‘Thorn Birds’ Rachel Ward Is a Grandma & Has 3 Adult Kids with Husband After 39 Years She Still Jokes with Him

Around the time she crossed paths with Bryan Brown, Rachel Ward was gaining recognition as one of the world’s ten most beautiful women. Her star was on the rise, gracing the cover of UK Vogue and earning a Golden Globe nomination.

Amidst this acclaim, Ward’s captivating presence even bewitched her “The Thorn Birds” co-star Richard Chamberlain. Reflecting on their shared moments on set, Chamberlain fondly recalled the joy of filming love scenes alongside his stunning co-star. However, while he found himself falling for her, Ward’s heart belonged elsewhere.


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A post shared by Rosie Brown (@rosietookthis)

Chamberlain disclosed that Ward’s affections were directed towards Brown during their time together, infusing their interactions with romantic energy, albeit not directed towards him. Yet, he couldn’t help but feel swept up in Ward’s allure, convinced that her attention was solely on him.

From Ward’s perspective, Brown possessed an undeniable charm that drew her in. Reflecting on their initial attraction, Ward candidly acknowledged the magnetic pull she felt towards him, admitting that sometimes, there’s no rational explanation for matters of the heart.

On Brown’s end, his initial impression of Ward was favorable, though it took him some time to openly express his interest. Yet, for Ward, Brown’s hesitance was a challenge worth pursuing until he eventually made his intentions clear.

Once Ward was certain of her feelings for him, the decision to commit to Brown was straightforward. Despite Brown’s aversion to marriage stemming from his turbulent family history, Ward’s presence changed his outlook entirely. Within nine months of meeting, they exchanged vows, a testament to their deep connection.

Their decision to marry wasn’t preceded by achieving all they desired in their partner; instead, it arose amidst the backdrop of a passionate argument during Brown’s filming with Paul McCartney in London.

“I just figured if we’re going to argue like that, we might as well tie the knot,” confessed Brown. That same year, they exchanged vows in Ward’s childhood home in Oxfordshire. Subsequently, they made Sydney their home, where they raised their three children: Rose, Matilda, and James.

Charting a Different Course

Prior to “The Thorn Birds,” Ward enjoyed success in numerous roles. However, the reception of her performance in the mini-series was harsh, denting her confidence and prompting her to step back from acting. Reflecting on this period, Ward admitted, “When I got criticized so severely, it really affected me. I never fully regained my confidence after that.”

Despite the setbacks, “The Thorn Birds” ultimately led Ward to her life partner. During a break on set, Brown spontaneously read Ward’s palm and predicted that she would have three children. Little did they know, they would indeed go on to have three children together.

While Ward continued to act sporadically, she primarily focused on family life in her husband’s native Australia.

Sharing insights on marital longevity, Brown humorously advises, “Always say ‘yes’ to your wife, and if something goes wrong, just say ‘it’s my fault.’ If men understood that, they’d be happier.”

Their offspring have followed in their creative footsteps: Matilda, born in 1987, is known for her work in various productions, including “Lessons from the Grave” and “Let’s Talk About.” Their son Joe has also made a mark in the industry with roles in “Let’s Talk About” and “Rake,” while their daughter Rosie has appeared in notable series such as “Black Mirror” and “Gangs of London.”

In a delightful family collaboration, Ward directed the film “Palm Beach,” featuring Brown alongside their daughter Matilda—a project close to their hearts.

Expanding the Brown Clan

In 2019, Ward and Brown experienced the joys of grandparenthood for the first time when Matilda welcomed her first son, Zan Neathway Gooding. Brown was by her side throughout, eagerly awaiting the chance to hold his grandson.

Although embracing his role as a grandfather, Brown admits to mixed feelings about the title, feeling it hints at his age. Nevertheless, he acknowledges that being called “grandpa” is inevitable and embraces this new chapter of life with open arms.

Initially, Brown harbored apprehensions about embracing grandfatherhood, wary of the expectations surrounding it. He desired to form his own perceptions of this new role, and upon the arrival of his grandchild, his heart swiftly melted, and he found himself drawn to the little one’s side.

Following the birth of her son, Matilda tied the knot with her husband Scott Gooding, stepping into the role of stepmother to his teenage son. Originally planning to exchange vows on Brown and Ward’s New South Wales property, they were compelled to alter their plans due to the threat of a bushfire.


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A post shared by SCOTT GOODING (@scottgoodingproject)

During the wedding ceremony, Gooding’s son played a significant role, standing proudly beside his father with an infectious smile, a moment cherished by the celebrity chef as one of the highlights of his life.

Now a contented mother of two, Matilda’s eldest son joyfully assumes his role as an older sibling, actively participating in caring for his younger brother and sister.

Mirroring their unwavering presence in their children’s lives, Ward and Brown make concerted efforts to spend quality time with their grandchildren, offering glimpses of their grandparenting adventures on Instagram.

In endearing snapshots, Ward and her eldest grandson Zan are captured tending to the garden, fostering a love for nature and nurturing their surroundings together.


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When not in the garden, Zan enjoys bonding with his grandmother, affectionately referred to as “mopie,” as they explore the family farm and interact with the animals, creating cherished memories from an early age.

With the arrival of their second grandson Anouk, Ward ensures equitable attention and affection, cherishing moments shared with both grandchildren and capturing these precious memories alongside her daughter Matilda and son-in-law Gooding.

In 2020, the Brown family celebrated another milestone as their daughter Rosie announced her engagement to Andrew Cameron, marking the beginning of a new chapter filled with love and happiness.

Two years later, Rosie and Andrew embraced a fresh start as they settled into their new home in New South Wales, surrounded by serene landscapes and embracing a shared passion for regenerative farming.


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Despite the challenges posed by bushfires, the Brown family remains resilient, prioritizing safety above all else and finding solace in the love and togetherness that defines their close-knit bond.

Throughout their journey, Ward and Brown have excelled in nurturing their family bonds. Despite their children reaching adulthood and starting their own families, they maintain a strong connection and prioritize spending time with their extended family. In 2021, they joyously celebrated Christmas together as one unified family unit, bringing together the Browns, Goodings, and Camerons.

Reflecting on her life, Ward speculates that had she married an American and settled in Hollywood, she might have already embarked on a third marriage by now. However, despite 39 years of marriage with Brown, she remains committed to pursuing her career and personal passions.


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A post shared by SCOTT GOODING (@scottgoodingproject)

Despite residing in Australia, Ward remains connected to the entertainment industry, frequently traveling to Hollywood as needed for her career.

While living in America might have offered convenience for her career, Ward values the enduring partnership she shares with Brown. Their relationship allows her the freedom to lead a fulfilling life, dedicated to her family and personal pursuits.

In addition to her role as a devoted mother and wife, Ward’s Instagram offers glimpses of her humorous side and everyday life. Whether showcasing her painting skills or clarifying rumors with wit during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ward infuses humor into her online presence.

While Brown immerses himself in his work on the TV series “Darby and Joan,” Ward finds fulfillment in managing their farm and overseeing The Good Farm Shop, which specializes in organic, homemade meals. Together, they embrace a lifestyle that harmonizes their professional endeavors with their familial responsibilities, embodying a balanced approach to life.

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