Charles Brown, Tony Nominee for King Hedley II, Dead at 57

By Kenneth Jones
27 Jan 2004

Charles Brown in 1980's Home
Charles Brown in 1980's Home
Photo by Martha Swope

Charles Brown, a two time Tony Award nominee died Jan. 8, at his home in Cleveland, OH, according to friends and loved ones.

Mr. Brown, 57, was Tony-nominated as Best Actor (Play) for Home in 1980 and Best Featured Actor (Play) for King Hedley II in 2001. He received the Drama Desk Award in 2001.

"Charlie" was born in Alabama and raised in Cleveland. He came to New York in the 1970s and joined the Negro Ensemble Company and was a member for 17 years.

Mr. Brown created roles in two Pulitzer Prize winning plays, A Soldier's Play and Fences, and in Neil Simon's Rumors on Broadway, as well as Broadway productions of The Mighty Gents, The Poison Tree and The First Breeze of Summer.

Off-Broadway, he appeared as an original cast member in John Guare's A Few Stout Individuals and Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's The Exonerated.



His television credits include "Kojak," The Cosby Show," "Law and Order," "Law and Order SVU," "The Equalizer" and "Here and Now."

According to his King Hedley II bio, he received his theatrical preparation at Howard University, Cleveland's Karamu House and Robert Hooks' Black Repertory Company in Washington, DC.

He is survived by his wife Renee Lescook Brown, his stepdaughter Dominique Stewart, three granddaughters and his long time friend and companion Lynda Gravatt.

A celebration of the life of Charles Brown will be held 1-3 PM at The Signature Theater, 555 W. 42nd St. on Feb. 9.