Not many men can lay claim to the fact that they have battled The Highlander, Ben10, Spiderman, the Justice League, the Avengers, the Teen Titans, Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Spongebob Squarepants, Freddy Krueger, Voltron and G.I. Joe amongst others. Clancy Brown can and he has done a lot more than that!
Born on January 5th 1959 in Urbana, Ohio, Clancy Brown was raised with his sister by his mother, Joyce – a conductor, composer, and concert pianist; and his father Clarence J. “Bud” Brown, Jr. a manger of the Brown Publishing Company, the family-owned newspaper business started by Clancy’s grandfather, Congressman Clarence J. Brown. From 1965 to 1983, Bud Brown also served as a U.S. Congressman, and later as chairman of the board of Brown Publishing. Brown became chairman of the company on August 20th 2002. The family operated the business until 2010.
Brown graduated from St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., as his family lived there much of the time when his father served in Congress. He earned a scholarship to Northwestern University.
In 1983 Brown burst onto the Cult Faction radar with his role as Viking Lofgren in the film Bad Boys. It was his acting debut and he delivered a performance so noteworthy it could be argued it helped shape his career.
Following a role in Dukes of Hazzard, Brown was back on the big screen as Rawhide in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension (1984) followed by Thunder Alley (1985) and The Bride (1985).
Then came Victor Krugar aka The Kurgan in The Highlander (1986)…
It was whilst making The Highlander that Brown became lifelong friends with Bob Anderson, the swordmaster for that film as well as the original Star Wars trilogy. He said if he had not been an actor, he would have been (in order) a fireman, an aristocrat, an archaeologist/anthropologist, a scuba diver and a circus acrobat.
Further film roles cane in Extreme Predjudice (1987), Shoot To Kill (1988), Moonwalker (1988), Season of Fear (1989), Blue Steel (1989), Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation (1992), Pet Sematary II (1992), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Dead Man Walking (1995), Starship Troopers (1997), Flubber (1997), The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004), A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), Green Lantern (2011), Cowboys & Aliens (2011), John Dies at the End (2012), and Hellbenders (2012),
As well as film, Brown has appeared in (or voiced) characters in some of Cult Factions TV favorites including China Beach, Tales from the Crypt, Pom Poko, The Little Mermaid, Earth 2, Gargoyles, The Outer Limits, The Incredible Hulk, Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, Mighty Ducks, The Legend of Calamity Jane, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, Extreme Ghostbusters, Hey Arnold!, ER, Superman, The Angry Beavers, Godzilla: The Series, Men in Black: The Series, Voltron: The Third Dimension, Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles, Recess , Lost, Star Trek: Enterprise, The Powerpuff Girls, SpongeBob SquarePants, Spiderman, The Flash, Teen Titans, Lloyd in Space, Biker Mice From Mars, A.T.O.M.: Alpha Teens on Machines, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, All Grown Up!, The Batman, Wolverine and the X-Men, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Phineas and Ferb, G.I. Joe: Renegades, American Dad, Thundercats, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Transformers Prime, Archer, Sleepy Hollow and the awesome Carnivàle.
Despite often being the villain (“All the movies where I play nice guys don’t seem to do very well“, in real life Brown has been the total opposite…
In 1999, he spearheaded a charity campaign to raise funds for J. Madison Wright, the young girl who played his screen daughter on the television series Earth 2. Madison, then aged 15, had developed cardiomyopathy and was in dire need of a heart transplant, a very costly operation which exceeded her family’s lifetime health insurance policy. Brown offered to assist the Wrights in their plight. He also bought young Madison a laptop computer for Christmas in 1999. Tragically, Madison died seven years later, in July 2006, of a heart attack.
Furthermore, Brown is a patron of the Beth Brown Memorial Fund, a scholarship programme designed to assist poorer students who wish to study in the field of paediatric healthcare. The charity is in honour of his elder sister who died in childhood of leukaemia in 1964. It has since expanded to also offer the Clarence J. Brown Scholarship for students interested in pursuing careers in government and public service as well as the Robert Townsley Scholarship for students of journalism.