- The Washington Times - Monday, February 9, 2004

A celebration of the life of Charles Brown, a two-time Tony Award nominee for best featured actor on Broadway, will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the Signature Theater in New York. Mr. Brown, 57, who studied drama at Howard University in the District, died Jan. 8 from complications of cancer at his home in Cleveland.

A native of Talledega, Ala., he was in the sixth grade when the Talledega College acting company recruited him for a role in “The Land Beyond the River.”

After moving to Cleveland, he acted at Glenville High School, worked with the stage crew at Karamu House and attended Cuyahoga Community College.

Following a naval stint during the Vietnam War, Mr. Brown joined the D.C. Black Repertory Company, founded by actor Robert Hooks. Mr. Brown subsequently toured with a national production of “The River Niger,” moved to New York City and began his long affiliation with the Negro Ensemble Company.

He was nominated for a Tony in 1980 for his performance as Cephus Miles in “Home.” In 2001, he got his second Tony nomination and won a Drama Desk Award for his portrayal of Elmore, a small-time gangster in “King Hedley II.”

Mr. Brown portrayed Martin Luther King in the 1983 TV miniseries, “Kennedy,” starring Martin Sheen. He also appeared on “Law and Order,” “Kojak” and “All My Children.”

He had roles in several movies, including “Trading Places,” “Legal Eagles” and “Drop Squad.”

He acted in several Broadway plays, among them August Wilson’s “Fences” and “Rumors.”

Throughout his career, Mr. Brown maintained his ties to Cleveland. He reprised his most successful roles for audiences at Karamu House and Cleveland Play House.

He is survived by his wife, Renee Lescook; his father, Mack Brown Sr. of Euclid, Ohio; two brothers, Mack Brown Jr. of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, and Ramon Brown of Twinsburg, Ohio; a sister, Shirley McKinney of Euclid; a stepdaughter, Dominique Stewart of Fort Belvoir; and three granddaughters.

Services were held in Cleveland.


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