Phil Brown (actor)

Philip Mortimer Brown (April 30, 1916 February 9, 2006) was an American actor.[1]

Phil Brown
Casting shot of Phil Brown (c.1945)
Philip Mortimer Brown

(1916-04-30)April 30, 1916
DiedFebruary 9, 2006(2006-02-09) (aged 89)
Years active19411999
Virginia Brown
(m. 1940)

Early life

Brown was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1916. He majored in dramatics at Stanford University, where he was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.[2]


Brown played some of his first roles on stage when he join the Group Theatre in New York City.[3] The Group Theatre eventually closed, and many of its members relocated to Hollywood, where Brown helped found the Actors' Laboratory Theatre. He found his first cinema roles here, making his motion picture debut in Mitchell Leisen's 1941 war movie, I Wanted Wings.[4]

In 1946, he played Ernest Hemingway's protagonist Nick Adams in Robert Siodmak's version of The Killers, alongside William Conrad and Charles McGraw as the titular "killers".[5]

In 1948, he played Tom in Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie, at the Haymarket Theatre London, in a production directed by John Gielgud.[6]

His association with the Lab came back to haunt him later in the decade, when its members fell under the scrutiny of the House Un-American Activities Committee.[7] Although he was not a communist, Brown was blacklisted in 1952, and was eventually compelled to relocate with his family to the United Kingdom between 1953 and 1993.[8]

Overseas he was able to resume acting on stage, TV and films; he also directed for the stage and TV.[1][9] He was best known for his role as Luke Skywalker's uncle, Owen Lars, in Star Wars (1977).[7]

He returned to the United States in the 1990s and in later years made the rounds of autograph shows.[10]


Phil Brown died in his sleep of pneumonia on February 9, 2006 at the age of 89,[11] two months before his 90th birthday.[9]


His wife Ginny survives him with their son, two grandchildren and a great grandchild.[9]



1941I Wanted WingsJimmy Masters
1941H. M. Pulham, Esq.Joe Bingham
1942Hello, AnnapolisKansas City
1942Calling Dr. GillespieRoy Todwell
1942Pierre of the PlainsVal Denton
1944Weird WomanDavid Jennings
1944The Impatient YearsHenry Fairchild
1945The Jungle CaptiveDon Young
1945Over 21Frank MacDougal
1945State FairHarry Ware
1946Without ReservationsSoldier
1946The KillersNick AdamsUncredited
1947Johnny O'ClockPhil, Hotel Clerk
1948If You Knew SusieJoe Collins
1948The Luck of the IrishTom Higginbotham
1948MoonriseElmer - Soda Jerk
1949ObsessionBill Kronin
1949Give Us This DayBit partUncredited
1954The Green ScarfJohn Bell
1957A King in New YorkHeadmaster
1958The Camp on Blood IslandLt. Peter Bellamy
1959John Paul JonesSentry
1962The Counterfeit TraitorHarold MurrayUncredited
1965The Bedford IncidentChief Hospitalman Mckinley - Sick Bay
1966The Boy Cried MurderTom Durrant
1967Bomba u 10 i 10professor Pilic
1968Operation Cross EaglesSgt. Turley
1969The Adding MachineDon
1970Land RaidersSheriff John Mayfield
1970Tropic of CancerVan Norden
1971Valdez Is ComingMalson
1972Ooh... You Are AwfulAmerican Man
1975The Romantic EnglishwomanMr. Wilson
1976The Pink Panther Strikes AgainVirginia Senator
1977Twilight's Last GleamingRev. Cartwright
1977Star WarsOwen Lars
1978Silver BearsAmerican Banker
1978SupermanState senator (Missile Control)
1999Battlestar Galactica: The Second ComingCouncil ElderShort, (final film role)


1980OppenheimerLewis Strauss2 episodes
1981Winston Churchill: The Wilderness YearsLord Beaverbrook2 episodes
1988The Fortunate PilgrimSupervisor F/O


  1. "Phil Brown".
  2. "Beta Theta Pi on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
  3. League, The Broadway. "Phil Brown – Broadway Cast & Staff - IBDB".
  4. Weaver, Tom (2011). "Phil Brown". I Was a Monster Movie Maker: Conversations with 22 SF and Horror Filmmakers. McFarland. pp. 1–15. ISBN 9780786462650. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  5. "The Killers (1946)".
  6. "Production of The Glass Menagerie - Theatricalia".
  7. "Phil Brown".
  8. Thurber, Jon (13 February 2006). "Phil Brown, 89; Actor Had a Big Hit With a Small `Star Wars' Part" via LA Times.
  9. Rowe, Anne (7 May 2006). "Obituary: Phil Brown". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  10. "'Star Wars' uncle Phil Brown dies at 89".
  11. Brown, Phil (9 February 2006). "After a long illness, Phil died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday Feb 9th". The Official Phil Brown Website. Retrieved 19 June 2016. Notice at top of page on official site
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