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Ricou Browning as the Gill-man
|Born||February 16, 1930|
Fort Pierce, Florida, USA
|Occupation||Film director, actor, producer, screenwriter, underwater cinematographer, stuntman|
Ricou Browning (born February 16, 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 actor to portray any of the Universal Classic Monsters. Browning also co-created Flipper.
Browning directed the underwater scenes in Thunderball (1966 Academy Award winner for special visual effects), underwater scenes in Caddyshack (1980). A Florida native, Browning was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2012.
Browning started a career in water shows, moving on to produce shows. Browning worked at Wakulla Springs in the 1940s and learned to perform in underwater newsreels conceived by Newt Perry, who later took Browning along when he opened Weeki Wachee Springs. 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).
He has a son, Ricou Browning, Jr., who, like his father, was also a marine coordinator, actor, and stuntman.
- Creature from the Black Lagoon – Gill-man (in Water), 1954
- 20000 Leagues Under the Sea – Stunt Diver, 1954
- Revenge of the Creature – Gill-man (in Water), 1955
- The Creature Walks Among Us – Gill-man in Water), 1956
- Sea Hunt (TV Series) – Carlos, Ep:24 "Pressure Suit", 1958
- Flipper's New Adventure – Dr. Burton, 1964
- Flipper – Water Skier/The Monster, Ep:17 "Lifeguard", Ep:30 "Flipper's Monster", 1965
- The Horror Show (Documentary) – Archive Footage, 1979
- The Heavenly Kid – Stunts/Stunt Coordinator, 1985
- Opposing Force – Stunt Coordinator: Miami, 1986
- Behind the Scenes with Thunderball (Documentary) – Himself, 1995
- Back to the Black Lagoon: A Creature Chronicle (Documentary) – Himself, 2000
- The Witch's Dungeon: 40 Years of Chills (Documentary) – Himself, 2006
- Paws, Claws & Videotape (Documentary) – Himself, 2010
- Blob Town (Documentary) – Himself, 2010
- The Legend of Ivan Tors (Documentary) – Himself, 2011
- Flipper (1964 TV series) season 3, episodes 2 and 3 titled “Disaster in the Everglades” (1966)
- Salty (1973)
- Mr. No Legs (1978)
- Rizzo, Marian (July 18, 2013). "A Silver Springs story: Ricou Browning was the Creature". Ocala.com. Star-Banner. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
- Ricou Browning Florida Artists Hall of Fame
- "Wet and Wild: Ricou Browning Will Always Be The Creature from the Black Lagoon". People.com. April 4, 1994. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- "Marine Coordinator". Marine Coordinator. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
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