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Johnny Mack Brown ACTOR


Johnny Mack Brown, born September 1, 1904, was a successful American actor, typecast as a movie cowboy. While attending the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, which he got into due to a football scholarship, Brown helped his team win the 1926 NCAA Division I-A national football champions. Because of his achievements while on the team, and also his built physique and good looks, Brown was featured on Wheaties cereal boxes. This exposure, plus a request made by his college friend, led him to do motion picture screen tests, and thus he signed with Metro Goldwyn Meyer (MGM) in 1927.

His debut was in the baseball flick “Slide, Kelly, Slide” (1927) with William Haines. Following, Brown appeared in “The Bugle Call” (1927) starring Jackie Coogan. He then shifted his focus to silent films, in which he started to gain more recognition. He began actually starring in these films, alongside some of MGM’s greatest female actresses at the time like Greta Garbo in “A Woman of Affairs” (1928), “The Divine Woman” (1928), and “The Single Standard” (1929), Joan Crawford in “Our Dancing Daughters” (1928), “Montana Moon” (1930), and “Great Day” (1930), as well as Norma Shearer in “After Midnight” (1927) and “A Lady of Chance” (1928).

By 1930, however, Brown’s shine at MGM started to fade, for the executives believed his strong southern accent to be unsuitable for main speaking roles, and silent films were dying out. His accent did have a place though, Brown soon found out, for it proved to be useful in the western genre. In 1930, he nabbed the lead in his most notable film, the western “Billy the Kid”. In this adaptation of the Billy the Kid legend, Billy (Brown) tries to escape punishment for shooting a criminal.  After this role, he went on to appear in several successful flicks, not limited to “The Secret Six” (1931) and “The Last Flight” (1931). In 1932, MGM let the actor go, for his contract had expired. Nonetheless, Brown continued to be seen in movies produced by Warner Brothers, Paramount, and Universal Studios up until 1935, but usually only in supporting roles. Some of his characters from that time include Alan Berry in “Saturday’s Millions” (1933) and Jim Warren in “Missouri Nightingale” (1934). Nevertheless, he still found his way as the lead in some films like confident young firefighter Charlie in “Flames” (1932) and victim/hero Kit Carson in “Fighting with Kit Carson” (1933).

By 1935, Brown was craving more screen time, and so he signed with the lower budget Supreme Pictures to do some more western flicks as the lead. Later on, in 1937, he signed with Universal, and then Monogram Pictures in 1943. He became so accustomed to the ‘wild west’ type of movie that he rarely appeared in any other genre. Eventually, he developed into one of the screen’s most notable grade-B movie cowboy stars, being involved in one hundred twenty seven western films over his entire career. Some of these westerners include “Rogue of the Range” (1936), “Guns in the Dark” (1937), and “Oklahoma Frontier” (1939). He also starred in a Universal movie series as the starring role, which was comprised of “Rustlers of Red Dog” (1935), “Wild West Days” (1937), “Flaming Frontiers” (1938), and “The Oregon Trail” (1939). Additionally, he was one of the top earning western film actors from 1942-50. The actors long career in the genre ended in 1953 with “The Marshal’s Daughter”, as the ‘B’ westerns were decreasing in popularity at the box office. Since his typecast role was not needed as much, he decided to dip his toes in television beginning in 1953 with “This is Your Life: Pat O’Brien” for one episode. He appeared on TV three more times in 1958, but never stayed with a show for more than one episode.

Brown did not act again until 1965 when he was in his final three westerners. He depicted secondary characters as Enkoff in “Requiem for a Gunfighter”, Sheriff Green in “The Bounty Killer”, and Sheriff Ben Hall in “Apache Uprising”.

The actor sadly met his demise on November 14, 1974 at age seventy due to heart failure. He died however with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to commemorate him for his contributions to the motion picture industry. Furthermore, in his hometown of Dothan, Alabama, a film festival is held annually to celebrate his achievements and life.


