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After a long illness, Phil died peacefully
in his sleep on Thursday Feb 9th

We at Time Machine Collectibles wish to extend our heartfelt
condolences to the family and friends of
Phil Brown.
He will be deeply missed by his family, friends and fans alike.

April 30, 1916 - February 9, 2006


Phil Brown is probably best known for his role in Star Wars as Uncle Owen Lars (Luke Skywalker's Uncle), due to its world-wide popularity for the past twenty years, in spite of it's being a small role in terms of his long and successful career in New York, Hollywood and Europe.

Phil graduated from Stanford University in 1937 and was fortunate to be accepted into the famous Group Theatre of New York in 1938.

While waiting for the Group Theatre to cast him, Mr. Brown secured his first job on Broadway as a dancer in the play, "Everywhere I Roam". This led him to another dance part in a political cabaret in aid of sending medical supplies to Loyalist Spain. He also stage managed a Russian War Relief meeting in Madison Square Garden, addressed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt among others. These humanitarian efforts on the part of Mr. Brown earned him a number of "Brownie Points" in every Red-Haters' "Black Book". (Roosevelt picked up a few, but not as many as Brown.)

In 1941 after the sad dissolution of the Group Theatre, Brown, along with a number of the senior members, moved to Hollywood for work in films which he did until he was drafted. His move upward on the totem pole was fairly rapid, playing a series of roles, classified in those days as "the guy who didn't get the girl". His near-misses comprise an impressive list which included Jean Arthur, Jean Craine, Hedy Lamarr, Ruth Hussey, Donna Reed, and Claudette Colbert. He nearly succeeded in getting Donna Reed in "Calling Dr. Gillespie", but just missed doing so in the last reel, due to having killed off a number of people earlier in the film.

In the forties, along with other former Group Theatre members, Mr. Brown formed The Actor's Laboratory, a unique organization in Hollywood. Life Magazine coverage of Ben Johnson's "Volpone", directed by Morris Carnovsky, resulted in the quote: "the theatre where some of the best acting in America can be seen today!". Phil Brown occupied a position on the board of directors of the Actor's Laboratory throughout it's duration, and during that time directed the West Coast production of Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" and Arthur Laurent's "Home of the Brave". He also played the title role in Michael Chekhov's production of Gogol's "The Inspector General", and produced many of the 70+ other productions.

In 1944 Brown returned briefly to Broadway to perform the lead in "The Streets are Guarded", which was written by retired Marine Colonel Lawrence Stallings.

In 1948 Phil Brown traveled to London to play the the role of Helen Haye's son Tom opposite her in the Tennessee Williams play, "The Glass Menagerie", directed by Sir John Gielgud. This was the first Tennessee Williams play to be seen in that city.

Brown remained in London for 18 months to play a leading role along with Robert Newton in a comedy thriller titled "Obsession" (a.k.a "The Hidden Room), also performing in that production was Sally Gray. He went on to a behind-the-scenes position as assistant to the director in a film based on the 30's novel, "Christ in Concrete" by Pietro DiDenato, which starred Sam Wanamaker. The Film has two titles "Give Us This Day" or "Salt to the Devil", and is considered a classic in France.

In 1949 Brown was lured back to Hollywood with the promise of directing, by Columbia Pictures. He had only finished his first feature film entitled "The Harlem Globetrotters" which starred Dorothy Dandridge and the famous Globetrotter team, before the anti-communist zealots of the infamous McCarthy period rose to prominence with their incredible persecution of so many actors, authors, and other artists. The last employment he was offered in Hollywood was a job directing an anthology series of short plays for Schlitz Beer, with Irene Dunne as the Master of Ceremonies, after which he he was permanently deprived of his livelihood by the American Legion.

Although Phil Brown was never a member of the Communist Party, a few ill-informed super-patriots such as Ronald Reagan, (then president of the Screen Actor's Guild), Roy Brewer, (head of the Stage Hands Union in Hollywood), The American Legion, and that most powerful and corrupt of all the Red-Haters, J. Edgar Hoover, decided that he was indeed a "Red". They concluded that the Great American Public would be better off if they were not to see Mr. Brown's face on their screen, or view any of the films he had directed. Brown was blacklisted in 1952, along with many others during that disgraceful time in political history.

