Heywood Hale Broun
|Heywood Hale Broun|
March 10, 1918|
New York City, New York, USA
|Died||September 5, 2001
Kingston, New York
|Alma mater||Swarthmore College|
|Occupation||Journalist, sportswriter, author, actor|
|Parent(s)||Ruth Hale and Heywood Broun|
Heywood Hale Broun (//; March 10, 1918 – September 5, 2001) was an American author, sportswriter, commentator and actor. He was born and reared in New York City, the son of writer and activist Ruth Hale and newspaper columnist Heywood Broun.
In 1940, Broun joined the staff at the New York tabloid PM as a sportswriter. His career was interrupted by World War II in which he served in the United States Army field artillery. When the war ended he returned to the PM newspaper and wrote for its successor, the New York Star, which ceased operations in 1949. Woodie was married to Jane Lloyd Jones, and they had one son, Heywood Orren Broun, known as Hob, a novelist, who predeceased his parents in 1987.
Nicknamed "Woodie", Broun joined CBS in 1966, where he worked for two decades as a color commentator on a wide variety of sporting events, including the Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing. He produced interesting featurettes for the Saturday edition of the CBS Evening News. Broun was noted for his eloquent speaking manner, his trademark handlebar moustache, and the colorful and garish sport coats which he wore while reporting.
Broun's Saturday features took him to various points in the world and reporting on various sports. One of his frequent subjects was heavyweight boxer Joe Frazier, whom he profiled multiple times over a period of six years from Frazier's initial rise as a professional to the death of his trainer in 1973.
Broun took a lap in a racing sports car with Stirling Moss, followed Olympic sprinter Jim Hines as he attempted to forge a professional football career, tracked Lou Brock as he attempted to break Maury Wills' single-season stolen base record, and followed the games of Dempsey Hovland's Texas Cowgirls barnstorming basketball team as they defeated male teams.
In 2002, ESPN Classic debuted a series devoted to Broun's reporting, titled Woodie's World. The 30 minute program typically featured four stories from Broun's Saturday featurettes with current information inserted as needed.
Woodie's World ran for 36 episodes from 2002 through 2005. Beginning in 2009, ESPN Classic brought the series back in reruns, which continue to air sporadically on the network.
Broun acted in a number of films, including:
- The Odd Couple: In this film, he plays himself, a sportswriter at a New York Mets versus Pittsburgh Pirates game. While fellow sportswriter Oscar Madison (Walter Matthau) takes a phone call from roommate Felix Ungar (Jack Lemmon) about mundane dinner plans, the Mets pull off a triple play. Broun exclaims, "A triple play, Oscar! One of the greatest plays I've ever seen, and you missed it! You missed it, Oscar!"
- For Pete's Sake
Additionally, he sometimes appeared on television series in guest or supporting roles. In 1952 and 1957, Broun was cast in two episodes of the anthology series, Robert Montgomery Presents. From 1955 to 1957, he guest starred in three episodes of The Phil Silvers Show, also known as You'll Never Get Rich.
Broun was cast in 1962 and 1963 in different character roles in five episodes of the NBC police sitcom, Car 54, Where Are You?, starring Joe E. Ross and Fred Gwynne. He subsequently appeared twice on the ABC sitcom, The Patty Duke Show, as Mr. Mickel in "The Babysitters" (1963) and as Mr. Fleming in "This Little Patty Went to Market" (1964). He appeared in 1965 as Charles Kane in "The Sworn Twelve" of the CBS legal drama, The Defenders, starring E. G. Marshall. Broun had a cameo appearance as himself in the 1969 movie Some Kind of a Nut, starring Dick Van Dyke.
- A Studied Madness (1965)
- Tumultuous Merriment (1979)
- Whose little boy are you? : A memoir of the Broun family (1983)
Broun hosted The Literary Guild's First Edition, a nationally syndicated radio show devoted to authors and books, produced by Cinema Sound Ltd., New York beginning in 1973. A later version of the show, Broun on Books was sponsored by Mobil. Over 200 episodes of the show were produced. Guests included Pete Seeger and Josh White; Robert Kimball, Bill Bolcum, Max Morarth and Dan Morgenstern; Donald Bogle and Rosalind Cash; Kurt Vonnegut; Joyce Maynard and Jeff Greenfield; Penelope Gilliat, Herman Weinberg and Howard Koch; Günter Grass; and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
Broun died on September 5, 2001, in Kingston, New York.