‘Creature from Black Lagoon’ star Ricou Browning dead at 93

Ricou Browning, the horror movie legend who starred because the Gill-Man within the 1954 film “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” died Monday. He was 93.

Browning died in his dwelling in Southwest Ranches, Florida, of pure causes, his daughter Kim Browning informed The Hollywood Reporter.

“He had a superb profession within the movie business, offering fantastic leisure for previous and future generations,” she mentioned. 

Browning was born Feb. 16, 1930 in Fort Pierce, Florida, and attended Florida State College. As a teen, he labored for Newt Perry, a stand-in for Johnny Weissmuller on “Tarzan” movies, in underwater newsreels and as a water present performer at Florida vacationer attraction Weeki Wachee Springs. He was additionally on the U.S. Air Power swim workforce.

Creature From The Black Lagoon
Ricou Browning was the Gill-Man in “Creature from the Black Lagoon.”
LMPC through Getty Photographs

He landed his gig because the terrifying Gill-Man when he was displaying Common location scouts the realm of Wakulla Springs, Florida, and did some swim strikes for them.

The actor and stuntman was the final surviving actor of the unique Universal Classic Monsters — a sequence of horror movies by Common Photos from the Nineteen Thirties to Nineteen Fifties.

Browning as Gill-Man within the underwater scenes of “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” the 3D traditional that adopted scientists on an expedition to the Amazon, was thought of to be some of the terrifying film monsters of all time.

Ricou Browning in his movie costume at Wakulla Springs, Florida
Ricou Browning in his film costume at Wakulla Springs, Florida.
State Library and Archives of Florida

Browning, who mentioned he may routinely maintain his breath for 4 minutes at a time, shared in a 2013 interview that his costume for the character “was cumbersome at first. After I first put it on, it appeared awkward and clumsy,” he mentioned. “However as soon as I obtained into the film, I forgot I had it on. I turned the creature.”

“The lips of the go well with sat a couple of half-inch from my lips, and I put the air hose in my mouth to breathe,” he mentioned in a 2019 interview with Halloween Daily News. “I’d maintain my breath and go do the scene, and I’d produce other security individuals with different air hoses to offer me air if I wanted it. We had a sign. If I went completely limp, it meant I wanted it. It labored out effectively, and we didn’t have any issues.”

He filmed his scenes as Gill-Man within the winter, which obtained to be very chilly — particularly with the underwater sequences.

Ricou Browning attends the GalaxyCon Raleigh 2019 at Raleigh Convention Center on July 27, 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Ricou Browning was the final surviving actor of the unique Common Traditional Monsters.
Bobby Financial institution/Getty Photographs

“The crew felt sorry for me, so anyone mentioned, ‘How would you want a shot of brandy?’ I mentioned, ‘Positive,’” he remembered. “One other a part of the crew [also] gave me a shot of brandy. Fairly quickly they have been coping with a drunk creature.”

Browning returned in character for the sequels “Revenge of the Creature” in 1955 — which was additionally in 3D — and “The Creature Walks Amongst Us” in 1956.

Whereas taking pictures “Revenge of the Creature” in St. Augustine, Florida, a turtle bit a foot off of his costume and swam away with it.

Lori Nelson, Ricou Browning
Creature From The Black Lagoon - Revenge Of The Creature - 1955
Lori Nelson and Ricou Browning in “Revenge of the Creature.”

“It was the final pair of toes that I had on the shoot, so the prop males and the opposite stunt divers needed to chase that turtle down and get the factor out of his mouth,” he mentioned.

His stuntman work included Richard Fleischer’s 1954 movie “20,000 Leagues Underneath the Sea” and performing as a double for Jerry Lewis in 1959’s “Don’t Give Up the Ship.”

Browning mentioned within the interview with Ocala StarBanner that he “performed all of the dangerous guys” within the 1958 TV present “Sea Hunt,” during which he participated in 30 episodes.

Ricou Browning in the 1955 film "Revenge of the Creature."
Ricou Browning within the 1955 movie “Revenge of the Creature.”

Creature From The Black Lagoon
Ricou Browning landed his gig as Gill-Man when he was displaying Common location scouts the realm of Wakulla Springs, Florida, and did some swim strikes for them.
LMPC through Getty Photographs

Browning was the artistic brains behind each the unique “Flipper” film and TV present, an concept he got here up with when he and Perry captured fresh-water dolphins within the Amazon.

“We introduced them again to [a Florida state park in] Silver Springs,” Browning mentioned. “I turned their father or mother, apparently, and took care of them. At some point, once I got here dwelling, the youngsters have been watching ‘Lassie’ on TV, and it simply dawned on me: ‘Why not do a movie a couple of boy and a dolphin?’”

Bringing dwelling animals was not an unusual transfer for Browning.

Ricou Browning as the monster "Gillman" in the movie "The Creature From the Black Lagoon".
Ricou Browning because the monster “Gill-Man” within the film “Creature from the Black Lagoon.”
Bettmann Archive

Ricou Browning as The Monster, Wende Wagner as Ella Bailey
Ricou Browning as The Monster and Wende Wagner as Ella Bailey in “Flipper.”
NBCU Picture Financial institution/NBCUniversal through Getty Photographs

“Each time he obtained an concept for a film, he would deliver the animals dwelling,” his daughter Renee Le Feuvre informed the native outlet. “We had a sea lion that sat on the dinner desk… We had otters, a child black bear and a feminine peacock that will sit on our shoulder and drink iced tea out of our glass. All the youngsters within the neighborhood needed to come back over our home, as a result of it was like a zoo.”

Browning and his brother-in-law Jack Cowden wrote the story for the 1963 movie “Flipper,” which was later tailored into an NBC tv sequence that ran for 3 seasons from 1964-1967. He directed 37 episodes of the present set within the Florida Keys and was answerable for the underwater operations.

The actor additionally directed some legendary film scenes, together with the harpoon-filled battle in 1965’s “Thunderball,” the “Jaws”-inspired sweet bar-in-the-pool sequence within the 1980 film “Caddyshack” and an underwater scene in 1983’s “By no means Say By no means Once more.

Ricou Browning is shown here as he is being made up as the monster "gillman" for the movie Creature From The Black Lagoon.
Ricou Browning is being made as much as play Gill-Man for “Creature from the Black Lagoon.”
Bettmann Archive

In 1968, Browning was elected to guide the brand new Florida Movement Image and Tv Producers Affiliation. In 2006, Movie Florida awarded him its first Florida Legends Award.

Browning is survived by his 4 kids Ricou Browning Jr. — who can also be a marine coordinator, actor and stuntman — Renee, Kelly and Kim; 10 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. His spouse Fran handed in March 2020.

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