MURRAY, Ky. — W. Earl Brown, actor in many film, theatre and television roles, will star in the role of Big Daddy in Murray State University’s upcoming production of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
Brown, who graduated from Murray State University’s theatre program in 1986, continues a long career in Hollywood and beyond as an accomplished actor. After graduating from Murray State, Brown received his M.F.A. from DePaul University’s theatre school in 1989. After graduating from DePaul, he performed in numerous plays around Chicago. His first job on a film set was teaching dialect on “Backdraft” (1991). Not long after that, his performance in “A View From the Bridge” at the Steppenwolf Theatre catapulted his career into television and film.
Wes Craven was an early supporter of Brown’s; he cast him in “New Nightmare” (1994), “A Vampire in Brooklyn” (1995) and the role of Kenny in the classic “Scream” (1996). Two years after the success of “Scream,” Brown played Warren, Cameron Diaz’s brother, in “There’s Something About Mary” (1998). Among his many other film credits are the highly regarded films “Being John Malkovich” (1999), “The Master” (2012), “The Sessions” (2012), “Wild” (2014) and “Black Mass” (2015).
Brown’s television roles include Sheriff Hugo Root in the “Preacher” series, Captain Dan Wilkinson in “Wicked City,” Detective Teague Dixon in “True Detective” and Tom Carlin in the series “American Crime.” On television, he is probably best known as Dan Dority in HBO’s “Deadwood” (2003). During that series’ second season, the show’s creator, David Milch, invited him to join the writing staff. In 2007, Brown earned a WGA nomination for writing on a drama series and a SAG nomination for best drama ensemble acting. Establishing himself on a show as critically lauded as “Deadwood” opened doors for other writing projects, including the Sony release “Bloodworth” (2011), which Brown wrote and produced.
In addition to his television and film work, Brown co-starred in Sony’s “The Last Of Us,” 2013 Video Game Of The Year. He also writes music and records with Sacred Cowboys, an L.A.-based Americana band.
Lissa Graham, director of Murray State’s production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” said, “People should come out and see Earl work his magic on stage. It is very different seeing someone on a TV, or a large film screen, and watching them work live and on stage. The theatre has the vibrancy that allows actors like Earl to feel the audience and the others onstage, and it is fun to see Earl respond in the moment.”
David Balthrop, chair of the department of theatre, stated, “We are thankful that Earl is bringing his expertise and his work ethic to Murray State’s theatre program, and our students thoroughly enjoy working with him. They recognize how lucky they are to have him here, and it is a joy to watch him teach them what he knows. Earl has been a presence in our program for several years, and it is great to see the manifestation of that relationship as we get to enjoy Earl working on stage with our students and faculty.”
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” runs April 27–29 at 7:30 p.m. and April 30 at 2:30 p.m. All performances are in the Robert E. Johnson Theatre in the Doyle Fine Arts Center on Murray State’s campus. Reservations can be made by calling 270-809-4421 or by visiting murraystatetickets.com.