‘Creatures from the Black Lagoon’ actor Ricou Browning passes away

Ricou Browning, an avid swimmer best known for his underwater role as Gill Man in the quintessential 1950s black-and-white 3D monster film Creatures from the Black Lagoon, has died, his family has told him. many media. He was 93.

Browning died on February 27 at his home in Southwest Ranches, Florida.

In addition to acting roles, Browning also collaborated as a screenwriter on the 1963 film “Flipper” and the popular TV series of the same name.

He told the Ocala Star Banner in 2013 that he came up with the idea after a trip to South America to catch freshwater dolphins in the Amazon.

“One day, when I got home, the kids were watching ‘Lassie’ on TV, and it occurred to me, ‘Why not make a movie about the boy and the dolphin?’, he told the newspaper.

Browning directed the 1973 comedy “Salty” about a sea lion and the 1978 television series “Mr. No Legs” about a mob executioner who lost his legs. He has also acted as a stunt double in various films, including playing Jerry Lewis’ underwater double in the 1959 comedy “Don’t Give Up the Ship,” according to The New York Times.

But nothing can mark Browning’s Hollywood career like swimming underwater in a grotesquely elaborate suit as the Fish-Bringing Man, a character that will hold his own in horror movie lore alongside. monsters like King Kong and Godzilla. Browning performed the swimming scenes in two sequels, “Revenge of the Creature” (1955) and “The Creature Walks Among Us” (1956). Other actors play the Man on Land.

Browning told Ocala Star Banner he can hold his breath for several minutes underwater, making him particularly adept in the swimming section.

He was discovered when the film’s director visited Silver Springs, where Newt Perry, a stunt double for “Tarzan” actor Johnny Weissmuller, was promoting one of Florida’s first tourist attractions. , where Browning got a job as a teenager swimming in water shows .

Perry asked Browning to take the Hollywood guests to Wakulla Springs, one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. They then recruited Browning to appear in the film, which was partially filmed at the hot springs.

Ricou Ren Browning was born on February 16, 1930 in Fort Pierce, Florida. He swam on the US Air Force swim team.

Survivors include his four children, Ricou Browning Jr., Renee, Kelly and Kim; 10 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. His wife, Fran, died in March 2020. His son, Ricou Jr. is a marine coordinator, actor and stuntman like his father, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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