Sat. Jun 8th, 2024

Jim Brown Dies: NFL Legend, Civil Rights Activist And Actor In ‘The Dirty Dozen’ & More Was 87

Jim Brown, the NFL Hall of Famer and Civil Rights activist who turned to acting and appeared in films and TV shows ranging from The Dirty Dozen and I Spy to Draft Day, Mars Attacks! and The A-Team, died Thursday night in Los Angeles. His wife, Monique Brown, said in an Instagram post that he died peacefully, but she did not provide a cause.

Jim Brown’s Life In Hollywood, The NFL and Politics Saluted In Online Reactions

Brown is considered among the greatest football players of all time. Drafted sixth overall in 1957 by the Cleveland Browns out of Syracuse University, his bruising running style redefined the running back position. As a rookie, he ran for 237 yards in a game against the Los Angeles Rams — a record that would stand until the 1970s.

Among his myriad NFL records and milestones, he was the first to top 100 career rushing touchdowns and set single-season and career rushing marks — all amid 12- or 14-game seasons. A three-time MVP, he also was Rookie of the Year, an eight-time All-Pro and eight-time rushing leader, retiring with a slew of records. His Browns won the NFL championship in 1964, three years before the first Super Bowl.

The team, with which he spent his entire nine-year NFL career, tweeted a tribute this morning:

Brown still was playing football when he made his big-screen debut in the 1964 Richard Boone-led western Rio Conchos. After his NFL retirement, he appeared in an episode of the Bill Cosby-Robert Culp action series I Spy in 1967, and he had a key role that same in the star-packed World War II action-adventure pic The Dirty Dozen.

From left: Jim Brown, Charles Bronson and George Kennedy in 1967’s ‘The Dirty Dozen.’Everett Collection

Directed by Robert Aldrich, it followed the story of a rebellious U.S. Army Major (Lee Marvin) who is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers. Its ensemble cast also includes Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, John Cassavetes, George Kennedy, Telly Savalas, Trini Lopez and Donald Sutherland.

That role – in which he died heroically after wiping out numerous Nazis — was followed by, among others, Ice Station Zebra in 1968. Other film roles would include Slaughter, Keenan Ivory Wayans’ I’m Gonna Git You Sucka and Oliver stone’s Any Given Sunday. On TV, he had roles on such popular series as CHiPs, Knight RiderT.J. Hooker, The A-Team and Arli$$, among many others.

Among his myriad NFL records and milestones, he was the first to top 100 career rushing touchdowns and set single-season and career rushing marks — all amid 12- or 14-game seasons. A three-time MVP, he also was Rookie of the Year, an eight-time All-Pro and eight-time rushing leader, retiring with a slew of records. His Browns won the NFL championship in 1964, three years before the first Super Bowl.

The team, with which he spent his entire nine-year NFL career, tweeted a tribute this morning:

Brown still was playing football when he made his big-screen debut in the 1964 Richard Boone-led western Rio Conchos. After his NFL retirement, he appeared in an episode of the Bill Cosby-Robert Culp action series I Spy in 1967, and he had a key role that same in the star-packed World War II action-adventure pic The Dirty Dozen.

From left: Jim Brown, Charles Bronson and George Kennedy in 1967’s ‘The Dirty Dozen.’Everett Collection

Directed by Robert Aldrich, it followed the story of a rebellious U.S. Army Major (Lee Marvin) who is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers. Its ensemble cast also includes Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, John Cassavetes, George Kennedy, Telly Savalas, Trini Lopez and Donald Sutherland.

That role – in which he died heroically after wiping out numerous Nazis — was followed by, among others, Ice Station Zebra in 1968. Other film roles would include Slaughter, Keenan Ivory Wayans’ I’m Gonna Git You Sucka and Oliver stone’s Any Given Sunday. On TV, he had roles on such popular series as CHiPs, Knight RiderT.J. Hooker, The A-Team and Arli$$, among many others. source