Glossary entry for
Brown, Johnny Mack

Johnny Mack Brown (1904-1974) was a real southerner, born in Dothan, Alabama on September 1, 1904 to John Henry and Hattie Brown. At an early age, he became interested in hunting and fishing as well as playing high school sports. Brown graduated from Dothan High School in 1922.He was an All-American running back on the University of Alabama football team, and scored two of their three touchdowns in a winning effort against the favored Washington Huskies in the 1926 Rose Bowl. After graduation, he tried his hand at coaching for a short time. He went to Hollywood and began doing bit parts around 1927 in silents. A good looking gent, Brown began his long career as a successful leading man at MGM, where he worked for nearly five years, appearing opposite such famous actresses as Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford.

During his later years, Brown had some financial difficulties and sold the Beverly Hills home. Johnny Mack Brown passed away November 14, 1974 due to a heart condition.

Johnny Mack Brown made about 165 films during a Hollywood career that spanned about 25 years (stretched to nearly 40 years if you include the guest appearance roles noted above). His western films and serials total about 120, and over half of these were at Monogram. Folks that I've interviewed, as well as comments from others in many articles and books, note that Johnny Mack Brown was simply a nice person to work with ... and a true "southern gentleman".

A recent (September 2002) EMail from Philip Gounis notes that "Johnnie Mack Brown was a huge cowboy star from Grade B westerns for Van Morrison's generation of young television watchers in the Fifties growing up in Belfast. He was 'one of the good guys' & therefore something of a role model for those Irish younsters."

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