James Brown (actor)

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James E. Brown
James Brown fan postcard 1955.jpg
Brown as Lt. Masters with Rin Tin Tin, 1955.
Born (1920-03-22)March 22, 1920
Desdemona, Texas
Died April 11, 1992(1992-04-11) (aged 72)
Woodland Hills, California
Nationality American
Occupation Actor
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)
Spouse(s) Betty Brown
Children Carol, Wendy, Barbara, and Cynthia
Parents Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Brown

James E. Brown (March 22, 1920 – April 11, 1992)[1] was an American film and TV actor best known for his role as Lieutenant Ripley "Rip" Masters in all 166 episodes of the 1954-1959 ABC Western television series, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.

In Rin Tin Tin, the story of a boy and his German shepherd, Brown appeared as a young officer at a remote US Cavalry outpost called Fort Apache. Child actor Lee Aaker appeared as Rusty, who had been orphaned in an Indian raid and was adopted by the troops at the fort.[2] In two Rin Tin Tin episodes, "Forward Ho" and "The White Buffalo," Brown sang in his rich baritone voice.[3] In 1976, he hosted a revival of Rin Tin Tin reruns, which extended until the 1980s.[3]

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Brown was born to carpenter Floyd Brown and wife in the petroleum boomtown of Desdemona in Eastland County east of Abilene, Texas. He attended elementary and some of his high school years in Waco, the seat of McLennan County in central Texas. He also attended Schreiner Institute in Kerrville, Texas where he learned to play tennis and sang in the glee club. After high school he enrolled at Baptist-affiliated Baylor University in Waco.[3]

After a brief period as a competitive tennis player, Brown launched a four-decade career as an actor, having landed roles in more than forty films, including Wake Island (1942), Air Force (1943), Bing Crosby's Going My Way (1944), Objective, Burma! (1945), The Fabulous Texan (1947), John Wayne's Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), The Charge at Feather River (1953), Five Guns to Tombstone (1960), Gun Street (1961),[4] and a film noir, When the Clock Strikes (1961).

Other television credits[edit]

In addition to The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, he appeared in such children's programs as Adventures of Superman (as Jim Carson in the 1954 episode "Around the World with Superman"), Sky King and The Lone Ranger.[5] He made two guest appearances on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee in 1955 and 1957.

In 1959, Brown appeared as Andy Clinton in two episodes of the ABC Walt Disney Presents miniseries entitled Moochie of the Little League, starring Kevin Corcoran and Russ Conway. In 1960, Brown appeared in the NBC series, Laramie, as Lon MacRae in the episode "Strange Company". From 1962-1966, he appeared three times in different roles in another NBC western, The Virginian. He appeared on ABC's family western series, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters. In 1964, he was cast as Sergeant Quincy in the episode "Not in Our Stars" of the NBC western Daniel Boone. In the fall of 1966, he appeared as the recurring character Luke in the ABC western sitcom, The Rounders.[5]

From 1960-1964, he guest starred eight times in different roles in the CBS adventure/drama series, Route 66. In 1966, he appeared on ABC's Honey West, and in 1969, he guest starred on ABC's The F.B.I.. He also appeared on Lassie (as Forest Ranger Mike McBride), Gunsmoke (as Mark Feeney in the 1963 episode "Quint's Indian"), and the ABC crime drama Starsky and Hutch (as R.J. Crow in the 1977 episode "Bloodbath").[5] From 1980-1988, he appeared in 27 episodes as detective Harry McSween, a police officer ally of the vindictive J. R. Ewing, on CBS-TV's Dallas.[4]

Final role and death[edit]

Brown's final screen role was as Dr. Gordon Church in the 1988 episode "Mourning Among the Wisterias" of the CBS series, Murder, She Wrote.[5]

Brown died at the age of 72 of lung cancer in Woodland Hills, California. He was survived by his wife, Betty; three daughters, Carol (Thies), Wendy, and Barbara, and a niece, Cynthia Brown, whom he reared as a fourth daughter.[4] His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.

Filmography[edit]

Sands of Iwo Jima - 1949 - In the role of marine Charlie Bass

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Social Security Death Index". Rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved $1 $2.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin". IMDB. Retrieved April 24, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "Desdemona, Texas: A Boom Town Ghost Town". Texasescapes.com. Retrieved April 24, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c "James Brown Is Dead; Rin-Tin-Tin Actor". The New York Times. April 14, 1992. Retrieved April 24, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d "James Brown (II)". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved April 24, 2009.