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Brown, Phil

Phil Brown
Photo of Phil Brown by L. Mangue
Philip Mortimer Brown was born on April 30, 1916 to Walter Henry Brown (a doctor) and Ella Mood Brown (née Walp) in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, US.  Mr. Brown's profession as a doctor had the family moving all about the U.S.

Brown attended Attleboro High School graduating 1934.

 Brown attended Stanford University where he majored in dramatics (he was president of the Ram's Head Theatrical Society), he graduated in 1937 with a degree in drama. Shortly thereafter he found himself in New York taking part in some of his earliest stage work, having been accepted at New York's Group Theater.  When the Group Theater went under Brown and some of his fellow actors moved to Hollywood where Brown and those fellow actors helped found the Actors' Laboratory.
Brown was in the army for a year and a half (1942-1943)and his contract at MGM was lost because of his service and they decided not to pick up the contract once he was released.

 Unfortunately, Brown's association with the Actors' Laboratory caused unwanted trouble.  The House of Un-American Activities honed in on the group, blacklisting the actor in 1952 (blacklisting was a dark time in American history).  Brown felt it necessary to re-locate to London* with his family where he ably continued working on stage, TV and film as both an actor and as a director. At this time he and his wife owned two very nice houseboats on the Thames.

* Brown had traveled to London (via the Queen Mary) to star in a production of The Glass Menagerie with actress Helen Hayes in 1948, then was offered a part in Obsession (1948).  In 1949 he returned to the US to direct films and work with The Group Theater and Actors' Laboratory.

Brown returned to the US in 1992 and still continued to work as an actor.  After having a heart-attack and a stroke, he retired from acting but was still making convention appearances.

Brown lived in Hollywood with his wife, Ginny (1941 - 2006; Virginia "Ginny" Sharpe), until his death on February 9, 2006 of pneumonia. They have two sons, Jed and Kevin.

Starwoids~2001 (doc) - Himself
Battlestar Galactica - The Second Coming~1999 - Council Elder
Chaplin~1992 - Projectionist
Superman~1978 - State Senator (see Actor Connections - Film)
Silver Bears~1977 - American Banker (left) (see Actor Connections - Film)
Star Wars~1977 - Uncle Owen Lars
Pink Panther Strikes Again, The~1976 - Virginia Senator (see Actor Connections - Film)
The Romantic Englishwoman~1975 - Mr. Wilson
Scalawag (Peg Leg, Musket & Sabre)~1973 - Sandy
Ooh, You Are Awful~1972 - American Man
Valdez Is Coming~1971 - Malson
Togetherness~1970 - Everett
Tropic of Cancer~1970 - Van Norden
The Adding Machine~1969 - Don (see Actor Connections - Film)
Operation Cross Eagles~1969 - Sergeant Tunley
Land Raiders~1969 - Sheriff John Mayfield
The Boy Cried Murder~1966 - Tom Durrant

The Bedford Incident~1965 - Chief Hospitalman McKinley (see Actor Connections - Film)
The Counterfeit Traitor~1962 - Harold Murray
John Paul Jones~1959 - (uncredited) Sentry at Valley Forge (see Actor Connections - Film)
The Camp on Blood Island~1958 - Lt. Commander Peter Bellamy - USN (second photo: seated) (see Actor Connections - Film)

A King in New York~1957 - Headmaster of Queens County School

The Green Scarf~1954 - John Bell
Obsession (The Hidden Room)~1949 - Bill Kronin

If You Knew Susie~1948 - Joe Collins
The Luck of the Irish~1948 - Tom Higginbotham

Moonrise~1948 - Elmer - Soda Jerk

Johnny O'Clock~1947 - Phil - Hotel Clerk
The Killers~1946 - (uncredited) Nick Adams (right)
Without Reservations~1946 - Soldier (with Claudette Colbert)

The Jungle Captive~1945 - Don Young

State Fair~1945 - Harry Ware

Over 21~1945 - Frank McDougal
The Impatient Years~1944 - Henry Fairchild

Weird Woman~1944 - David Jennings
Hello, Annapolis~1942 - Kansas City (top left on the poster)
Pierre of the Plains~1942 - Val Denton (highlighted on lobby card)
Calling Dr. Gillespie~1942 - Roy Todwell

H.M. Pulham, Esq~1941 - Joe Bingham (right)
I Wanted Wings~1941 - Jimmy Masters (middle)

Film Dialogue
Jungle Captive,The~1945 - (dialogue director)
Hat Check Honey~1944 (dialogue director)

Film Director
Harlem Globetrotters~1951 (pictured are Dorothy Dandridge and Bill Brown)

Film Director (second unit)
The Tender Trap~1955 (uncredited)
Give Us This Day~1949 (uncredited)

