You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Actor Graham Brown dies at 87

Appeared onstage, on TV, in films

Actor Graham Brown, who performed with Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater (of which he was a founding member), the New York Shakespeare Festival, London’s newly reconstructed Globe Theater and most notably the Negro Ensemble Company, died of pulmonary failure on Tuesday, Dec. 13, to at the Lillian Booth Actors’ Fund Nursing Home in Englewood, N.J. He was 87 and had been a resident of the Booth since 2009.

Onstage, one of Brown’s most memorable roles was Jared Philibert, the patriarch of a Caribbean family encased entirely in an iron lung, with only his head visible, in Steve Carter’s play “Nevis Mountain Dew.” He originated the role at the NEC and reprised it in the West Coast premiere, receiving a Los Angeles Critics’ Circle Award for best actor.

On television he played a judge and a minister on “Law and Order,” recurred on “Days of Our Lives” and played a school principal on “Sanford and Son.” He also guested on “Ironside,” “Lou Grant” and “Cagney and Lacey.”

Brown’s bigscreen credits included Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” and “Clockers” as well as “The Muppets Take Manhattan,” in which he played Mr. Wrightson, the irritable department store manager.

His distinctive voice could be heard in many voiceovers and commercials.

Robert E. Brown was born in New York City and was a boxer for a time.

He is survived by a daughter, a grandson and a sister.

More Scene

  • NMHC Impact Awards

    Aubrey Plaza, NHMC President Call Out Under-Representation of Latinos at Impact Awards

    Actor Graham Brown, who performed with Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater (of which he was a founding member), the New York Shakespeare Festival, London’s newly reconstructed Globe Theater and most notably the Negro Ensemble Company, died of pulmonary failure on Tuesday, Dec. 13, to at the Lillian Booth Actors’ Fund Nursing Home in Englewood, N.J. He was […]

  • 'Seven Seconds' TV show premiere

    Regina King Talks Heaviness of Role in 'Seven Seconds'

    Actor Graham Brown, who performed with Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater (of which he was a founding member), the New York Shakespeare Festival, London’s newly reconstructed Globe Theater and most notably the Negro Ensemble Company, died of pulmonary failure on Tuesday, Dec. 13, to at the Lillian Booth Actors’ Fund Nursing Home in Englewood, N.J. He was […]

  • UnReal Athena Film Festival

    How Trump Beating Clinton Impacted the Gender Politics of 'UnReal' Season 3

    Actor Graham Brown, who performed with Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater (of which he was a founding member), the New York Shakespeare Festival, London’s newly reconstructed Globe Theater and most notably the Negro Ensemble Company, died of pulmonary failure on Tuesday, Dec. 13, to at the Lillian Booth Actors’ Fund Nursing Home in Englewood, N.J. He was […]

  • 'Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and

    'Unsolved' Stars Point Out Racial Injustice in Biggie and Tupac Murder Cases

    Actor Graham Brown, who performed with Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater (of which he was a founding member), the New York Shakespeare Festival, London’s newly reconstructed Globe Theater and most notably the Negro Ensemble Company, died of pulmonary failure on Tuesday, Dec. 13, to at the Lillian Booth Actors’ Fund Nursing Home in Englewood, N.J. He was […]

  • Taura Stinson, Common, and Diane WarrenVariety

    Common, Pasek and Paul, Diane Warren Reveal Inspiration Behind Oscar-Nominated Songs

    Actor Graham Brown, who performed with Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater (of which he was a founding member), the New York Shakespeare Festival, London’s newly reconstructed Globe Theater and most notably the Negro Ensemble Company, died of pulmonary failure on Tuesday, Dec. 13, to at the Lillian Booth Actors’ Fund Nursing Home in Englewood, N.J. He was […]

  • 'Game Night' film premiere

    'Game Night': Director, Writer Talk 'Straddling Genres' and the Influence of 'Get Out'

    Actor Graham Brown, who performed with Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater (of which he was a founding member), the New York Shakespeare Festival, London’s newly reconstructed Globe Theater and most notably the Negro Ensemble Company, died of pulmonary failure on Tuesday, Dec. 13, to at the Lillian Booth Actors’ Fund Nursing Home in Englewood, N.J. He was […]

  • Esquire 'Mavericks of Hollywood' party

    Terry Crews on His Sexual Assault Lawsuit: 'If I Don’t Get Justice, Nobody Can'

    Actor Graham Brown, who performed with Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater (of which he was a founding member), the New York Shakespeare Festival, London’s newly reconstructed Globe Theater and most notably the Negro Ensemble Company, died of pulmonary failure on Tuesday, Dec. 13, to at the Lillian Booth Actors’ Fund Nursing Home in Englewood, N.J. He was […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content