Broken Arrow: Western Movie, Book, TV, and History Discussion

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 Johnny Mack Brown

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Tinhorn

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PostSubject: Johnny Mack Brown   Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:55 pm

I recently read an article in Guns of the Old West about western actor Johnny Mack Brown.

Born in Dothan, Alabama, he played football for the Crimson Tide, and was a key member of the 1926 NCAA Championship team, and the MVP in the Rose Bowl. His picture was even on the Wheaties box. While he was a football star in college, he was befriended by film maker George Fawcett, who offered Brown a screen test. After his college career, Brown contacted Fawcett, who would become Brown's mentor in Hollywood. He would become a leading man, under contract with MGM, working with the likes of Mary Pickford and Greta Garbo. His first Western was Billy The Kid (MGM, 1930), with Wallace Beery as Pat Garrett. He then made early talkies opposite Joan Crawford and Jean Harlow, and was one of MGM's highest paid stars, but his Southern drawl was considered unsuitable for romantic leads, which led him to be replaced by Clark Gable in Laughing Sinners (1931).

But that Southern drawl was perfect for Westerns, and he was cast in B-movies and serials for Paramount, Universal, Mascot, Monogram, Supreme, and Republic. When B Westerns and serials fell out of favor with the advent of television in the early 1950s, Brown retired from acting full time, limiting himself to bit parts on TV and films until 1965.

Brown was married in Cornelia "Connie" Foster, with whom they had 4 children, in 1926, until his death in 1974 from heart failure. He was 70 years old at his passing. He has been inducted to numerous Halls of Fame, including the National Football Hall of Fame, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, the Alabama Stage and Screen Hall of Fame, and the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6101 Hollywood Blvd. His cremated remains rest in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, CA.
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PostSubject: Re: Johnny Mack Brown   Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:37 am

Howdy Tinhorn!!

Yep, Johnny Mack Brown was a fine western actor with his easy going personality and southern drawl. A handsome fella, who always wore a hand tooled gunbelt much like Gene Autry. He always seemed to be a cheerful person except when he mixed it up with the bad guys and then he was dead serious. I don't ever remember him wearing anything but a white Stetson in his films. He caught a lot of rustlers, claim jumpers, bank robbers and other nefarious outlaws during his day. A good ole 40's and 50's western hero, who could ride with the best of'um.

Ed
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PostSubject: Re: Johnny Mack Brown   Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:34 pm

Its ironic that Johnny Mack Brown was replaced by Clark Gable. One of my favorite movies features them both, "Secret Six". It stars another of my favorites, Wallace Beery and Jean Harlow. A cool way to kill a couple of hours. I'll sit and watch anything with Beery in it!
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PostSubject: Re: Johnny Mack Brown   Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:49 am

Wallace Beery was one of my dad's favorites so as kids we saw most of his movies when they aired on television. He was quite a character, on and off screen. His brother and nephew were also good.
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PostSubject: Re: Johnny Mack Brown   Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:06 am

Beery could do it all. He could be a nasty villain, a bad guy with a heart of gold or a real hero type. He played so many varied parts and did them all so well. Some of my favorites are "20 Mule Team", "Min and Bill", "Bad Man From Brimstone", "Bad Bascomb". "Jackass Mail", "The Man From Dakota" and "The Bowery". Plus of course the afore mentioned "Secret Six". Beery won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1932 for "The Champ" (sort of!) and was nominated in 1930 for "The Big House".
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