Four incredible facts about "The Thorn Birds"

Rachel Ward and Richard Chamberlain in the 1983 mini series The Thorn Birds.

The Thorn Birds was one of the most successful miniseries of all time. The tale of the "Cleary" family kept viewers on the edge of their seats for all of the four feature-length episodes. If you were as fanatic about the series and its cast as we were, you'll love these little-known facts!

Australia vs. the USA

The series was based on the novel written by Australia author Colleen McCullough (†77), whose setting is actually a fictional ranch in Australia called Drogheda. However, the miniseries itself was produced in the United States and episodes were filmed in California and Hawaii (on the island of Kauai). 

The Thorn Birds won countless awards

Excellent series are often nominated time and time again for the industry's most prestigious prizes, such as the Emmy Awards or Golden Globes, and this was also the case for The Thorn Birds. However, in contrast to other series, The Thorn Birds wasn't just nominated numerous times it also won countless awards, including six Prime Time Emmy Awards, four Golden Globes!

Rachel Ward in "The Thorn Birds"

Rachel Ward had her breakthrough as "Meggie" in The Thorn Birds.

True love behind the camera

"Meggie", played by Rachel Ward, is stuck in a loveless marriage to "Luke O'Neill", played by Bryan Brown and, in the end, "Meggie" cannot stand it any more and leaves Luke, taking their daughter with her. In real life things couldn't have been more different though, Bryan and Rachel didn't only get to know each other on set, but also fell in love with each other. They have been happily married for more than 30 years now and have three children together. 

Rachel Ward Bryan Brown Thorn Birds

Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown in The Thorn Birds.

An alternative ending

While the series adaptation of The Thorn Birds ends with "Ralph de Bricassart's" (Richard Chamberlain) death, in the novel he lives on and the novel then moves on to tell the story of "Meggie's" daughter, "Justine".