×
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

  • Jordan Peele'Us' film premiere, Arrivals, New

    Jordan Peele Explains the Meaning Behind the 'Us' Michael Jackson Reference

    Jordan Peele’s horror movie “Us” is filled with pop culture references, from “Jaws” to “Goonies.” But the most divisive might be right in his opening sequence. Warning, minor spoilers ahead. The movie about a couple (played by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) and their children being hunted and brutalized by a mysterious family that looks just [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

  • Nick Offerman Amy Poehler

    'Parks and Recreation' Cast Talks Possibility of a Revival at 10th Anniversary Reunion

    For one night, Hollywood felt a little like Pawnee. The cast of NBC’s hit comedy “Parks and Recreation” reunited at PaleyFest on Thursday in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. The whole Pawnee gang showed up: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Retta, and Jim [...]

  • Andy CohenThe Shops and Restaurants at

    Andy Cohen to Receive Vito Russo Award at GLAAD Media Awards

    Mazel, Andy Cohen! Bravo’s late-night talk show host is set to receive the Vito Russo Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 4 in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker will present him with the award, which is named in honor of GLAAD founder Vito Russo. The annual award goes to openly [...]

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

  • David Furnish, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron

    'Rocketman': Paramount Previews Footage of Elton John Biopic

    “Rocketman” is ready for lift off. Paramount Pictures threw a cocktail party Monday night to preview 15 minutes of the upcoming Elton John biopic, set for release on May 31, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the legendary rock club where John made his U.S. debut nearly 50 years ago. The footage featured pieces of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content