‘Sanford & Son’ Actor Graham Brown Passes Away at 87

on December 17 2011 12:46 AM

Graham Brown, who performed at London’s Globe Theatre and on TV in Sanford & Son, has died at the age of 87 on Dec. 13 in New Jersey.

He died of pulmonary failure at the Lillian Booth Actors' Fund Nursing Home in Englewood, where he was staying since 2009.

Barbara Montgomery, an American television film actress who often appeared with Brown on stage and who had the power of attorney on his behalf confirmed the news.

Montgomery said that Brown was meticulous and was a gentleman.

Born Robert E. Brown in New York, Brown was best known for his work on the stage. A one-time boxer, Brown also acted with prominent companies such as the Guthrie Theatre (where he was a founding member), The New York Shakespeare Festival and most notably The Negro Ensemble Company.

One of his most memorable roles was in the 1978 play Nevis Mountain Dew. He essayed the role of a 50-year-old patriarch of a Caribbean family, enclosed completely in an iron lung due to paralysis with only the head visible. Nevis Mountain Dew examined the issue of euthanasia from the perspective of a paralytic man. It was chosen among 10 New York City Productions as one of The Best Plays of 1978-1979.

Among his screen credits were The Muppets Take Manhattan, Bloodhounds of Broadway, Malcolm X and Clockers.

In the 1970s he played a school principal on the sitcom Sanford & Son and a judge on Law & Order.

The date of Brown's memorial service is yet to be announced.