1966       Apache Uprising

1965       The Bounty Killer

1965       Requiem for a Gunfighter 

1958       Tales of Wells Fargo: Scapegoat

1958       Perry Mason: The Case of the Daring Decoy

1958       Official Detective: Hired Killer

1953       The Marshal's Daughter 

1953       This is Your Life: Pat O’Brien

1952       Dead Man's Trail

1952       Canyon Ambush

1952       Texas City

1952       The Man from Black Hills 

1951       Texas Lawmen 

1951       Whistling Hills 

1951       Oklahoma Justice

1951       Colorado Ambush

1951       Montana Desperado

1950       Outlaw Gold 

1950       Over the Border

1950       Law of the Panhandle 

1950       Short Grass

1950       West of Wyoming

1949       Trail's End 

1949       West of El Dorado 

1949       Hidden Danger

1949       Stampede 

1949       Range Justice

1949       Western Renegades

1949       Law of the West

1948       Gunning for Justice

1948       Gun Talk

1948       Back Trail 

1948       Frontier Agent 

1948       The Fighting Ranger 

1948       Crossed Trails 

1947       Raiders of the South 

1947       Prairie Express 

1947       Land of the Lawless 

1947       Code of the Saddle 

1947       Flashing Guns

1946       Gentleman from Texas

1946       Border Bandits

1946       Under Arizona Skies 

1946       Drifting Along 

1945       The Lost Trail 

1945       The Navajo Trail

1945       Forever Yours

1945       Flame of the West 

1945       Frontier Feud 

1944       Ghost Guns

1944       Land of the Outlaws 

1944       The Texas Kid 

1944       Partners of the Trail 

1944       Range Law 

1944       Raiders of the Border 

1944       Law Men

1944       Law of the Valley 

1943       The Lone Star Trail 

1943       Outlaws of Stampede Pass

1943       The Stranger from Pecos 

1943       Six-Gun Gospel 

1943       Old Chisholm Trail

1943       Cheyenne Roundup 

1943       Tenting Tonight On the Old Camp Ground

1943       Raiders of San Joaquin

1942       Ride 'Em Cowboy

1942       Little Joe, the Wrangler

1942       Boss of Hangtown Mesa

1942       Fighting Bill Fargo

1942       Stagecoach Buckaroo

1942       The Silver Bullet 

1942       Deep in the Heart of Texas 

1941       The Masked Rider

1941       Rawhide Rangers 

1941       Law of the Range 

1941       Man from Montana

1941       Boss of Bullion City

1941       Arizona Cyclone 

1941       Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie 

1940       Chip of the Flying U

1940       West of Carson City 

1940       Law and Order

1940       Bad Man from Red Butte

1940       Riders of Pasco Basin

1940       Ragtime Cowboy Joe

1940       Pony Post

1940       Son of Roaring Dan 

1939       Oklahoma Frontier

1939       Desperate Trails

1937       Wells Fargo 

1937       Trail Of Vengeance

1937       A Lawman Is Born

1937       Lawless Land

1937       Boothill Brigade

1937       Desert Phantom 

1937       Guns in the Dark 

1937       Born To the West 

1937       Bar Z Bad Men

1937       The Gambling Terror 

1936       Undercover Man

1936       The Crooked Trail

1936       Everyman’s Law

1936       Rogue of the Range

1936       Desert Phantom

1936       Valley of the Lawless

1935       The Courageous Avenger 

1935       Between Men

1935       Starlit Days at the Lido

1935       Branded a Coward 

1935       The Rustlers of Red Dog

1934       Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove

1934       Against the Law

1934       Belle of the Nineties 

1934       Cross Streets

1934       Marrying Widows

1934       Missouri Nightingale

1934       Three on a Honeymoon

1933       Son of a Sailor

1933       Female

1933       Saturday's Millions

1933       Fighting with Kit Carson

1933       Hollywood on Parade No. A-9

1933       Malay Nights

1932       70,000 Witnesses

1932       The Vanishing Frontier

1932       Flames

1931       Hollywood Halfbacks

1931       Lasca of the Rio Grande 

1931       The Last Flight

1931       The Secret Six 

1931       The Great Meadow

1930       Billy the Kid

1930       The Voice of Hollywood No. 15

1930       The Voice of Hollywood No. 7

1930       The Voice of Hollywood No. 10

1930       Montana Moon 

1930       Undertow

1930       Great Day

1929       Jazz Heaven

1929       Hurricane

1929       The Single Standard

1929       The Valiant 

1929       Coquette 

1928       A Woman of Affairs

1928       A Lady of Chance

1928       Annapolis

1928       Our Dancing Daughters

1928       The Play Girl

1928       Square Crooks

1928       Soft Living

1928       The Divine Woman

1927       The Fair Co-Ed

1927       After Midnight

1927       Mockery

1927       The Bugle Call

1927       Slide, Kelly, Slide 

Matinee Classics - Ride 'Em Cowboy starring Abbott and Costello - Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Dick Foran, Anne Gwynne, Johnny Mack Brown and Judd McMichael
Matinee Classics - Hell Town
Matinee Classics - Born to the West
Matinee Classics - Billy the Kid starring Johnny Mack Brown, Wallace Beery, Kay Johnson and Karl Dane
Matinee Classics - The Oregon Trail starring Johnny Mack Brown, Fuzzy Knight, Bill Cody Jr. and Roy Barcroft
Matinee Classics - Wild West Days starring Johnny Mack Brown
Matinee Classics - Fighting With Kit Carson starring Noah Beery Sr. and Johnny Mack Brown
Matinee Classics - Between Men starring Johnny Mack Brown, Beth Marion, William Farnum, Earl Dwire, Lloyd Ingraham, Frank Ball, Barry Downing, Horace Carpenter, and Forrest Taylor
Matinee Classics - Boothill Brigade starring Johnny Mack Brown, Claire Rochelle and Dick Curtis
Matinee Classics - Branded a Coward starring Johnny Mack Brown, Yakima Canutt, Billy Seward and Syd Saylor

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