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Jim Brown, NFL star turned actor and motion hero, dies at 87

Jim Brown, the legendary Cleveland Browns fullback who also became known beyond his NFL stardom as a Hollywood action hero and civil rights advocate, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 87. His wife, Monique Brown, said Friday in a statement posted to Instagram, “To the world, he was an activist, actor

Jim Brown, NFL star turned actor and motion hero, dies at 87

Jim Brown, the legendary Cleveland Browns fullback who additionally turned identified past his NFL stardom as a Hollywood motion hero and civil rights advocate, died Thursday at his dwelling in Los Angeles. He was 87.

His spouse, Monique Brown, mentioned Friday in an announcement posted to Instagram, “To the world, he was an activist, actor, and soccer star. To our household, he was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Our hearts are damaged.”

Broadly considered one of many biggest gamers in professional soccer historical past, Brown was chosen because the NFL’s Most Beneficial Participant thrice and led the Browns to an championship in 1964.

After 9 seasons, he left the NFL to pursue appearing full-time. His most notable display screen initiatives included a flip as a navy felon in The Soiled Dozen and roles reverse Rock Hudson in Ice Station Zebra, Raquel Welch in 100 Rifles, and Pam Grier in Mars Assaults. Extra lately, Brown was one among 4 key figures represented in Regina King’s movie One Night in Miami, wherein he was portrayed by Aldis Hodge.

Brown was additionally a dedicated social activist and a barrier-breaking sports activities announcer, although his life was not with out controversy and his legacy is marred by allegations of violence against women.

Jim Brown

Jim Brown

| Credit score: Greg Doherty/Getty Photos

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Jim Brown was born Feb. 17, 1936, on St. Simons Island, Ga. He was a sports activities prodigy in highschool in New York, excelling in soccer, baseball, basketball, observe, and different sports activities.

The Cleveland Browns drafted him because the sixth general decide within the 1957 NFL draft, and he spent his whole 9 years within the league enjoying for the crew. Brown often broke speeding data and he was chosen for the Professional Bowl each season that he performed skilled soccer.

Brown made his display screen debut in 1964, showing as a buffalo soldier within the Western movie Rio Conchos. He then went on to one among his most iconic roles, as Robert Jefferson in 1966’s The Soiled Dozen. When manufacturing on the movie ran lengthy, Brown was threatened with being fined every day for lacking coaching camp. As a substitute, he selected to retire from the NFL because the league’s all-time main rusher, making the announcement from the set of The Soiled Dozen.

Brown starred within the movie reverse Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine, and extra as one among 12 convicts despatched to France within the run-up to D-Day to find and assassinate German officers. Marvin reportedly quipped of Brown, “Nicely, Brown’s a greater actor than Sir Laurence Olivier could be as a member of the Cleveland Browns.”

From there, Brown was given his first main position in 1968’s The Break up and enshrined himself as an motion hero the identical yr portraying a Marine officer in Ice Station Zebra.

Brown broke boundaries along with his participation in one of many huge display screen’s first main interracial love scenes, sharing a steamy scene with Raquel Welch in 1969’s 100 Rifles. In a significant coup, Brown was billed above each Welch and Burt Reynolds on the movie.

Different notable titles of the period included Darkish of the Solar; Slaughter; Black Gunn; El Condor; and Tick, Tick, Tick. Brown later branched out into tv, showing on sequence resembling Knight Rider, The A-Staff, and CHiPs.

His display screen profession spanned 5 many years and included movies resembling Draft Day, The Operating Man, Any Given Sunday, Three the Onerous Means, Fingers, I am Gonna Git You Sucka, and He Obtained Recreation.

Brown additionally made waves in 1974 when he posed within the nude for Playgirl and have become one of many solely celebrities to permit use of full-frontal pictures.

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He cited his funding in civil rights and need to be part of social actions within the Nineteen Sixties as additional causes for leaving the NFL. Brown organized the Nationwide Negro Industrial and Financial Union, and one among his most well-known moments got here in 1967 when he participated in a information convention to assist Muhammad Ali’s refusal to be drafted into the service. An iconic {photograph} reveals him alongside NBA legends Invoice Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and NFL greats Bobby Mitchell and Willie Davis.

“I had an ideal appreciation for Harry Belafonte and Sidney [Poitier] and Sammy Davis [Jr.] They had been all nice in their very own method,” Brown mentioned within the documentary A Soccer Life. “However I used to be a bodily actor, I used to be a hero… We would have liked that as African People.”

Brown’s different main profession pursuit was in sports activities broadcasting. He turned the primary Black televised boxing announcer in 1965 and labored as a shade commentator for the Final Combating Championship starting in 1998. For the 1978 NFL season, he labored as an analyst reviewing video games on CBS.

Brown launched a memoir, Out of Bounds, in 1989. He endured his share of authorized troubles, principally in regard to allegations and prices of assault and battery involving his romantic companions.

Brown remained dedicated to the Cleveland Browns even after his retirement. From 2008 till his dying, he served as an government advisor to the crew, constructing relationships with gamers and dealing on sponsored applications.

He additionally based the Amer-I-Can program in 1988, devoted to serving to to rehabilitate gang members and help them in taking cost of their lives.

Along with his spouse, whom he married in 1997, Brown is survived by their two youngsters.

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