Roscoe Lee Browne, Actor Who Refused To Limit Himself By Taking Roles That Demeaned or Mocked African-Americans

3 Posted by - September 16, 2018 - BLACK MEN, LATEST POSTS

was an African-American actor known for his deep distinguished baritone voice. He was also known for not limiting himself to taking roles that demeaned or mocked the communities. He was born in Woodbury, New Jersey, to Baptist minister, Sylvanus Brown, and his wife Lovie Lee Usher. After primary school he went on to attend Lincoln University in Pennsylvania where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1946. He also served in Italy with the Negro 92nd Infantry Division.  He was a middle distance runner and won the Amateur Athletic Union 1,000-yard national indoor championship in 1949. He occasionally returned to Lincoln University between 1946 -1952 to teach English, French and comparative literature. Upon leaving academia he earned a living for several years selling wine for Schenley Import Corporation. He was also a member of the fraternity Omega Psi Phi.


Browne began his acting career when he was in his 30s. He appeared in New York City’s first Shakespeare Festival Theater directed by Joseph Papp as soothsayer and Pindarus in Julius Ceasar. Browne also worked in film and on television. Browne also had roles on Broadway in the 1960s in The Cool World, Tiger, and the Tiger Burning Bright. He made his film debut in 1961’s The Connection, which explores drug addiction, and went on to appear in Alfred Hitchcock’s Topaz in 1969. However, most people remember him from his appearances in TV shows such as, “Good Times”, “Sanford and Son,” “Cosby Show,” and many others. His appearances on The Cosby Show won him an Emmy Award in 1986 as Professor Foster. He also performed in several play of August Wilson on Broadway and the Pittsburg Public Theater. Browne died in 2007 in Los Angeles from stomach cancer at the age of 84. He was inducted into the Black Film makers Hall of Fame in 1977 and posthumously into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2009.




  • Nope September 16, 2018 - 4:28 pm Reply

    Would have loved to have heard more of that voice! He was James Earl Jones before James Earl Jones!

  • Garrett Lidbom June 18, 2019 - 2:31 am Reply

    Wow! How did you comoe up with atht coolpost?

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