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Brubaker was born in Robinson, Illinois, on October 9, 1916, the son of George Brubaker. His interest in acting developed when he was a student at Robinson Township High School. He dropped out of Northwestern University after two years and went to New York.
Brubaker debuted as a professional actor in Oh Say Can You Sing, Dance or Act (1936), a production of the Federal Theatre Project. While he worked at radio station KMPC, Brubaker caught the attention of an executive of Paramount Pictures, and his film debut came in a bit part in Blonde Alibi (1946).
Brubaker portrayed a deputy in the syndicated television series U.S. Marshal. He was the only actor to have two recurring roles on the television series, Gunsmoke, portraying both a bartender named Floyd and a stagecoach driver named Jim Buck. Some of Brubaker's other credits included the Rock Hudson film, Seconds, and television crime drama The Walter Winchell File , Perry Mason and the television police drama The Asphalt Jungle.[
After he left acting, Brubaker worked for Forest Lawn Cemetery as a director in the training department. When he retired from that job, he moved to Lake Elsinore, California.
Brubaker died on April 15, 2010, at the age of 93. He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
- Blonde Alibi (1946) – Pedestrian (uncredited)
- The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955) – Major H.H. Arnold
- Pardners (1956) – Businessman (uncredited)
- The Girl He Left Behind (1956) – Colonel Thomas Murphy (uncredited)
- Written on the Wind (1956) – Hotel Manager (uncredited)
- The Book of Acts Series (1957) – Simon Peter
- The Walter Winchell File – "Act of Folly" – (1957) – Beckman
- Battle Hymn (1957) – Briefing Officer (uncredited)
- Mister Cory (1957) – Card Player (uncredited)
- Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) – Jack Conway, Director of 'Unholy Three' (uncredited)
- My Man Godfrey (1957) – Man with Monkey
- The Female Animal (1958) – Bartender (uncredited)
- The Gift of Love (1958) – State Trooper (uncredited)
- Official Detective – "Tinseled Alibi" – (1958) – Snyder
- The Walter Winchell File – "Portrait of A Cop" (1958) – Janis
- The Heart Is a Rebel (1958) – Dr. Chambers
- The Walking Target (1960) – Brenner (uncredited)
- Moon Pilot (1962) – Space Flight Technician (uncredited)
- Seven Days in May (1964) – Gen. Diefenbach (uncredited)
- Apache Rifles (1964) – Sgt. Cobb
- Mirage (1965) – Bar Patron (uncredited)
- 40 Guns to Apache Pass (1966) – Sergeant Walker
- Seconds (1966) – Mayberry
- Airport (1970) – Dr. Nash (uncredited)
- The Brotherhood of the Bell (1970) – Bell Operative (uncredited)
- The Bus Is Coming (1971) – Chief Jackson
- The Sting (1973) – Bill Clayton from Pittsburgh (uncredited)
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