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Roscoe Lee Browne

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Information about Roscoe Lee Browne

Profile image of Roscoe Lee Browne

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Stage Actor
Film Actor
Television Actor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Emerald Green
Favorite Food:
Chicken (Pot Pie), Pudding (Corn)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New York, New York
Favorite Quote:
Carpe Diem.

Birthplace

Born:
5/2/1922
Birth Location:
Woodbury, New Jersey

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Stage Actor
Film Actor
Television Actor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Emerald Green
Favorite Food:
Chicken (Pot Pie), Pudding (Corn)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New York, New York
Favorite Quote:
Carpe Diem.

Birthplace

Born:
5/2/1922
Birth Location:
Woodbury
See how Roscoe Lee Browne is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Tony and Emmy award winning theatre, film and television actor Roscoe Lee Browne was born on May 2, 1922 in Woodbury, New Jersey. He attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania until 1942, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II. After the war, he graduated from Lincoln in 1946. During this time, he studied French through Middlebury College's summer language program. He received his master's degree from Columbia University, then taught briefly at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Browne also found success as an athlete, winning two American indoor championships and setting records in the 800 meters, and winning the 1951 world championship. After a knee injury hampered his athletic career, Browne worked as the national sales representative for Schenley Import Corporation.

He began his acting career with a small role in a 1956 New York Shakespeare Festival production of 'Julius Caesar.' Soon thereafter, Browne became an understudy for Ossie Davis’ performance in 'Purlie Victorious.' Although Browne played the character of Archibald in 'The Blacks,' a play that launched numerous other African American stars, Browne’s career did not take off until his 1963 performance in the off-Broadway play 'Benito Cereno.' He would reprise this role again in both 1965 and 1976. In 1966, Browne performed his own poetry while directing 'An Evening of Negro Poetry and Folk Music.' Browne continued to work actively in theater throughout much of his career, performing August Wilson’s 'Joe Turner's Come and Gone' in 1989 and giving a Tony Award-winning performance in the August Wilson play 'Two Trains Running' in 1992.

Browne also worked in a variety of films, whether as a character actor (in 'Superfly' and 'Uptown Saturday Night') or as a voiceover performer (as the narrator of 'Babe' and 'Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties'). His television career was prolific and diverse. He received an Emmy award for his recurring role as Dr. Foster on 'The Cosby Show,' a nomination for 'Barney Miller,' and achieved critical acclaim for his work on 'All in the Family' and 'Soap.' His list of television credits included performances in 'Law and Order,' 'E.R.,' 'Will and Grace' and 'New York Undercover.' He also did voiceover work for numerous cartoons, including animated versions of 'Batman' and 'Spiderman.' In addition to his work as a performer, Roscoe Lee Browne wrote short stories, plays, worked as a musical director and was a gifted poet.

Browne passed away on April 11, 2007 at age 81.

See how Roscoe Lee Browne is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Roscoe Lee Browne's interview, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Roscoe Lee Browne lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Slating of Roscoe Lee Browne's interview, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes his mother's ancestry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Roscoe Lee Browne lists his father's siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Roscoe Lee Browne talks about the spelling of his last name, Browne
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Roscoe Lee Browne recounts how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls reading his father's letters to his mother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes his father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes his father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes his brother, Sylvanus Browne, Jr.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes his father's ministry
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers meeting Marian Anderson
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes his upbringing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls his introduction to Lincoln University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls working at Lincoln University's Vail Memorial Library, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls working at Lincoln University's Vail Memorial Library, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls his time at Woodbury Junior-Senior High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls trying out for his high school's mile relay team
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes his activities at Lincoln University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls traveling south as a college student, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls traveling south as a college student, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls a leadership conference at Lincoln University, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls a leadership conference at Lincoln University, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers enlisting in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls recruiting runners while serving in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls serving in the Intelligence and Reconnaissance platoon, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls serving in the Intelligence and Reconnaissance platoon, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls the death of his best friend in World War II
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Roscoe Lee Browne talks about Harrison Dillard
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes his return to Lincoln University after World War II
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Roscoe Lee Browne talks about Kwame Nkrumah
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls his track participation in New York City
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls moving to New York City
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls meeting Charles "Honi" Coles and Dinah Washington in Harlem
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Roscoe Lee Browne talks about Roscoe C. Brown
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls trying out for the Olympics in 1948, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls trying out for the Olympics in 1948, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers setting track records in Europe
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers injuring his knee
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers his brother's meniscus surgery
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls working for Schenley Import Corporation, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls working for Schenley Import Corporation, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers meeting Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers how his transition to acting began
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls his friends' reactions to his ambition to act
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes his transition to acting
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers acting in the New York Shakespeare Festival
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers leaving Schenley Import Corporation, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes his early theater career, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls acting in 'The Blacks' and 'Benito Cereno'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls controversy about 'The Blacks'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls acting in 'Dream on Monkey Mountain' with the Negro Ensemble Company
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers revealing his acting ambition, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers revealing his acting ambition, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls auditioning for the New York Shakespeare Festival
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls being cast in 'Julius Caesar,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls being cast in 'Julius Caesar,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers leaving Schenley Import Corporation, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes his early theater career
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls acting in 'Taming of the Shrew' and 'Romeo and Juliet'
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls being cast as Aaron the Moor in 'Titus Andronicus'
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes acting in 'Titus Andronicus'
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers his early theater reviews
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls George Plimpton and understudying for William Marshall
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes his formal acting training
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers Stella Adler and Mark Rydell
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls performing in 'Bohikee Creek,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls performing in 'Bohikee Creek,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls meeting Stella Adler after writing 'Song'
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls being elected to The Actors Studio
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls developing his theater network at The Actors Studio
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers acting in 'Benito Cereno'
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls auditioning for 'The Blacks: A Clown Show'
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls deciding to act in 'The Blacks'
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls obtaining an Actors' Equity Association membership, pt. 1
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls obtaining an Actors' Equity Association membership, pt. 2
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls acting in 'The Blacks' and 'Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright'
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers Sarah Cunningham and John Randolph
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls 'The Blacks' touring company, pt. 1
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls 'The Blacks' touring company, pt. 2
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls acting in 'General Seeger'
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls acting in 'Dark of the Moon' and 'The Cool World,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Roscoe Lee Browne recalls acting in 'Dark of the Moon' and 'The Cool World,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers acting in a play by Maria Irene Fornes
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers acting in 'The Ballad of the Sad Cafe'
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes 'An Evening of Negro Poetry and Folk Music,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Roscoe Lee Browne describes 'An Evening of Negro Poetry and Folk Music,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers going to Los Angeles, California, pt. 1
  • Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers going to Los Angeles, California, pt. 2
  • Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Roscoe Lee Browne remembers his transition to Hollywood