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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.

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
  • "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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167384 videos foundNext > 

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 ...

Clarence Brown - Aint That Just Like A Woman

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

Sparring Session: Ryan Hollis vs. Clarence Brown (Rounds 1-2)

http://TXMMA.com - This video was filmed by Mike Calimbas for TXMMA.com. For more, please visit us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TXMMA.

Okie Dokie Stomp - Clarence Gatemouth Brown (Live 1966)

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

Clarence Gatemouth Brown - Pressure Cooker (New Orleans 1984) [official HQ video]

For more blues and jazz: http://bit.ly/Storyvillerecords Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and band letting it rip in New Orleans in 1984.


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 ...

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 ...

Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown - Deep deep water

Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown Deep deep water.

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.

A Christmas Carol 2014 at The Clarence Brown Theatre!

Micah-Shane Brewer directs this year's A Christmas Carol!

167384 videos foundNext > 

1109 news items

Knoxville News Sentinel

Knoxville News Sentinel
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 15:03:45 -0800

The naughty and the nice of Christmas play out at the Clarence Brown Theatre this season in two very different holiday productions. The University of Tennessee theater again produces "A Christmas Carol." The holiday classic set in Victorian England ...
Tennessee Today
Thu, 19 Nov 2015 09:48:45 -0800

Ebenezer Scrooge and the memorable ghosts return in the Clarence Brown Theatre's long-running and most popular production. A magical tradition for the whole family, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol runs November 25 through December 20 on the ...

Tennessee Journalist

Tennessee Journalist
Mon, 09 Nov 2015 15:03:45 -0800

This unusual world is the one presented in "Mr. Burns: a Post-Electric Play" at the Clarence Brown Lab Theatre. The idea for the play, written by Anne Washburn, actually came from locking a theater troupe inside a bank vault and asking them to discuss ...

Maryville Daily Times

Maryville Daily Times
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:52:30 -0800

The cult holiday classic “The Santaland Diaries,” adapted by Joe Mantello from the essay by humorist and bestselling author David Sedaris, will be staged in the Clarence Brown Theatre's Carousel Theatre on the University of Tennessee campus starting ...

Knoxville News Sentinel

Knoxville News Sentinel
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 12:03:45 -0800

6 & Dec. 13 at Clarence Brown Theatre, University of Tennessee. Tickets are $22 Nov. 25 preview, $42 Nov. 27 opening night, $26 Wednesdays or Thursdays, $32 Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays for adults; $18 preview, $32 opening night, $22 Wednesdays or ...
The Daily Times
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 21:14:40 -0800

The American Literature class recently got to go see the production “Of Mice and Men” at the Clarence Brown Theatre as part of their studies of Steinbeck. The American History class also attended a Civil War re-enactment at the Stones River National ...

WBAL Baltimore

WBAL Baltimore
Fri, 13 Nov 2015 18:03:04 -0800

Police said Michael Clarence Brown, 38, was last seen at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the 2600 block of Woodland Avenue. Brown, who has autism, is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 240 pounds. He was last seen wearing a Ravens hat, black jacket, blue jeans and ...
Wed, 28 Oct 2015 23:56:15 -0700

This forces the audience to feel the emptiness of the apocalypse along with the characters, which isn't a challenge in the intimate space of The Clarence Brown Lab Theatre where the audience is just feet away from the stage. The physical action was ...

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