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For other people named Clarence Brown, see Clarence Brown (disambiguation).
Clarence Brown
Clarence Brown 1921.jpg
Born Clarence Leon Brown
(1890-05-10)May 10, 1890
Clinton, Massachusetts
Died August 17, 1987(1987-08-17) (aged 97)
Santa Monica, California
Spouse(s) Paul Herndon Pratt (1 daughter)
Ona Wilson (1922–1927; divorce)
Mona Maris
Alice Joyce (1933–1945; divorce)
Marian Spies (1946–1987; his death)

Clarence Leon Brown (May 10, 1890 – August 17, 1987) was an American film director.

Early life[edit]

Born in Clinton, Massachusetts, to a cotton manufacturer, Brown moved to the South when he was 11. He attended Knoxville High School[1] and the University of Tennessee, both in Knoxville, Tennessee, graduating from the university at the age of 19 with two degrees in engineering. An early fascination in automobiles led Brown to a job with the Stevens-Duryea Company, then to his own Brown Motor Car Company in Alabama. He later abandoned the car dealership after developing an interest in motion pictures around 1913. He was hired by the Peerless Studio at Fort Lee, New Jersey, and became an assistant to the French-born director Maurice Tourneur.


After serving in World War I, Brown was given his first co-directing credit (with Tourneur) for The Great Redeemer (1920). Later that year, he directed a major portion of The Last of the Mohicans after Tourneur was injured in a fall.

Brown moved to Universal in 1924, and then to MGM, where he stayed until the mid-1950s. At MGM he was one of the main directors of their female stars–he directed Joan Crawford six times and Greta Garbo seven.

He not only made the difficult transition from silent cinema to sound cinema, but thrived there, proving himself to be an "actor's director": listening to his actors, respecting their instincts, and often incorporating their suggestions into scenes. In doing so, Brown created believable, under-played, naturalistic dialogue scenes stripped of melodrama, pulsing with the honest rhythms of real-life conversation. He was nominated five times (see below) for the Academy Award as a director, and once as a producer, but never received an Oscar. However, he did win Best Foreign Film for Anna Karenina starring Garbo at the 1935 Venice International Film Festival.

Brown's films gained a total of 38 Academy Award nominations and earned nine Oscars. Brown himself received six Academy Award nominations and in 1949 won the British Academy Award for the film version of William Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust.

In 1957, Brown was awarded The George Eastman Award, given by George Eastman House for distinguished contribution to the art of film.

Brown retired a wealthy man due to his real estate investments, but refused to watch new movies, as he feared they might cause him to restart his career. In the 1970s, Brown became a much-sought guest lecturer on the film-festival circuit, thanks in part to his connection with Garbo.

The Clarence Brown Theater, on the campus of the University of Tennessee, is named in his honor. He is tied with Robert Altman and Alfred Hitchcock for the most Academy Award nominations for best director without a single win.

Brown died from kidney failure on August 17, 1987, at the age of 97.


NOTE: In 1929/1930, Brown received one Academy Award nomination for two films. According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, "As allowed by the award rules for this year, a single nomination could honor work in one or more films."


  • Brownlow, Kevin. "Clarence Brown" in The Parade's Gone By New York: Knopf, 1968
  • "The Hollywood Professionals, Vol. 6: Frank Capra, George Cukor, Clarence Brown" by Allen Estrin, AS Barnes, 1980
  • An Extraordinary Town, How one of America's smallest towns shaped the world - A Historical Marketing Book by A. J. Bastarache. Featuring a comprehensive section on Clarence Brown.
  • Young, Gwenda. 'Clarence Brown: From Knoxville to Hollywood and Back'. Journal of East Tennessee History', 2002. 73 :53-73

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Brown — Please support Wikipedia.
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175311 videos foundNext > 

Canned Heat - Clarence Gatemouth Brown - Live at Montreux

Canned Heat & Clarence Gatemouth Brown - Live At Montreux 1973.


Live from New Orleans 1984 This contains two songs. The first is "Pressure Cooker" where Gatemouth shows us how easy guitar playing is for him and the ...

