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Clarence J. "Clancy" Brown III (born January 5, 1959) is an American actor and voice actor known for his roles as Byron Hadley in the award winning The Shawshank Redemption and Career Sergeant Zim in Starship Troopers. He is perhaps best known for his role as the Kurgan in the cult classic Highlander. Brown also works extensively as a voice actor in animated TV series, notably portraying Lex Luthor on Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League/Justice League Unlimited as well as Mr. Krabs on SpongeBob SquarePants.

Early life

Brown was born in Urbana, Ohio. His mother, Joyce, was a conductor, composer, and concert pianist, while his father, Clarence J. "Bud" Brown Jr., was an Ohio Congressman and chairman of the board of the Brown Publishing Company, the family-owned newspaper business started by his grandfather, Congressman Clarence J. Brown.[1] He graduated from St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., and earned a scholarship to Northwestern University, where he became a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was inspired to become an actor by a neighbor who showed him Shakespeare's works.


Brown, who is 6'3" (191 cm), possesses a deep voice and large frame, is often typecast in roles of villains or authority figures. His career has tended to alternate between mainstream TV/cable; major-studio and independent-studio movies; and a large repertoire of voicework for animated and video game roles.

Movie roles

Brown's role as the Kurgan in Highlander made him well known and is arguably one of his best roles to date. Other well-known roles include Captain Byron Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption, Viking Lofgren in the 1983 hit drama movie Bad Boys, Rawhide in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension (1984), Army mercenary Larry McRose in Extreme Prejudice (1987), vicious killer Steve in Shoot to Kill (1988), a police officer in Michael Jackson's short movie "Speed Demon" (1988), Dead Man Walking (cameo only), Pet Sematary Two as Gus, Career Sergeant Zim in Starship Troopers, (a role he would reprise in the animated television series Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles), and Captain William Hadley in The Guardian. He also played a role in Flubber as one of the evil henchmen that get harmed by uncontrollably bouncing sports equipment.

Brown has three times played senior prison officers in movies dealing with miscarriages of justice: in The Shawshank Redemption, the tyrannical Capt. Hadley; in The Hurricane, the sympathetic Lt. Williams; and in Last Light as Lt. McMannis. In 2001, he played the wisher man in the hallmark version of Snow White. In 2007, he played the Viking leader opposite Karl Urban in Pathfinder.

He starred in several independent films in 2008: The Burrowers, screened at the Toronto Film Festival in 2008, and released in the US on DVD in April 2009, and The Twenty, which is currently awaiting screening. One of his most recent roles was in Steven Soderbergh's 2009 film The Informant! opposite Matt Damon in which he played an attorney. He also portrayed Alan Smith in Samuel Bayer's 2010 remake of the cult horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street.[2]

Television roles

Brown was a series regular on the science fiction series Earth 2 from 1994 to 1995, playing the role of John Danziger. Brown was notable as the sinister preacher Brother Justin Crowe in the HBO series Carnivàle. Though the show only went for two seasons, Carnivàle has attained a cult popularity and his pivotal performance was applauded by critics for showcasing a new side to his acting talents. He also starred in the Showtime production In the Company of Spies. He has also made many guest appearances on various television shows including Star Trek: Enterprise as Zobral in the episode "Desert Crossing", ER, Lost as Kelvin Joe Inman, and former baseball player (and investment scam mark) Rudy Blue on The Riches. "A Walk with Simon Kenton", a 2000 Kentucky Educational Television production on the frontiersman figure key to America's westward expansion, who resembles Brown in stature and is buried in his home town. Brown most recently appeared as Hart Sterling, founding partner of fictional law firm Sterling, Huddle, Oppenheim & Craft in ABC's The Deep End.[3] He also guest starred on the series Leverage in the episode "The Gone Fishin Job".

Notable voice roles

As well as his work in the DC animated universe (see below), he has voiced the corrupt Baron Praxis in the PlayStation 2 video game Jak II, Doctor Neo Cortex and Uka Uka in a number of the Crash Bandicoot video games until Crash Twinsanity (in which he was replaced by Lex Lang and Alex Fernandez/John DiMaggio), Montross in Star Wars: Bounty Hunter and Gorrath in the animated series Megas XLR. Brown was also the voice of Thrall in the cancelled video game Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans. He also played Hakon, Tomas Brod, and Wolf in the TV series Gargoyles. In 1994 he voiced the fictional tanuki, Gonta, in the English language dub of "Pom Poko". Brown voice-played Raiden on the animated series, Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. In 1999 Brown voiced a Hessian trooper in The Night of the Headless Horseman. Brown also played the conniving Alderman Richard Hughes in the Xbox 360 game, Saints Row.