When Brown had been unemployed for 8 months, and it appeared that he would remain so, he was offered a leading role in a play entitled "The River Line" by the same London management that had presented "The Glass Menagerie". He left for London immediately, followed shortly by his wife Ginny and their two young sons.

Seeing no point in returning to Hollywood considering the political witch-hunt that continued to flourish, the Browns remained in London until early 1992. Fortunately, the British government and citizens welcomed Mr. Brown's talent as both actor and director, and he was able to build a new career for himself . He played a number of roles in London's West End, which is the British equivalent of Broadway, where he also directed a number of plays, as well as producing and directing programs for British Television, and performing in many shows. Over the years he also acted in a number of films in Spain, Yugoslavia, France, and Sweden.

Brown and his family lived on two luxurious houseboats on the Thames, spending a part of each year on the island of Hvar, off the coast of Yugoslavia, from 1952 until his recent return to Hollywood in 1992.

Phil will be 88 in April and is retired from acting, Because of failing health, Phil is no longer attending conventions, but he continues to sign autographs.

I would like to announce my retirement from the convention circuit. Personally autographed photos will continue to be available to the public online through my website at 

Meeting my fans personally has been endlessly rewarding for my wife Ginny and me. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all for your support of my career, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind thoughts and warm wishes.

Phil is now confined to bed and is no longer able to autograph photos.
Phil at Disney World 200l
FILMS (Link to IMDB)

Chaplin (1992) - Projectionist (cameo)
Mario Puzo's 'The Fortunate Pilgrim'; (1988) - TV Series - Supervisor F/O
Martian Chronicles, The (1980), (mini) TV Series (cameo)
Superman (1978) - State Senator (cameo)
aka Superman: The Movie (1978)
Star Wars (1977) - Uncle Owen Lars
aka Adventures of the Starkiller (1976) (USA)
aka Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1980)
Silver Bears (1977) - American Banker (cameo)
Pink Panther Strikes Again, The (1976) - Virginia Senator (cameo)
Romantic Englishwoman, The (1975) - Mr.Wilson (featured)
Scalawag (1973)
Valdez Is Coming (1971) - Malson (featured)
Togetherness (1970) - Everett
Tropic of Cancer (1970) - Van Norden (featured)
Land Raiders (1969) - Mayfield (featured)
aka Day of the Landgrabber, The (1969)
Adding Machine, The (1969) - Don (Lead)
Operation Cross Eagles (1969) - Sgt. Tunley (cameo)
aka Unakrsna vatra (1969)
Boy Cried Murder, The (1966), (lead)
aka Decak vikao ubistvo (1966)
aka Junge schrie Mord, Ein (1966) (West Germany)
Bedford Incident, The (1965) - Chief Hospitalman McKinley (featured)
Counterfiet Traitor, The (1962)
Camp on Blood Island, The (1958) (featured)
King in New York, A (1957) - Headmaster (featured)
Green Scarf, The (1954) - John Bell (featured)
Hidden Room, The (1949)- Bill Kronin ((lead)
aka Obsession (1949)
If You Knew Susie (1948) - Joe Collins (cameo)
Moonrise (1948) - Elmer (featured)
Johnny O'Clock (1947) - Hotel Clerk (featured)
Killers, The (1946), (uncredited) - Nick Adams (featured)
aka Man Alone, A (1946)
Without Reservations (1946) - Soldier(featured)
aka Thanks God, I'll Take It From Here (1946)
State Fair (1945) - Harry Ware ((featured)
aka It Happened One Summer (1945)
Jungle Captive, The (1945) - Don Young(featured)
aka Wild Jungle Captive (1952)
Over 21 (1945) - Frank MacDougal (featured)
Impatient Years, The (1944) - Henry Fairchild (featured)
Weird Woman (1944) - David Jennings (featured)
Calling Dr. Gillespie (1942) - Roy Todwell (lead)
Pierre of the Plains (1942) - Val Denton (featured)
I Wanted Wings (1941) - Jimmy Masters(cameo)
H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941) - Joe Bingham (featured)

Director Filmography
Harlem Globetrotters (1951)

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