Jim Brown, ‘Dirty Dozen’ Star and NFL Legend, Dead at 87
Jim Brown, the athlete and actor known for his appearances in The Dirty Dozen and Any Given Sunday, has died. He was 87.
Monique Brown — the actor’s second wife of over 25 years — posted the news of his death on Instagram.
“It is with profound sadness that I announce the passing of my husband Jim Brown,” she wrote. “He passed peacefully last night at our LA home.”
She continued, “To the world he was an activist, actor and football star. To our family, he was a loving and wonderful husband, father and grandfather. Our hearts are broken.”
Brown was a first-round pick for the Cleveland Browns in 1957, where he remained until 1965. He went on to earn three NFL MVP awards, win a championship in 1964 and was invited to participate in the Pro Bowl every year he played.
In a statement released by the Cleveland Browns, they referred to Brown — who’s #32 was retired by the team — as a “Legend. Leader. Activist. Visionary,” per TMZ.
They continued, “It’s impossible to describe the profound love and gratitude we feel for having the opportunity to be a small piece of Jim’s incredible life and legacy. We mourn his passing, but celebrate the indelible light he brought to the world.”
Following his football career, Brown went on to star in a number of Hollywood flicks, including The Dirty Dozen and Any Given Sunday. He also starred alongside Rod Taylor in Jack Cardiff’s 1968 war film Dark of the Sun as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 action movie The Running Man. Plus, he was featured in Spike Lee’s 1998 sports drama He Got Game.
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Most recently, Brown starred as himself in the 2019 documentary The Black Godfather, which was about music executive Clarence Avant — who was otherwise known as the “godfather of Black music.”
According to TMZ, he was last seen in public over Super Bowl weekend at the NFL Honors Ceremony, where it was announced that the league’s annual rushing trophy would be named in his honor.