Bryan Brown

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).

Bryan Brown

Born23 June 1947 (age 71)
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)Rachel Ward (1983–present)

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 and eventually won 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]

Early Films

He made his cinema debut in Scobie Malone (1975) as a policeman. He delivered two lines and was listed last in the credits as "Brian Bronn".

In 1977, he had the lead in a short feature, The Love Letters from Teralba Road (1977), which was written and directed by Stephen Wallace.[6]

Brown had small roles in The Irishman (1978), which was directed by Donald Crombie, Weekend of Shadows (1978) from Tom Jeffrey, and The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978), which was directed by Fred Schepisi.

He had a bigger part in Newsfront (1978), which was directed by Phil Noyce, the mini series Against the Wind (1978), which was directed by Simon Wincer, and Money Movers (1978), which was directed by Bruce Beresford.

Brown had the lead in the low budget film Third Person Plural (1979) from James Ricketson and a key role in Jeffrey's The Odd Angry Shot (1979) and Crombie's Cathy's Child (1979).[7] He played the lead in a short for Wallace, Conman Harry and the Others (1979), and had a leading role in Albie Thoms' Palm Beach (1980).[8][9]

In 1980, Brown became known to international audiences for his performance in Breaker Morant, directed by Beresford.[2][10]


Brown played the leading role in Wallace's Stir (1980). He had starring roles in Blood Money (1980), a thriller, and Winter of Our Dreams (1981), a relationship drama with Judy Davis written and directed by John Duigan.

Brown had a huge international success playing the lead role in the TV mini-series, "A Town Like Alice" (1981), which won popularity in the United States. This co-starred Helen Morse and the two of them were reteamed in Far East (1982), written and directed by Duigan.

Brown had another big success internationally with his role as Luke O'Neil in The Thorn Birds (1983), starring Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward (whom he later married).[11] 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.

This led to a number of international offers for Brown. He had the lead in a British TV movie, Kim (1984) (playing a British agent in Imperial India) and supported Paul McCartney in Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984).

Brown returned to Australia for another mini series from the makers of Alice, Eureka Stockade (1984), but it was not as popular.[12]

In England, Brown played an Australian hitman in Parker (1985) and he returned home to play Cliff Hardy in The Empty Beach (1985). He supported Matt Dillon and Debra Byrne in Rebel (1985).

US career

Brown was given the lead role in a US action film, F/X (1986), which was a hit. However Tai-Pan (1986), directed by Daryl Duke from The Thorn Birds, was a huge flop, despite being based on a best seller by James Clavell.

Brown returned to Australia to make The Umbrella Woman (1987) with Ward and then a new version of The Shiralee (1987). He supported Tom Cruise in Cocktail (1988) and Sigourney Weaver in Gorillas in the Mist (1989).

In Australia he played the lead in a World War Two drama, Blood Oath (1990), directed by Wallace[13] and did a romantic comedy based on a story by him and Tony Morphett, Sweet Talker (1991), directed by Mike Jenkins.[14]

In the US he did a sequel to FX, F/X2 (1991), which he also executive produced, and a TV movie Dead in the Water (1991).

He did a comedy with Dudley Moore, Blame It on the Bellboy (1992), followed by some thrillers: Devlin (1992), The Last Hit (1993), and Age of Treason (1994); in the latter he was a detective in Ancient Rome.

Brown had the lead in a short lived British TV series The Wanderer (1994) and starred in the popular cable movie Full Body Massage (1995).


Brown returned to Australia to star in Dead Heart (1996), which he also produced.[15] He produced and starred in Twisted Tales (1996) which led to an anthology TV series.

He played Ned Land in a mini series version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1998) with Michael Caine, then did a TV movie for Ken Russell, Dogboys (1998) and a thriller On the Border (1998).

Back in Australia Brown starred in the romantic comedy Dear Claudia (1999) and had a support role in Two Hands (1999) with Heath Ledger and Rose Byrne.