A Master Class with Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Part 1: Concert

In this clip from www.artistshousemusic.org - Legendary blues guitarist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown visits Loyola University, New Orleans to play a concert ...

Okie Dokie Stomp - Clarence Gatemouth Brown (Live 1966)

From "The Beat" TV Show, recorded in 1966... Enjoy !!!

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown - I've Got My Mojo Working (From "Blues at Montreux 2004")

July 12, 2004 was a very special night at the Montreux Festival for any blues fan. With Carlos Santana as musical director (and special guest guitarist), three ...

Clarence Gatemouth Brown's Vintage Texas Blues & Boogie

Clarence Gatemouth Brown's Vintage Texas Blues & Boogie http://bit.ly/1dWbRo1 http://amzn.to/Jak9yF 00:00 - Gatemouth Brown Boogie 02:31 - I Live My Life ...

Clarence Brown - Aint That Just Like A Woman

Album: Just Got Lucky For more blues and Clrence Brown check my account.

Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown-The Blues Ain't Nothing (1972)

1. Sad Sad Hour 3:51 2. You Got Money 5:46 3. My Time Is Expensive 4:31 4. Slow Down 4:55 5. Taking My Chance 6:18 6. Just Got Lucky 3:53 7. Deep Deep ...

Carlos Santana Presents Blues At Montreux Clarence Gatemouth Brown 2004

Clarence Gatemouth Brown and his fiddle

Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown, the colored cowboy, doing his fiddlin' tricks. What a show-man! Orange Blossom Special, and more Live ca 1990, Texas.

175311 videos foundNext > 

997 news items

Knoxville News Sentinel

Knoxville News Sentinel
Sat, 10 Oct 2015 07:29:51 -0700

Patrons of the Clarence Brown Theatre (CBT) had much to celebrate as they opened the 2015 season with a reception at Historic Westwood. Attendees to the event were greeted by CBT Managing Director David Byrd and invited to tour the home while ...


Thu, 01 Oct 2015 07:44:14 -0700

"Of Mice and Men" is playing at the Clarence Brown Theatre from Sept. 30 to Oct. 18. Rules of Conduct. 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another ...

Tennessee Journalist

Tennessee Journalist
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 11:33:45 -0700

Patrick Barlow's award-winning play adaptation of John Buchan's novel and Alfred Hitchcock's film "The 39 Steps" was brought to life on Friday, Sept. 11 on the Clarence Brown main stage. The play, directed by Kate Buckley, follows the original story of ...

Knoxville News Sentinel

Knoxville News Sentinel
Fri, 25 Sep 2015 14:11:15 -0700

Knoxville - Both of the first two plays in the Clarence Brown Theatre's 2015-16 season are set in the 1930s but their stories show audiences two very different worlds. The season-opening "The 39 Steps" was a funny farce wrapped in a high-class British ...
Tue, 29 Sep 2015 00:12:25 -0700

Starting Sept. 30, the Clarence Brown Carousel Theatre will be in action once again with its production of the stage adaptation of John Steinbeck's classic, “Of Mice and Men.” “Of Mice and Men” is the Great Depression era tale of two migrant farm ...

Knoxville News Sentinel

Knoxville News Sentinel
Mon, 12 Oct 2015 02:56:15 -0700

Shows are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 and 3 p.m. Oct. 18 at the University of Tennessee's Clarence Brown Theatre. Young dancers perform 12 pieces created by seven choreographers during the show. Tickets are $16 for adults and $12 for senior citizens, students or ...

Slate Magazine

Slate Magazine
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:56:15 -0700

In 1926, director Clarence Brown wanted to cast Garbo opposite Gilbert in a romantic tragedy called Flesh and the Devil. It's been reported that Greta and Jack, as all knew him, fell in love at first sight, that visible spark flew between them the ...

Princeton University

Princeton University
Fri, 24 Jul 2015 07:48:45 -0700

"Clarence Brown is recognized throughout the world as a pioneer in the study of Mandelstam," said Michael Wachtel, chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. "In the dark Cold-War years, Clarence spent a year in the Soviet Union.

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