Thomas Martell Brimm, Actor, Dies at 75 | Playbill

Obituaries Thomas Martell Brimm, Actor, Dies at 75
Thomas Martell Brimm, an actor who cut his teeth at Joe Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival, died Nov. 30. He was 75.

Mr. Brimm was part of a late-'70s initiation by Papp to present classic plays with all Hispanic and African-American ensembles. He played roles in Coriolanus and Mother Courage alongside the likes of Gloria Foster, Denzel Washington, Earl Hyman, Morgan Freeman and Samuel Jackson. Other Public Theater credits included On the Lock-In. At the Gate Theatre, he appeared in controversial playwright Rochelle Owens' Beclch. On Broadway, he understudied several roles in a 1985 mounting of The Iceman Cometh. Also affiliated with the Negro Ensemble Company, Mr. Brimm toured Europe with the company's production of Ceremonies in Dark Old Men. While overseas, he appeared in When the Chickens Come Home to Roost and as Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. During his career he also performed in Africa, Brazil, Haiti and Venezuela.

According to Variety, Mr. Brimm received a grant from playwright Charles Fuller Jr., to establish Theater of the Streets to widen access to the arts in Greenwich Village. He was also artistic director for Cellblock Theater, directing plays and teaching acting in New Jersey and New York prisons; and directed and oversaw an ensemble of more than 100 creative artists for a group called Hospital Audiences, which toured hospitals and nursing homes.

Thomas Martell Brimm was born in New Orleans, where he first appeared on stage at the age of nine in his preacher, teacher, and bandleader father’s minstrel shows. Following service in Korean, he began his professional acting career on stage in San Francisco in Jack Gelber’s The Connection.

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