Brown starred in Grizzly Falls (1999), and Journey to the Center of the Earth (1999). In Australia he had a support role in Risk (2000) and the lead in On the Beach (2000) and Dirty Deeds (2002) which he also produced. He produced a short film by his wife, The Big House (2001).

Brown had support roles in Footsteps (2003), Along Came Polly (2004), Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman (2005), Spring Break Shark Attack (2005), and The Poseidon Adventure (2005). He produced a short feature directed by his wife, Martha's New Coat (2005) and made Two Twisted (2005).

Back in Australia Brown was in Murder in the Outback (2007), and Cactus (2008), which he also co produced.

He was in My Talks with Dean Spanley (2008), and had a small role in Australia (2008).

Brown produced and had a small role in Beautiful Kate (2009), directed by his wife. He was in Limbo (2010) and Love Birds (2011) and guest starred on The Good Wife. He had the lead in Better Man (2013) and appeared in An Accidental Soldier (2013) from his wife. He and his daughter did a short, Lessons from the Grave (2013).

He starred in the ghost film The Darkside (2013) and had the lead in a TV series Old School (2013). In 2014 appeared for the Sydney Theatre Company at the Wharf Theatre with Alison Whyte in David Williamson's play Travelling North.[16]

He was in Kill Me Three Times (2013), Cocktails & Dreams (2015), Deadline Gallipoli (2015), Gods of Egypt (2015), The Light Between Oceans (2016), and Red Dog: True Blue (2016).

He had roles in Australia Day (2017), and Sweet Country (2017) and is in Palm Beach directed by his wife, and the new TV series Bloom.

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."[17]

The Bryan Brown Theatre & Function Centre in Bankstown, Sydney, was named after him in 2013.[18] He won Longford Lyell Award at the AACTA Awards in 2018.[19]

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.[20]



Year Title Role Notes
1977 The Love Letters from Teralba Road Len Short Film
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 "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. ^ "The Love Letters from Teralba Road". Filmnews. 7, (7). New South Wales, Australia. 1 August 1977. p. 8. Retrieved 6 September 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "First big starring role in films is no joke for Graham Kennedy". The Australian Women's Weekly. 46, (20). Australia, Australia. 18 October 1978. p. 18. Retrieved 6 September 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "Palm Beach..." Filmnews. 10, (1). New South Wales, Australia. 1 January 1980. p. 6. Retrieved 6 September 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Talking to Albie Thoms". Filmnews. 9, (5). New South Wales, Australia. 1 May 1979. p. 7. Retrieved 6 September 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "Bryan Brown a fair dinkum sta[?]". The Australian Women's Weekly. 48, (19). Australia, Australia. 8 October 1980. p. 58 (FREE Your TV Magazine). Retrieved 6 September 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ "Bryan Brown to wed". The Canberra Times. 57, (17, 355). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 5 April 1983. p. 14. Retrieved 6 September 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  12. ^ Ed. Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970-1995, Oxford Uni Press, 1996 p192
  13. ^ "Hey dude! We're numero uno". The Canberra Times. 64, (20, 210). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 11 August 1990. p. 3. Retrieved 6 September 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  14. ^ "Bryan Brown stars opposite Indi's girl". The Canberra Times. 63, (19, 517). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 16 March 1989. p. 25. Retrieved 6 September 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  15. ^ "Three Films selected for 1995 Film Fund". Filmnews. 25, (5). New South Wales, Australia. 1 July 1995. p. 3. Retrieved 6 September 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  16. ^ "Travelling North, Sydney Theatre Company – review" by Jessica Keath, The Guardian, 30 January 2014
  17. ^ "It's an Honour website". Australian Government. Retrieved 29 March 2008.
  18. ^ The Man behind the name, Bryan Brown Theatre & Function Centre
  19. ^ "WINNERS & NOMINEES". Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  20. ^ "Mountain-top republicans". 1999-10-08.

External links

AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role

The Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role is an award in the annual Australian Film Institute Awards. It has been awarded annually since 1974.

