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RIP: Ewing Miles Brown

Ewing Miles Brown (nicknamed “Lucky”)

Film producer, director, and sometime actor Ewing Miles Brown, who was known affectionately to legions of performers and crew members in the industry as “Lucky” Brown, passed away from respiratory failure on Monday, May 27, 2019 at the age of 97 according to his personal friend of forty years, actor and film historian Douglas Dunning.

Lucky Brown shooting A Whale of a Tale (1976)

Lucky and his friend of 40 years, Douglas Dunning, in Lucky’s office

Lucky and his friend of 40 years, Douglas Dunning, on location

After making his acting debut in bit parts in the Our Gang shorts (which were later titled The Little Rascals for syndication), Mr. Brown followed up with a stint as the head editor at Emperor Films and was personally recruited by film producer and movie theater owner Robert L. Lippert to head up production. Dissatisfied with working for others, Lucky branched out on his own in the late 1950’s and started his own motion picture film company called Movie Tech Studios which he built from the ground up. It was one of the oldest independent movie studios in the United States which ceased operations last year just prior to his 97th birthday. Lucky’s father, in fact, was the eponymous Dr. Brown, who was a personal doctor to the stars in the 1920’s through the 1940’s. He delivered Howard Hughes!

Lucky and his beloved wife, Jeanne, in a portrait by artist Will Williams

As an actor, Lucky’s career was extremely varied and far more extensive than the truncated list than the Internet Movie Database will lead one to believe. In 1976 he produced and directed A Whale of a Tale, the only family-oriented film that William Shatner made in his career. The film also starred Marty Allen and Andy Devine.

Lucky’s last film credit is in the unfinished production of Terror of the Gorgon which he directed as well as appears in. Mr. Dunning has stated that he will finish the film as a tribute to Lucky.

Lucky flanked by Frank Bresee and Bobbie Bresee

Lucky was also the last surviving cast member of George Stevens’s Shane (1953). He was a saddle buddy to Alan Ladd in the cattle drive sequence which ran an hour in length but was cut shortly after the film was previewed in 1953, reducing the film’s original three-hour running time to 118 minutes.

Lucky, a true Hollywood legend, will be sorely missed by those who knew him.

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