Mostly Credited As: Roscoe Lee Browne
Birth Name: Roscoe Lee Browne
Date Of Birth: May 02, 1925 (Age 81)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Woodbury, New Jersey
Date Of Death: April 11, 2007
Cause Of Death: Cancer (Los Angeles, CA)
Roscoe Lee Browne was born the son of a Baptist minister in Woodbury, N.J. in 1925. Browne graduated from, and later taught both Literature and French, at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, a historically black college.
A world champion track star, he competed in the early 1950's, setting a world record for the 800-meter run in Paris in 1951, and winning the 880-yard run in the 1952 Millrose Games. It was later that same decade, while working in the wine import business that he made the decision to turn his full attention to acting. One of his early roles was in 1956 in a production of Julius Caesar in the New York Shakespeare Festival. He continued appearing on stage throughout the 1960's in productions of Jean Genet's play The Blacks, and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe. In 1965 he won an award for his portrayal of a rebellious slave in the off-Broadway "Benito Cereno.
In the 1960's and 1970's he made the transition from stage to film and television. He appeared in the groundbreaking Black Like Me in 1964, the 1969 Alfred Hitchcock film Topaz and in 1972's The Cowboys with John Wayne. He also made several guest appearances on television that allowed him to show his full range as an actor. In comedies he appeared on shows like All In The Family, Sanford & Son, and Soap, while also showing his acting chops in dramas like Mannix and The Streets Of San Francisco. He even appeared in the television series based on the films series Planet Of The Apes. In 1986 he won an Emmy for a guest role as "Professor Foster" on The Cosby Show. And he earned a new legion of fans with his warm hearted narration of the 1995 children's movie Babe.
Sadly his career as an actor, athlete, teacher and poet came to an end Wednesday, April 11th, 2007, when he lost a long battle with cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.