Beautiful Kate

Beautiful Kate is a 2009 Australian drama film directed by Rachel Ward and starring Ben Mendelsohn, Rachel Griffiths, Bryan Brown, Maeve Dermody and Sophie Lowe. Ward adapted the script from a 1982 novel of the same name by Newton Thornburg; this was the first novel by Thornburg used for a movie since Cutter's Way (1981). The film was shot on location in the Flinders Ranges.

The film premiered in June 2009 at the Sydney Film Festival and was released in limited release across Australia on 6 August 2009.


Caleres Inc. is an American footwear company that owns and operates a variety of footwear brands. Its headquarters is located in Clayton, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Founded in 1878 as Bryan, Brown & Company in St. Louis and undergoing several name changes, for a time, the Hamilton-Brown Shoe Company was the largest manufacturer of shoes in America. It went bankrupt in June 1939.In the 1970s, Brown operated Famous Footwear, Cloth World fabric stores, Bottom Half jeans stores, and Meis department stores. On May 27, 2015, Brown Shoe changed its name to Caleres. Current brands include Famous Footwear, Diane von Furstenberg (DVF), Rykä, Allen Edmonds, Dr. Scholl’s Shoes, LifeStride, Naturalizer, Bzees, Franco Sarto, Sam Edelman, Via Spiga, Vince, George Brown Bilt, Carlos by Carlos Santana and Fergie Footwear.

Cocktail (1988 film)

Cocktail is a 1988 American romantic drama film directed by Roger Donaldson and written by Heywood Gould, whose screenplay was based on his book of the same name. The film tells the story of a young New York City business student, Brian Flanagan, who takes up bartending in order to make ends meet. The film stars Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown, and Elisabeth Shue. Released by Touchstone Pictures, the film features an original music score composed by J. Peter Robinson.

Dead Heart

Dead Heart is a 1996 Australian film. It was written and directed by Nick Parsons, and starred Bryan Brown, Angie Milliken, Ernie Dingo, Aaron Pedersen and John Jarratt. As a play, the piece was staged by Belvoir St Theatre, directed by Neil Armfield, at the Eveleigh rail yards, Sydney, in 1994. In 1993 the play received the NSW Premier's Literary Award for a play.


F/X2 (also known as F/X2: The Deadly Art of Illusion) is a 1991 American action thriller film directed by Richard Franklin and starring Bryan Brown and Brian Dennehy. It is a sequel to the 1986 film F/X. This was Franklin's final American film before he returned to his native Australia.

Far East (film)

Far East is a 1982 Australian drama film directed by John Duigan and starring Bryan Brown, Helen Morse and John Bell. Far East has many similarities to the 1942 classic Casablanca.

Full Body Massage

Full Body Massage (1995) is an erotic made-for-cable movie directed by Nicolas Roeg and starring Mimi Rogers getting a nude full body massage while talking about relationships and philosophy with her masseur (Bryan Brown).

Give My Regards to Broad Street (film)

Give My Regards to Broad Street is a 1984 British musical drama film directed by Peter Webb. It stars Paul McCartney, Bryan Brown and Ringo Starr. The film covers a fictional day in the life of McCartney, who wrote the film for the screen, and McCartney, Starr and Linda McCartney all appeared as themselves. Despite Give My Regards to Broad Street being unsuccessful in the box office financially and critically, its soundtrack album sold well. The title is a take on George M. Cohan's classic show tune "Give My Regards to Broadway" which made reference to London's Broad Street railway station, which would close in 1986.

Filming and recording of Broad Street began in November 1982, after the completion of Pipes of Peace. Production on the album and film continued until July the following year. In the interim, Pipes of Peace and its singles were released, and the film project was thus scheduled for an autumn 1984 release once an appropriate amount of time had passed.

John Curtis (bishop)

John Curtis (15 March 1880 – 11 July 1962) was an Irish missionary of the Anglican Church.

