Today is Jim Brown’s birthday. He is 78. A gifted sportsman he is often mentioned as the greatest player in NFL history.

Jim Brown in 1961

This ruggedly handsome African American fullback for the Cleveland Browns first appeared on movie screens in the western Rio Conchos (1964)

Rio Conchos Rio C lobby card

followed by a strong supporting role as convict commando “Jefferson” in the terrific WW2 action film The Dirty Dozen (1967) alongside legends Lee Marvin, John Cassavetes, Donald Sutherland, Telly Savalas, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, George Kennedy, Robert Ryan, Clint Walker and my favourite named actor Thick Wilson (a bit part player but what a handle).

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Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE-m6zUNKH0

Jim Brown in The Dirty Dozen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceGqXkrIMrs

He was kept busy with additional on screen appearances in other action films including Ice Station Zebra (1968)

Ice Station Zebra Ice Station Zebra 1 Ice Station Zebra 2

Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYptT5qFCUA

100 Rifles (1969)

100 rifles french 100 Rifles poster 100 RiflesRaquel and Jim

Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlRYOdsHwy4

and El Condor (1970).

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Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9kbYCP3V3o

Brown’s popularity grew during the boom of “blaxploitation” cinema in the early 1970s portraying tough “no nonsense” characters in

Slaughter (1972)

Slaughter

http://www.filmposterart.co.uk/slaughter-166-p.asp

Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnzkEwKAk_4

Slaughter 2 Slaughter Will Blow Your Mind

Black Gunn (1972)

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Slaughter’s Big Rip Off (1973)

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The Slams (1973)

12057__x400_slams_poster_02The Slams

Three the Hard Way (1974) with legends Jim Kelly and Fred Williamson

Three the Hard Way

http://www.filmposterart.co.uk/three-the-hard-way-101-p.asp

three the hard way 43-the-hard-way-23 the Hard Way3 the hard way 43 the hard way 63 the hard way poster

Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25RdRdiw2Uo

Take a Hard Ride (1975)

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Take A Hard Ride 1

Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7RWnud0rCw

One Down, Two To Go (1976)

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One_down_two_to_go_

Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zI6qHKMc2s

His on-screen work in the latter part of the 1970s and 1980s was primarily centered around guest spots on popular TV shows such as CHiPs (1977) and Knight Rider (1982).

However, he then resurfaced in better quality films beginning with his role as a fiery assassin, Fireball in The Running Man (1987)

The Running ManFireball

He parodied the blaxploitation genre along with many other African-American actors in the comedy I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988)

Sucka 1 Sucka 2 MSDIMGO EC006 Sucka 4 Sucka poster

Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E97wjtbiad0

He played an ex-heavyweight boxer in the sci-fi comedy Mars Attacks! (1996)

Mars Attacks 1 Mars Attacks 2 Mars Attacks 3 Mars Attacks 4

Jim hits the Martians.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fq8BS9Ra_3s

and ironically played an ex-football legend in the Oliver Stone directed sports film Any Given Sunday (1999).

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens

Additionally, Jim Brown was a ringside commentator for the first six events of the Ultimate Fighting Championships from 1993 through to 1996. A bona fide legend in American sports and a successful actor, he continues to remain busy in front of the camera with recent appearances in various sports shows & TV productions.

Jim Brown and Ali Jim and Elvis