James Brown (actor)
|James Bowen Brown|
Brown as Lt. Masters with Rin Tin Tin, 1955
March 22, 1920|
Desdemona, Texas, U.S.
|Died||April 11, 1992
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
|Height||6' 2" (1.88 m)|
|Children||Carol, Wendy, Barbara, and Cynthia|
|Parent(s)||Floyd Estle Brown (1893-1970)
Cordie Mae Bowen Brown (1899-1972)
James E. "Jimmy" Brown (a.k.a. James Bowen Brown, James L. Brown) (March 22, 1920 in Desdemona, Texas - April 11, 1992 in Woodland Hills, California) 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. In two Rin Tin Tin episodes, "Forward Ho" and "The White Buffalo," Brown sang in his rich baritone voice. In 1976, he hosted a revival of Rin Tin Tin reruns, which extended until the 1980s.
Brown was born to carpenter Floyd Estle Brown and Cordie Mae (Bowen) Brown 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, Texas. He also attended Schreiner Institute in Kerrville, Texas, where he learned to play tennis from tennis coach/English teacher Charles Cornwell, sang in the glee club, also led by Dr. Cornwell, and played sousaphone in the school band. After high school he enrolled at Baptist-affiliated Baylor University in Waco.
After a brief period as a competitive tennis player, Brown launched a four-decade career as an actor, with roles in more than 40 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), and a film noir, When the Clock Strikes (1961).
Other television credits
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. 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.
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").
Final role and death
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. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.
- Air Force (1943)
- Going My Way (1944)
- Objective, Burma! (1945)
- Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) as marine Charlie Bass
- Anna Lucasta (1949)
- The Sea Hornet (1951)
- Thunder Over the Plains (1953)
- "Social Security Death Index". Rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin". IMDB. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
- "Desdemona, Texas: A Boom Town Ghost Town". Texasescapes.com. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
- "James Brown Is Dead; Rin-Tin-Tin Actor". The New York Times. April 14, 1992. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
- "James Brown (II)". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
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