Rachel Ward (born at Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, September 12, 1957), granddaughter of the Third Earl of Dudley, is an English actress (and more recently, a director) who has made most of her career in Australia.
She attended the Byam Shaw School of Art in London before leaving at 16 to become a top fashion model. In 1983 she was voted one of the ten most beautiful women in the United States.
She became well known when she starred opposite Richard Chamberlain in the television mini-series The Thorn Birds. She disappeared from pictures for three years and studied acting. Ward then reappeared in 1987, playing opposite her husband, Bryan Brown (whom she met on the set of The Thorn Birds), in The Good Wife. Married since 1983, they have three children: Rosie, Matilda (who has followed her parents into the acting profession), and Joe.
She briefly dated David Kennedy. In 2003, a portrait of Rachel Ward by artist Jan Williamson won the Packing Room award at the Archibald Prize.