He was born in Dublin on 15 March 1880, educated at Trinity College, Dublin (Trinity Master of Arts {MA Dubl}) and ordained in 1904. He was a curate at Christ Church, Leeson Park in his home city after which he joined the Dublin University Mission to Fukien; he married Eda Bryan-Brown, a fellow missionary who was also a doctor. Curtis was an army chaplain during the war of 1914-18 and in 1914 married Eda Bryan-Brown who had been working in Fukien since 1909. He was Bishop of Chekiang, China, from 1929 to 1949, during which period the Nationalist, Communist and Japanese armies fought over the country. On his return to England he was made Vicar of Wilden, Stourport, and retired in 1957. The Bishop and his wife had two children. He died on 11 July 1962 and his widow on 18 January 1964. He had become a Doctor of Divinity (DD).

Logie Awards of 1989

The 31st Annual TV Week Logie Awards was held on Friday 17 March 1989 at the Hyatt on Collins in Melbourne, and broadcast on the Seven Network. The ceremony was hosted by Bert Newton and guests included Raquel Welch, Leslie Nielsen and Bryan Brown.


Newsfront is a 1978 Australian drama film starring Bill Hunter, Wendy Hughes, Chris Haywood and Bryan Brown, directed by Phillip Noyce. The screenplay is written by David Elfick, Bob Ellis, Philippe Mora, and Phillip Noyce. The original music score is composed by William Motzing. This film was shot on location in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Incorporating much actual newsreel footage, the film is shot in both black and white and colour.

On the Beach (2000 film)

On the Beach is a 2000 apocalyptic made-for-television film directed by Russell Mulcahy and starring Armand Assante, Bryan Brown, and Rachel Ward. It was originally aired on Showtime.The film is a remake of a 1959 film, which was also based on the 1957 novel by Nevil Shute, but updates the setting of the story to the film's then-future of 2005, starting with placing the crew on the fictional Los Angeles-class submarine, USS Charleston (SSN-704).

Sweet Talker (film)

Sweet Talker is a 1991 Australian film starring Bryan Brown. It was directed by Michael Jenkins who later described it as:

A real general audience film, a fairly gentle film about some relationships, almost father-son relationships, single mum relationship with her son. It's not what I would call a film that has major clout to it. It's an entertainment film, but what it says is not bad. It's a soft film - it doesn't really go out there pretending it's saying anything world-shattering... In this industry quite a few things are haphazard. Sweet Talker is one of the more haphazard projects that has come along.

The film's soundtrack, scored and performed by British singer/songwriter Richard Thompson was released by Capitol Records the same year the film was released.

The Thorn Birds (miniseries)

The Thorn Birds is an American television miniseries broadcast on ABC from March 27 to 30, 1983. It starred Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Barbara Stanwyck, Christopher Plummer, Jean Simmons, Richard Kiley, Bryan Brown, Mare Winningham and Philip Anglim. It was directed by Daryl Duke and based on a novel of the same name by Colleen McCullough. The series was enormously successful and became the United States' second highest-rated miniseries of all time behind Roots; both series were produced by television veteran David L. Wolper.

Two Hands (1999 film)

Two Hands is a 1999 Australian comedy crime film written and directed by Gregor Jordan. The film stars Heath Ledger as Jimmy, a young man in debt to Pando, a local gangster played by Bryan Brown, and also stars Rose Byrne, David Field, and Susie Porter. It won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Film in 1999. It was filmed in 1998 but was not released in Australia until 29 July 1999. Before its release, it was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in the United States but was not released to DVD in the US until December 2005.

Winter of Our Dreams

Winter of Our Dreams is a 1981 Australian film directed by John Duigan. Judy Davis won the Best Actress in a Lead Role in the AFI Awards for her performance in the film. The film was nominated in 6 other categories also. It was also entered into the 13th Moscow International Film Festival where Judy Davis won the award for Best Actress.Rob (Bryan Brown), a bookshop owner, hears of the suicide of an old girlfriend Lisa (Margie McCrae). While investigating the case he meets Lou (Judy Davis), a prostitute and old friend of Lisa's.

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