Mende Brown, longtime writer, producer and director for radio, TV and film, died Feb. 2 of a heart attack in La Quinta, Calif. He was 81.
He began producing and directing radio shows in New York at age 18. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army, where he helped build radio stations throughout Europe and the Middle East. After the war, he returned to New York and served as the program director of radio station WOR.
There he produced three films shot on location in NYC and half-hour NBC TV show “The Inner Sanctum.” In the early 1950s, he began a three-year building project for a film production house in Chelsea, N.Y., and managed the studio there for many years.
In 1968 he wrote, produced and directed the children’s musical “The Clown and the Kids,” produced on location behind the Iron Curtain in Bulgaria, a rare feat in those days. He also cast top circus clown, Emmit Kelly for the lead character. He produced and directed “Strange Holiday,” in 1969.
In 1970, Brown and his family moved to Sydney, Australia, where he wrote, produced and directed “Little Jungle Boy.”
Mende moved into television in 1973 when he wrote, produced and directed the Australian series “The Evil Touch” as well as feature pic “And Millions Will Die,” starring Leslie Nielsen.
His final film was “On the Run,” starring Rod Taylor, which he produced and directed in 1983 in Sydney.
In 1991 he returned to the United States and moved his family to Malibu.
Lifetime member of the Directors Guild of America (initially through the Radio Directors Guild) is survived by wife Segrid, two sons, two daughters and two grandsons.