John Brown (actor)

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John Brown
Born (1904-04-04)April 4, 1904
Hull, Yorkshire, England
Died May 16, 1957(1957-05-16) (aged 53)
Hollywood, California, United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1932-1957

John Brown (April 4, 1904 - May 16, 1957) was an English radio and film actor.

Career[edit]

He had major roles in several popular radio shows: He was "John Doe" in the Texaco Star Theater's version of Fred Allen's Allen's Alley,[1] played Irma's love interest Al in My Friend Irma,[2] Digby "Digger" O'Dell in The Life of Riley,[3] (a role he reprised for the first incarnation of the television show), "Broadway" in The Damon Runyon Theatre,[4] and "Thorny" the neighbor on the radio version of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.[5] He also appeared in some notable films: Strangers on a Train (1951), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951, uncredited), and The Wild One (1953); he supplied the voice of "Ro-Man" in the 1953 cult science fiction B-film Robot Monster.

In early television he was the second actor (after Hal March) to play "Harry Morton," the next-door neighbor of George Burns and Gracie Allen in their situation comedy show, opposite Bea Benaderet; his tenure on the series lasted six months, and he was replaced by Fred Clark in June 1951.

In 1952 Brown became another victim of the Hollywood blacklist. He died from a heart attack on May 16, 1957.

Filmography[edit]

Radio[edit]

Original Air Date Program Role Notes
1932 Police Headquarters
1932-1936 Roses and Drums
1939-1944 Texaco Star Theater John Doe
1940-1945 Amanda of Honeymoon Hill Mr. Lenord
1942-1949 The Abbott and Costello Show Travelling salesmen
Police officers
1943 Busy Mr. Bingle Mr. Bingle
1943 The Jack Benny Program Airplane Captain
1944-1950 A Date with Judy Dad
1944-1951 The Life of Riley Digby "Digger" O'Dell
Gillis
Additional voices
1945-1952 The Adventures of Maisie Mr. Dorsey
1945-1954 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Thorny Thornberry
1946-1951 A Day in the Life of Dennis Day Mr. Willoughby
1947-1954 My Friend Irma Al
1948-1949 The Damon Runyon Theatre Broadway
1949 Young Love James Lewis' Dad

Films[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1944 Casanova Brown Fire chief Uncredited
1946 Make Mine Music Umpire Voice
1949 The Life of Riley Digby "Digger" O'Dell
1951 The Day The Earth Stood Still George Barley Uncredited
1951 The Lemon Drop Kid
1951 Symphony in Slang The Hipster
Noah Webster
Voice
1951 Strangers on a Train Professor Collins
1951 Three Desperate Men Fairwether
1952 Something for the Birds Mr. Lund
1952 Hans Christian Andersen Schoolmaster
1953 The Unicorn in the Garden Husband
Psychiatrist
Voice
1953 The Wild One Bill Hannegan
1953 Robot Monster Ro-Man
Great Guidance
Voice
1954 Dixieland Droopy Narrator
Pee Wee
Theatrical Agent
Voice

Television[edit]

Year Program Role Notes
1949-1950 The Life of Riley Digby "Digger" O'Dell Was the only original cast member to join the television version
1951 I Love Lucy Mr. Murdoch "The Mustache"
1951 The Amos 'n Andy Show The Loan Shark "Leroy Lends a Hand"
Uncredited
1951 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show Harry Morton
1952 Biff Baker, U.S.A. Mueller "Counterfeit Plates"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Buxton, Frank (1997). The Big Broadcast 1920-1950 2nd Edition. Scarecrow Press. p. 116. ISBN 0810829576. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ Gargiulo, Suzanne (2002). Hans Conreid: A Biography; With a Filmography and a Listing of Radio, Television, Stage and Voice Work. McFarland. p. 57. ISBN 0-7864-1338-7. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Life of Riley". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Damon Runyon Theatre". Digital Deli Too. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  5. ^ Nachman, Gerald (1998). Raised on Radio, p. 247. Pantheon Books, New York. ISBN 037540287x.

External links[edit]