Skip to main content

To help keep our visitors and staff safe, please book your spot before visiting.

Menu

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Californian clinch in the ‘Australian’ outback

On-set love stories often don’t live up to the myth, or last beyond the premiere – but this one did!

1 Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown, 2006 (printed 2020) Peter Brew-Bevan. © Peter Brew-Bevan. 2 Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward from the Thorn Birds, 1983 unknown artist. © From the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia / nfsa.gov.au.

In 1982, Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward met in the Simi Valley, California, on the set of the TV mini-series adaptation of The Thorn Birds. ‘What happened on screen was happening off it – that’s why our love scenes were so believable’, Ward told the UK’s Daily Express before the pair’s subsequent (1983) wedding. Brown played the brutish Luke, whose marriage to Ward’s character Meggie was entirely mercenary. Happily, life would mirror fiction only superficially: the couple have prospered, often working together over the ensuing decades, and most recently on Palm Beach (2019) – written and directed by Ward, produced by and starring Brown. ‘It’s pretty unusual and pretty fantastic that we can go off to work together … and have a collaboration together’, Ward told the ABC.

That’s one to get your heart started! You are 9 stories away from seeing your love score...

Choose your next love story

Related information

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night

Support your Portrait Gallery

We depend on your support to keep creating our programs, exhibitions, publications and building the amazing portrait collection!

Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery

Plan your visit

Timed ticketing, location, accessibility and amenities

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency