Actor and Musician Johnny Brown Has Died at 84

The star of stage and screen was most famous for his performance in Broadway's Golden Boy and sitcom Good Times.

By: Mar. 05, 2022
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Actor and Musician Johnny Brown Has Died at 84

According to a Deadline article, Broadway veteran, musician, and screen actor Johnny Brown has died from unreleased causes. The news was announced in an Instagram post by his daughter, Sharon Catherine Brown. She stated, "Our family is devastated. Devastated. Devastated. Beyond heartbroken. Barely able to breathe."

She continues, writing, "We respectfully ask for privacy at this time because we need a minute to process the unthinkable. To articulate the depths of profound sadness.This is my mom's husband for sixty one years, mine and JJ's dad, Elijah and Levi's Pop Pop, older brother to George and brother in law to Pat and extended family to Chris, Hihat, Damian and Derell. It's too terrible. It will never not be. It's a shock. He was literally snatched out of our lives. It's not real for us yet. So there will be more to say but not now. Dad was the absolute best. We love him so very much."

While the actor was most famous for his role as Nathan Bookman on the television show "Good Times," he got his start by winning the Apollo Theatre's amateur night. That win launched his career, helping him secure a job at a nightclub performer alongside tap dance legend Gregory Hines, Jr. He also performed alongside a woman, June, who soon became his wife.

Brown was taken under Sammy Davis Jr.'s wing, a relationship that helped him become the understudy for the role of Ronnie for the Broadway production of "Golden Boy." He soon stepped up when the original actor, Godrey Cambridge, was let go. The show was a massive success and ran over 500 performances. He performed again on Broadway in 1968 in the Sidney Poitier directed Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights. He also performed in Los Angeles in Neil Simon's The Out of Towners at the playwright's specific request.

The actor moved into television and film, performing in Julia, Maude, The Rookies, Lotsa Luck!, The Jeffersons, Archie Bunker's Place, Family Matters, The Leslie Uggams Show, Sister, Sister, Moonlighting and Martin, and was in such films as The Wiz, A Man Called Adam, Poitier's Hanky Panky, Life, and Town & Country.

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Sharon Catherine Brown's Instagram tribute


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