Bryan Brown

Bryan Brown


Background:

Well-built, dark-haired Australian leading actor Bryan Brown had got his feet
wet with several stage productions in the Great Britain and movies in his native
country before gaining worldwide fame as Carbineer Lt. Peter Handcock in the
critically-lauded film Breaker Morant (1980). He received additional attention
for playing roles in such films as John Duigan’s The Winter of Our Discontent
(1981, with Judy Davis) and Far East (1982), F/X (1986) and its continuation FX2
- The Deadly Art of Illusion (1991), Cocktail (1988, opposite Tom Cruise),
Gorillas in the Mist (1988, with Sigourney Weaver) and Two Hands (1999, opposite
Heath Ledger). More recently, Brown earned positive reviews after portraying the
venturesome, strict sports-minded CEO in Along Came Polly (2004), starring Ben
Stiller and Jennifer Aniston.

On the small screen, the Emmy nominee initially attracted the attention of
American viewers with his starring role opposite Helen Morse in the PBS mini “A
Town Like Alice” (1981). He is maybe best-known as Rachel Ward’s ne’er-do-well
husband in “The Thorn Birds” (1983), where he took home a Golden Globe and Emmy
nominations. His more recent vehicles include Dead in the Water (1991), Devlin
(1992), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1997), On the Beach (2001), Revenge of the
Middle-Aged Woman (2004), Spring Break Shark Attack (2005) and The Poseidon
Adventure (2005).

Off screen, 6’ 0¾” Brown was listed as one of Queen’s Birthday Honors’
“Appointed Member (AM) of the Order of Australia” (2005) due to his services to
television and films and for his support of community organizations, including
the Hope for World Vision, the YWCA and the Children Foundation. On more
personal note, he has been married to actress Rachel Ward since 1983, and has
three children with her.


Insurance Salesman

Childhood and Family:

In Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Bryan Brown was born on June 23, 1947, to
mother Molly Brown. Along with his younger sister Kristine, he was raised in a
suburb of Sydney called Painania. He was an insurance salesman before shifting
gears to acting. At age 17, he relocated to London to perfect his craft on stage
and later returned to his native land to work in films and with Theater
Australia.

On April 16, 1983, Bryan became a one-woman man after his marriage to former
model and actress Rachel Ward (born on September 12, 1957). The two met during
the production of the ABC miniseries “The Thorn Birds” (1983) where they were
paired as husband and wife. With his English wife, Bryan has three children,
daughters Rosie (born in 1984) and Matilda (born in 1987) and son Joe (born in
1992).


The Thorn Birds

Career:

A native of Sydney, Bryan Brown started his career as an insurance salesman
before participating in regional amateur productions. Immediately caught by the
acting bug, he decided to pursue a career in acting and then moved to England to
hone his craft and find work. Thanks to his hard work and persistence, in 1973,
Brown finally scored small roles in the National Theatre of Britain at the Old
Vic. Armed with the exposure, he made his way back to Australia to try his luck
in films, while continuing his stage work by joining the Queensland Theatre
Company.

In 1977, Brown hit the wide screen for the first time when writer/director
Stephen Wallace cast him in the second lead of Len in the Aussie production The
Love Letters from Teralba Road, opposite Kris McQuade. After his debut, the
actor was seen playing roles in nine more movies over a two years period,
remarkably as editor Geoff in the Philip Noyce-directed drama Newsfront (1978,
starred Bill Hunter and Wendy Hughes) and as Paul Kite, a crook who bungles a
robbery, in Palm Beach (1979) for writer-director Albie Thoms. He also made his
TV miniseries debut in the syndicated “Against the Wind” (1978), appearing as
Michael Connor.

However, it was his supporting portrayal of Lt. Peter Handcock, a Carbineer
facing court-martial on trumped up charges, in the critically acclaimed Breaker
Morant (1980) that brought Brown international recognition and acclaim. The war
film starred Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson and John Waters, and helmed by Bruce
Beresford.