Film - Dialogue Director
The Hidden Room~1949
The Jungle Captive~1945
Dead Man's Eyes~1944
Hat Check Honey~1944

Film - Technical Advisor
Oh, Men! Oh, Women!~1957
The Tender Trap~1955

Film Misc.
Native Land~1942 - (he was the "dummy" they threw from the truck and rolled down the hill in a burlap sack) (he also carried cameras and was the "dogsbody" or go-fer for the film)

Bomber Harris~1989 - Lord Beaverbrook (see Actor Connections - TV)
The Fortunate Pilgrim~1988 (mini) - Supervisor F/O
Master of the Game~1984 - Man Leading Birthday Speech for Kate Blackwell
The Rothko Conspiracy~1983 - Frank Karelsen (see Actor Connections - TV)
Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years~1981 - Lord Beaverbrook
Stranger at Jefferson High~1981 - Clyde
Dylan~1980 - Dean (see Actor Connections - TV)
Oppenheimer~1980 - Admiral Lewis Strauss (see Actor Connections - TV)

The Professionals~1980 - Callahan in Take Away (see Actor Connections - TV)

Tales of the Unexpected~1979 - F. Milton Willis in Edward the Conqueror
The Martian Chronicles~1979  mini - Mr. Black, father of Capt. Black
Maneaters Are Loose!~1978  - Kevin Pennington
The Protectors~1972 - Adam Markos in It Was All Over in Leipzig
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui~1972 - Clark
Bonanza~1970 - Wade Tucker in Night Virginia City Died, The
Journey to the Unknown~1969 - Charles Wilson in Stranger in the Family
The Troubleshooters~1966 - Harry Tobin in Operation Saigon
The Four Just Men~1960 - Albert Peterson in The Bystanders
Phil Brown as Albert Peterson (left)
Interpol Calling~1959 - Brownley in The Money Game
Dial 999~1959 - Vic Brady in Extradition
Sunday Night Theatre~1959 - Nils Dayton in The Fortrose Incident
The Hispano~1957 - Storyteller of The Hispano from Art at the Hotel Splendide
Art at the Hotel Splendide~1957 - Storyteller of Art at the Hotel Splendide
Theatre Night presents: Olive Ogilvie~1957 - Sam Grassman
White Hunter~1957 - Sherman Wick in The Inside Story
Tread Softly~1957 - Michael Nesbitt
The Scarlet Pimpernel~1956 - Rawlingson in Thanksgiving Day
Sailor of Fortune~1956 - Clayton in The Million Dollar Rose Tree
The Vise~1955 - in
    Never Let Me Die
    The Corpse in Room Thirteen
Colonel March of Scotland Yard~1955-1958 -
    Kovacs in Print of Death
    Brian Hayes in The Sorcerer
    Gordon in Present Tense
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Presents~1953 - in My Favorite Aunt
Mark Saber~1951-1953? - ?
Schlitz Playhouse~1952 - (5 episodes)

TV Director
Emergency-Ward 10~1960-1964 (17 episodes: 2 in 1960; 13 in 1963; 2 in 1964)
Ghost Squad~1963 -
     Lost in Transit
     Mr. Five Percent
Call Oxbridge 2000~1961-1962 - episodes 1.4, 1.6, 1.9, and 2.8
Probation Officer~1962 - 4.8
Deadline Midnight~1960-1961 -
Armchair Theatre~1959 - A Trick of the Sun
ITV Television Playhouse~1958 - Honour Bright
ITV Play of the Week~1958 - Montserrat
Colonel March of Scotland Yard~1954-1956 -
     Death in Inner Space
     Error at Daybreak
     At Night All Cats Are Gray
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars~1952-1958 -
     Come What May (Irene Dunne)
     So Help Me (Irene Dunne, Hayden Rorke)
     Crossroads (Amanda Blake, Cedric Hardwicke, Irene Dunne)
     ? (Edmond O'Brien)
     Early Space Conquerors (Bobby Driscoll)
     A Southern Lady (Jane Wyatt)

TV Producer
Drama 61-67~1961 - Drama '61: Love and Penguins
Theatre 70~1961 - Surrender Value

