Ricou Browning

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Ricou Browning
Ricou Browning in his movie costume at Wakulla Springs (15055100304).jpg
Ricou Browning as the Gill-man
Born (1930-11-23) November 23, 1930 (age 87)
Fort Pierce, Florida, USA
Occupation film director, actor, producer, screenwriter, underwater cinematographer, stuntman
Years active 1945–1986

Ricou Browning (born November 23, 1930) is an American film director, actor, producer, screenwriter, underwater cinematographer and stuntman. He is best known for his underwater stunt work, playing the Gill-man in Creature from the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us. Other actors portrayed the creature on land. He is also the only actor to have portrayed the creature more than once. He is the only surviving Gill-man actor, and the last surviving original Universal Monster.[citation needed]

Browning worked at Wakulla Springs in the 1940s and learned to perform in underwater newsreels conceived by Newton Perry, who later took Browning along when he opened Weeki Wachee.[1]

Browning directed the underwater scenes in Thunderball (1966 Academy Award winner for special visual effects), underwater scenes in Caddyshack (1980) and coordinated marine stunts in an episode of Boardwalk Empire (2010). A Florida native, Browning was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2012.[1]

Early life[edit]

Browning was born in Fort Pierce, Florida. He was a major in physical education at Florida State University.[2]


Browning started a career in water shows, moving on to produce shows. He moved into movies in 1954, playing the underwater role of the Gill-man in Creature from the Black Lagoon (while Ben Chapman played the monster on land), a feat he repeated in two sequels. He continued in movie production and joined Ivan Tors' studios in Florida, where he co-wrote and co-produced the 1963 MGM film Flipper (about an intelligent bottle-nosed dolphin) and continued writing for the subsequent Flipper television series that debuted in 1964. He directed the underwater sequences in Hello Down There (1969) and directed the family movie Salty (1973) and the cult film Mr. No Legs (1978). He also worked as second unit director, stunt coordinator and underwater sequence director on a number of features, including Island of the Lost (1967), Caddyshack (1980), Thunderball (1965) and Never Say Never Again (1983).[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

He has a son, Ricou Browning, Jr., who is a world renowned marine coordinator and an actor and stuntman.[citation needed]


As performer[edit]

As director[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ricou Browning Florida Artists Hall of Fame
  2. ^ "Wet and Wild: Ricou Browning Will Always Be The Creature from the Black Lagoon". People.com. April 4, 1994. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 

External links[edit]