John Brown (actor)
John Brown on an episode of The Life of Riley television series with Jackie Gleason (1949)
|Born||John H. Brown
April 4, 1904
Hull, Yorkshire, England
|Died||May 16, 1957
Hollywood, California, United States
John Brown (April 4, 1904 - May 16, 1957) was an English radio and film actor.
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, played Irma's love interest Al in My Friend Irma, Digby "Digger" O'Dell in The Life of Riley, (a role he reprised for the first incarnation of the television show), "Broadway" in The Damon Runyon Theatre, and "Thorny" the neighbor on the radio version of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
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.
Brown died of a heart attack on May 16, 1957, while en route to his doctor's office.
|Original Air Date||Program||Role|
|1932-1936||Roses and Drums|
|1939||Arch Oboler's Plays|
|1939-1944||Texaco Star Theater||John Doe|
|1940-1945||Amanda of Honeymoon Hill||Mr. Lenord|
|1942||Tillie the Toiler||Mr. Simpkins|
|1942-1949||The Abbott and Costello Show||Travelling salesmen
|1943||Busy Mr. Bingle||Mr. Bingle|
|1943||The Jack Benny Program||Airplane Captain|
|1944-1946||The Charlotte Greenwood Show||William Anderson|
|1944-1950||A Date with Judy||Dad|
|1944-1951||The Life of Riley||Digby "Digger" O'Dell
|1945-1950||The Saint||Inspector Fernack|
|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|
|1952-1953||December Bride||Various characters|
|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
|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
|1953||The Wild One||Bill Hannegan|
|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"
|1951||The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show||Harry Morton|
|1952||Biff Baker, U.S.A.||Mueller||"Counterfeit Plates"|
- Buxton, Frank (1997). The Big Broadcast 1920-1950 2nd Edition. Scarecrow Press. p. 116. ISBN 0810829576. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
- 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.
- "The Life of Riley". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- "The Damon Runyon Theatre". Digital Deli Too. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- Nachman, Gerald (1998). Raised on Radio, p. 247. Pantheon Books, New York. ISBN 037540287x.
- "Digger O'Dell Dies". The Kansas City Times. May 18, 1957. p. 2. Retrieved April 26, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- John Brown at the Internet Movie Database
- The Damon Runyon Theatre – audio files of the complete series, freely available at the Internet Archive