Charles Brown (actor)

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Charles Brown (January 15, 1946,[1] Talladega, Alabama – January 8, 2004, Cleveland, Ohio)[2] was a Tony Award-nominated actor and a member of New York City, New York theater troupe the Negro Ensemble Company. He was best known for his performances in Off-Broadway and Broadway plays by Samm-Art Williams and August Wilson.

Biography[edit]

Charles Brown was born in Alabama and raised in Cleveland, Ohio[3] the son of Mack Brown Sr. His siblings included brothers Mack Jr. and Ramon and sister Shirley.[4] After serving in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, Brown studied theater at Howard University, in Washington, D.C. He performed with that city's D.C. Black Repertory Company, and elsewhere.[4]

Brown became a regular member of the Negro Ensemble Company, where his roles included Southern farmer Cephus Miles in Samm-Art Williams' Home (1979) and military investigator Captain Richard Davenport in 1944 Louisiana in Charles Fuller's A Soldier's Story (1981).[5] Home moved to Broadway in 1980, earning Brown a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play. In 2001 he received his second, for Best Featured Actor in a Play, for his role as the gambler and con man Elmore in August Wilson's King Hedley II. That part won him a 2001 Drama Desk Award.

Other stage work includes roles in Neil Simon's Rumors (1988); John Guare's A Few Stout Individuals (2002); Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's The Exonerated; Don Evans' Showdown; Leslie Lee's First Breeze of Summer (1975); Richard Wesley's The Mighty Gents (1978); Steve Carter's Nevis Mountain Dew; and Wilson's Fences (1987), in which he portrayed the older son of a character played by James Earl Jones. Television credits included the New York City-shot series Kojak, The Cosby Show, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, and The Equalizer.[6] In the 1983 TV series Kennedy, he portrayed the civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

Brown was married to Renee Lescook.[4] He died of prostate cancer in Cleveland, Ohio, where he lived.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Social Security Death Index for Charles Brown, SSN 285-42-0579
  2. ^ Birthplace and death date and place per Gussow, Mel, "Charles Brown, 57, Known For Versatility of Stage Roles", The New York Times, January 31, 2004. WebCitation archive.
  3. ^ a b Christenfeld, Seth. "Tony Nominee Charles Brown Dies at 57", Theatermania.com, January 26, 2004. WebCitation archive
  4. ^ a b c Gussow, The New York Times
  5. ^ Rich, Frank. "Stage: Negro Ensemble Presents 'Soldier's Play'" (review), The New York Times, November 27, 1981. WebCitation archive.
  6. ^ Jones, Kenneth (January 27, 2004). "Charles Brown, Tony Nominee for King Hedley II, Dead at 57". Playbill. Archived from the original on March 3, 2011. 

External links[edit]