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For other people named Clarence Brown, see Clarence Brown (disambiguation).
Clarence Brown
Clarence Brown signed photo.jpg
Signed Photo
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]

Brown (1921)

Born in Clinton, Massachusetts, to a cotton manufacturer, Brown moved to Tennessee when he was 11 years old. 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]


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 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.

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.[citation needed]

Selected filmography[edit]

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)
  • Estrin, Allen. "The Hollywood Professionals, Vol. 6: Frank Capra, George Cukor, Clarence Brown" , AS Barnes (1980)
  • Bastarache, A.J. An Extraordinary Town, How one of America's smallest towns shaped the world - A Historical Marketing Book by A. J. Bastarache.
  • Young, Gwenda. 'Clarence Brown: From Knoxville to Hollywood and Back'. Journal of East Tennessee History', pp. 53-73 (2002)
  • Young, Gwenda. "Star Maker: The Career of Clarence Brown", bfi.org.uk (April 2003)
  • Neely, Jack. "Clarence Brown: The Forgotten Director", Metro Pulse (March 2008)

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Brown — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

4582 news items

Knoxville News Sentinel

Knoxville News Sentinel
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 13:22:30 -0800

"It is impossible to underestimate the value to training theater students in producing anything by William Shakespeare. The Clarence Brown's production of this rarely seen play will stretch our students' range of expression and their facility with ...

The Knoxville Mercury

The Knoxville Mercury
Tue, 19 Jan 2016 17:47:51 -0800

As example, on the University of Tennessee campus, two vastly different expressions of Christmastime currently exist within feet of each other—a stage adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol at the Clarence Brown Theatre and David Sedaris' The ...


Tue, 12 Jan 2016 03:37:30 -0800

Clarence Brown and Tony Kimble shared weekly honors, both going 179 pins over average. Brown bowled games of 279, 246 and 257 for his first 700 series. His 782 series was 179 pins over his 201 average in the Stardust Old School League. Kimble ...


Wed, 20 Jan 2016 00:03:45 -0800

Nearly three years after David Byrd arrived in Knoxville as the new Managing Director of Clarence Brown Theatre, Greater Knoxville Business Journal named Byrd one of Knoxville's rising stars. Early in January, the publication released a list of ...
Butler Eagle (subscription)
Fri, 15 Jan 2016 12:03:45 -0800

When the Butler School District consolidated school buildings last year and opened its own alternative education and emotional support school at Center Avenue, Clarence Brown lost roughly half of its 40-some students, Killmeyer said. The property sale ...
Butler Eagle (subscription)
Mon, 11 Jan 2016 06:15:00 -0800

The fate of the Clarence Brown Education Center will be known this week as four school boards vote on a recommendation to close the school. The school, founded almost 35 years ago, provides alternative and emotional support for special needs students.
Butler Eagle (subscription)
Wed, 03 Feb 2016 12:03:45 -0800

BUTLER TWP — Parents of students at the Clarence Brown Educational Center voiced concerns about future educational options at a hearing Tuesday evening on the school's closure. The parents spoke to the school's joint-operating committee made up of ...

Times-Mail (subscription)

Times-Mail (subscription)
Sun, 17 Jan 2016 20:29:49 -0800

Times-Mail / GARET COBB BEDFORD — Clarence Brown, (standing), shakes hands with former Bedford Boys Club Director Robert Sullivan after relating an anecdote about Sullivan's tenure there during the MLK Celebration Sunday. TMA1 photo 3 mlk ...

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