling the shots". The Australian. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Kindred spirits: Rachel Ward & Bryan Brown". The Australian Women's Weekly. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2019.

External links[edit]