Despite the widespread attention, Brown continued to appear in Australian films,
and in 1981, he offered one of his finest acting as Rob, a bookstore owner drawn
to a hooker (played by Judy Davis), in John Duigan’s The Winter of Our
Discontent. He rejoined the director for the drama Far East (1982), in which
Brown stood out as Morgan Keefe, the owner of a club who revives a past affair.
In between, Brown caught the eye of American TV audiences with his role of Joe
Harmon, opposite Helen Morse, in the miniseries “A Town Like Alice” when it
broadcast on PBS’ Masterpiece Theater in 1981. His small screen victory was
further confirmed with the award-nominating performance of Luke O’Neill, the
good-for-nothing husband of the heroine (Rachel Ward) in the well-liked ABC mini
“The Thorn Birds” (1983). For his effort, Brown was handed an Emmy and a Golden
Globe nods for Best Supporting Actor in Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie.
It was followed by co-starring roles in miniseries “Eureka Stockade” (1984) and
CBS film remake of Kim (1984).

Back to films, Brown could be seen in Parker (1984), Give My Regards to Broad
Street (1984), The Empty Beach (1985) and Rebel (1985). His first Hollywood
movie came in 1986 when he took on the starring role of special effects
technician Rollie Tyler in F/X, a questionable, but compelling thriller directed
by Robert Mandel, and reunited with wife Rachel in the Aussie period drama The
Good Wife, that same year. Brown returned to American films two years later, and
is unforgettable for his roles in Roger Donaldson’s Cocktail (1988, as the
bartender-mentor to Tom Cruise) and the biopic Gorillas in the Mist (1988, as
the married lover of Sigourney Weaver).

By the ‘90s, Brown’s movie productions had slowed. Among his film works were the
comedy Sweet Talker (1991, also served as a writer), the sequel FX2 - The Deadly
Art of Illusion (1991, first credited as a movie executive producer), the comic
misfire Blame It on the Bellboy (1992, costarred as assassin Mike Lawton) and
the Australian-made Two Hands (1999), where he was perfectly cast as a local
tough guy named Pando. The latter film also starred Heath Ledger and David
Field. Brown, however, maintained a busy work on the small screen. During the
decade, he had approximately a dozen different projects, including the USA
Network film Dead in the Water (1991), the Showtime drama Devlin (1992, had the
title role of a New York City police on the scamper from the gang), the
syndicated series “The Wanderer” (1994) and Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under
the Sea (ABC, 1997).

The new millennium found roles in the Toronto Film Festival-screened Risk
(2000), the Showtime miniseries adaptation of “On the Beach” (2001, re-teamed
with his wife as alienated couples), Mullet (2001, voiced of publican), the
Peter Weller actioner Styx (2001) and the Australian gangster drama Dirty Deeds
(2002). After starring in the thriller-made-for-TV Footsteps (2003), Brown again
attracted the attention of public with his superb supporting portrait of
risk-taking, severe sports-minded CEO Leland Van Lew in the Ben Stiller and
Jennifer Aniston starring vehicle Along Came Polly (2004). He followed it up
with assignments in television films Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman (2004),
Spring Break Shark Attack (2005) and The Poseidon Adventure (2005).


Awards:
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When you live in a place, you're not just taking from it, you're contributing to it. In America I would never be able to make myself a person who could contribute. I wasn't interested in that society; I was interested in this society.More Bryan Brown quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
The purpose of the Buddy Walk is to raise awareness and acceptance for individuals with Down syndrome and to main stream society,More Bryan Brown quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
We are always going to be influenced by America... I watched the word 'bum' go out and 'butt' come in. And part of me says, oh that's a shame, but Aussie boys are still Aussie boys.More Bryan Brown quotes [06/19/2008 12:06:00]
America is different to everywhere.More Bryan Brown quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I would think if the Chicago Mafia came to Australia today, they would probably think that it was full of blokes who go around wrestling crocodiles - whether that be Crocodile Dundee or Steve Irwin. But one thing they would not be wondering about is where they could go to get a pizza.More Bryan Brown quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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