Charles Brown (actor)
Charles Brown (January 15, 1946, Talladega, Alabama – January 8, 2004, Cleveland, Ohio) 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.
Charles Brown was born in Alabama and raised in Cleveland, Ohio the son of Mack Brown Sr. His siblings included brothers Mack Jr. and Ramon and sister Shirley. 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.
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). 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. In the 1983 TV series Kennedy, he portrayed the civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
- Social Security Death Index for Charles Brown, SSN 285-42-0579
- 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.
- Christenfeld, Seth. "Tony Nominee Charles Brown Dies at 57", Theatermania.com, January 26, 2004. WebCitation archive
- Gussow, The New York Times
- Rich, Frank. "Stage: Negro Ensemble Presents 'Soldier's Play'" (review), The New York Times, November 27, 1981. WebCitation archive.
- 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.