From 1999 to the present, he has played the role of Mr. Krabs of SpongeBob SquarePants. From 2000 to 2005, he regularly played the roles of Captain Black and Ratso on Jackie Chan Adventures and occasionally took on the role of the talisman-animated moose doll known as "Super Moose". He has also voice-played Vice-Principal Pangborn in All Grown Up and Barkmeat in Catscratch. In Disney programs, he's played roles such as Otto in Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, and the Dark Dragon in American Dragon: Jake Long, as well as the Ugly Bald Guy in the movie Recess: School's Out. Brown also plays Long Feng in Avatar: The Last Airbender. He could be seen in the 2006 Cartoon Network movie Re-Animated, as Mr. Norm, the science teacher. He also voice-played Undertow, Cloak and Dagger in The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea and a guest appearance in the Kim Possible episode Oh, No! Yono where he played the titular character. He guest starred in The Penguins of Madagascar as the Rockhopper Penguin, Buck Rockgut, in "The Red Squirrel". He also guest starred in the TV series Duck Dodgers, playing the voice of Archduke Zag. He also makes a few guest appearances in the Disney Channel show Phineas and Ferb, most notably, Santa Claus, the Regurgitator, and the Warden at Smile Away Reformatory School.

DC universe roles

Clancy Brown is well known for his voice work as villains from various DC animated shows, movies, and video games. Clancy Brown played Mr. Freeze in The Batman, as well a few appearances as the voice of Trident on Teen Titans. Clancy Brown's best known role in the DC animated universe, is that of the villainous Lex Luthor, a role that he played for over 12 years. He first appeared as Lex vocally in Bruce Timm's Superman: The Animated Series, he had originally auditioned for the role of Superman, but the part ultimately went to actor Tim Daly. He has reprised his role as Lex Luthor in various other animated shows: Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and in the non DC animated universe show The Batman. He has reprised his role of Lex in the video game Superman: Shadow of Apokolips. Clancy Brown was absent from the movie Superman: Brainiac Attacks so the role of Lex was played by Clancy's Justice League Unlimited co-star Powers Booth. Clancy Brown has reprised his role as Lex Luthor in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.[4]. He also reprised his role as Lex Luthor under the name Rohtul (Luthor spelled backwards) in the episode "The Super-Batman of Planet X!" of the TV Series Batman: Brave and the Bold. Adding up all these vocal appearances Clancy has made as Lex Luthor, Clancy Brown has played Lex Luthor longer than any other actor in history, even Gene Hackman who played Luthor in the first Superman film saga and his Justice League co-star Michael Rosenbaum who played Lex Luthor in Smallville.

Marvel roles

He played police captain George Stacy in The Spectacular Spider-Man, as well as supervillain The Rhino. Recently he appeared on Wolverine and the X-Men as the villainous Mr. Sinister.

Brown portrayed 5 of the 6 members of Legion Ex Machina in the animated series Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot.

Brown voices Odin in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

He will be the voice of The Goon in the upcoming animated feature film.[5]

Video games

Clancy Brown has appeared in several video games, usually playing an antagonistic character. In 2002, he played Montross, a Mandalorian rival of Jango Fett in the game Star Wars: Bounty Hunter. He also played The Baron in Naughty Dog's Jak II, also as Dr. Neo Cortex in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back to the Wrath of Cortex, and also as the evil witch doctor mask Uka Uka from the same games, again as the main villain. He is also the voice of Hades in God of War III.

Commercial spokesman

He is the commercial spokesman for Home Depot, Gerbers and Avis Rent a Car System, as well as Honda.

Personal life

Brown has been married to Jeanne Johnson since 1993; they have two children.


Further reading

  • Voisin, Scott, Character Kings: Hollywood's Familiar Faces Discuss the Art and Business of Acting BearManor Media, 2009. ISBN 978-1-59393-342-5

External links

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