Time and the Conways~1979 - Gerald Thornton (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Rookery Nook~1979 - Harold Twine (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Balcony, The~1978 - The Judge (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Threepenny Opera~1978 - Filch/Constable (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Olde Tyme Music Hall~1977 - Chairman (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Evening of Intimate Theatre~1977 - Bro Paradock/Albert Godby (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Evening of Intimate Theatre~1976 - Reginald Harris/The Engine Driver (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Business of Good Government, The~1976 - Old Shepherd (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Evening of Intimate Thetre~1976 - The Son (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
My Wife's Family~1975 - Doc Knott (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Ghost Train~1974 - Charles Murdock (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Mixed Doubles~1974 - Peter (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Jo Jonah~1973 - Member of the Company (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Noah~1972 - A Man/Animal (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Annie Get Your Gun~1972 - Foster Wilson/Messenger/Major Domo (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Oliver!~1969 - Noah Claypole (Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, UK)
Honour Bright~1958 - (New Theatre, Hull, England, UK) Note: was televised
The Tender Trap~1955 - Joe McCall (Wilbur Theatre, Boston, MA, US; Theatre Royal, Nottingham, England, UK)
Sabrina Fair~1954 - David Larrabee (Shubert Theatre, New Haven, CT, US; New Theatre, London, England, UK)
The River Line~1952 - Philip Sturgess (Opera House, Manchester/London, England, UK)
Glass Menagerie~1948/9 - Tom Wingfield (with Helen Hayes - Haymarket Theatre, London, UK) Note: Tennessee Williams personally requested Brown as he was originally wanted to play the part of Tom.
Catalyst~1948 - (London)
Streets Are Guarded~1944 - The Marine (Henry Miller's Theatre, New York, NY, US)
Heavenly Express~1940 - Tommy (National Theatre, New York, NY, US)
Night Music~1940 - Roy (Broadhurst Theatre, New York, NY, US)
Thunder Rock~1939 - Cassidy (Mansfield Theatre, New York, NY, US)
My Heart's in the Highlands~1939 - Henry (Guild Theatre, New York, NY, US)
Everywhere I Roam~1938 - Barrel Roller/Martyr/Newsboy/dancer (National Theatre, New York, NY, US)

Teahouse of the August Moon~  -
The Caine Mutiny~ -
The Inspector General~

Stanford (a dozen leading roles and directed at the Community Playhouse):
This Side Idolatry~1937 - Shakespeare (Assembly Hall, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, US)
One Sunday Afternoon~1935 - Snappy Downer (Assembly Hall, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, US)
Yellow Jack~1935 - Dr. Lazear (Assembly Hall, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, US)
Big Game Gaities~1933 - (series of skits) (Assembly Hall, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, US):
     Don't Hand Me That Bull Durham (where he also dances)
Dark Tower~1936 -  (Assembly Hall, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, US)
Paths of Glory~1936 (set designer) (Assembly Hall, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, US)
Wind and the Rain~1936 (set designer) (Assembly Hall, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, US)

Palo Alto High School:
The Boys' League - Boys' Stunt Show~1933 (jazz orchestra leader/tap dancer) (Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto, CA, US)
The Gaeities~1930 - tap dancing (Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto, CA, US)

Theatre Director
(A Series of short plays for Schlitz Beer)
All My Sons~
Home of the Brave~

Inukshuk~1986 - Knowlton
The Waterman~1985 - Evert Everstrud (see Actor Connections - Radio)
Dylan~1980 - Dean
Night~1980 - McArthur
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm~1978 - Jeremiah Cobb (4 parts)
Seige~1977 - Reader: The Fish in the Stew Pan (4 episodes)
Waggoner's Walk~1976 - American Diner
Magic Boucicault~1976 - Reader
Reflections on a Mountain Summer~1976 - Reader
Somebody's Telling the Truth~1976 - Sanderson (12-part series)
A Piercing Virtue~1975 - Reader
Trip to My Sister Ruth~1974 - Major Gort
Saturday Night Theatre~1974 - Robinson Holroyd in The Way We Die Now
The Noble Experiment~1974 - voice/reader
Hear No Evil, See No Evil~1974 - Himself (speaking about the blacklist in Hollywood)
Miss Addie Was a Widow~1974 - Reader
Mr. Melville's Day in Stratford~1968 - Reader/Actor/Performer
The Kidders~1958 - Steve Bucknell
Day of Wrath~1956 - Tom Quincey
Potash and Perlmutter~1955 - Boris Andreiff
The Bait~1955 - Alan Gilbert
The Great Gatsby~1955 - Nick Carraway
Ethan Frome~1955 - Ethan Frome
Waxing Sentimental~1953 - Presenter - Gramophone Records

1975 - Reports in several publications said that Phil Brown had died.

A member of the Theatre Arts Committee which put together a political cabaret (Caberet Tac) which raised money to buy ambulances (because they weren't allowed to send arms) to send to Spain.

Ingo Preminger (Otto Preminger's brother) was Brown's agent after the blacklisting. Ingo died the same year as Brown.

1941-1951 - member of the Actors' Laboratory.

Stanford - Beta Theta Pi fraternity; Men's Honorary Dramatic Organization

His wife, Ginny Brown, wrote Swans at My Window, a book about their experiences on their houseboats.

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