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For other people named Clarence Brown, see Clarence Brown (disambiguation).
Clarence Brown
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
Mona Maris
Alice Joyce
Marian Spies

Clarence 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.


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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238440 videos foundNext > 

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

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


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

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141 news items

Knoxville daily sun

Crossville Chronicle
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:07:30 -0700

The Clarence Brown Theatre will hold three Deaf Night at the Theatre performances during the 2014-2015 Season. The performances include: The Miracle Worker Oct. 14, A Christmas Carol Dec. 9 and A Midsummer Night's Dream March 3.
Broadway World
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:37:30 -0700

Do you have a favorite photo of you and your Grandmother? Or, are you a Grandmother and have a favorite photo of you and your Grandson? To celebrate the message in the Clarence Brown Theatre's production of "4000 Miles," patrons are encouraged to ...

Tennessee Today

Tennessee Today
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 10:26:15 -0700

Rachel Finney, left, as Helen Keller, and Angela Church (right), Clarence Brown Theatre's production of The Miracle Worker, which begins today and runs through October 19, stars an actress who is drawing on her own life experiences to play Helen Keller.

Knoxville News Sentinel

Knoxville News Sentinel
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:07:30 -0700

16, Clarence Brown Theatre, Carousel Theatre, 1115 Volunteer Blvd. Cost: $15-$22. Info: 865-974-5161 or www.clarencebrowntheatre.com. "A Nice Family Gathering": Halloween/Thanksgiving comedy, 7 p.m. Thursday-Friday; and 2 and 7, Saturday, Nov.
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 00:00:02 -0700

Clarence Brown Theatre's newest production, "4000 Miles," opens this Friday, telling the story of the formation of an unlikely friendship between a grandmother and grandson. The modern setting and unconventional characters, however, put this otherwise ...

Knoxville News Sentinel

Knoxville News Sentinel
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:04:55 -0700

1 at the University of Tennessee's Clarence Brown Theatre. Seven choreographers have created 12 works for the show. Advance tickets are $18 for adults, $12 for students or senior citizens at www.gocontemporarydance.com or 865-539-2475. Tickets at the ...
Columbia County News Times
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 07:37:30 -0700

8, Beulah Grove Baptist Church; Dr. W.J. Hillson, Dr. Clarence Brown, Kerry Elders, Linda Singletary, Reuben Wanjala, the Rev. Ray Adams, Willie Williams Sr. and Dr. Paul Kelly, speakers; information on Augusta Warrior Project, Wounded Warriors, Navy ...
Crossville Chronicle
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:30:00 -0700

With a dual mission to train the next generation of theatre artists and to provide top quality professional theatre, like that of a teaching hospital, the Clarence Brown Theatre at the University of Tennessee Knoxville is one of only 12 academic LORT ...

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