- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Robert Brown, who starred alongside David Soul and Bobby Sherman by portraying the oldest of the three logging Bolt brothers on the 1968-70 ABC series Here Come the Brides, has died. He was 95.
Brown died Sept. 19 at his home in Ojai, his friend Kiki Bremont told The Hollywood Reporter.
Brown appeared twice on Broadway and guest-starred as alternating versions of a dilithium-lusting character named Lazarus on the 1967 Star Trek episode “The Alternative Factor.” He got that gig when John Drew Barrymore failed to show up on the morning of the shoot.
In 1968, Brown was on the other end of a last-minute replacement situation. All set to star as Det. Steve McGarrett on the original Hawaii Five-0, he was replaced by Jack Lord five days before filming on the pilot began after producer Leonard Freeman had a change of heart about his leading man.
In his most well-known role, Brown portrayed the charismatic lumberjack Jason Bolt on all 52 episodes over two seasons of Screen Gems’ Here Come the Brides. A Western without guns, it was loosely based on the Mercer Girls, who were brought to the boom town of Seattle in the 1860s to work as teachers, and inspired by the Stanley Donen musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954).
Future Starsky & Hutch star Soul played the middle brother, Joshua, and teen idol Sherman portrayed the shy, stammering Jeremy. Bridget Hanley and Joan Blondell also starred.
Robin Adair MacKenzie Brown was born on Nov. 17, 1926, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and raised in Trenton, New Jersey, and the Bronx. His English father, William, worked as a butler for Teddy Roosevelt and Sara Roosevelt; his mother, Margaret, was born in Scotland.
After serving in the U.S. Navy, Brown studied with Lee Strasberg at the Dramatic Workshop, where his classmates included Rod Steiger, Harry Belafonte and Walter Matthau. He appeared on Broadway in 1948 in Skipper Next to God, starring John Garfield, and in 1951 in Maxwell Anderson’s Barefoot in Athens, where he played Lamprocles, son of Socrates.
He was branded a communist after he was seen marching in a parade and was listed in Red Channels, and his refusal to sign a “loyalty oath” cost him employment.
Brown came to Los Angeles and appeared in such films as The Flame Barrier (1958) and Roger Corman’s Tower of London (1962) and on episodes of Wagon Train, The Lawless Years, 12 O’Clock High, Bonanza and Perry Mason before landing on Star Trek.
With producers in a bind with Barrymore a no-show, Brown said he was paid more than what William Shatner got for the episode, he recalled in a 2015 interview. “But you have to agree not to mention it to anybody. It’s in his contract, nobody can be higher,” he was told. “Here’s a five-dollar bill, we’ll pay you five dollars more than Shatner. You do it.”
After Here Come the Brides, Brown played a statue that comes to life on a 1970 episode of Bewitched; starred as an oceanographer on the 1971-72 syndicated sea adventure series Primus; and worked on Mannix, Police Story, Columbo, Archie Bunker’s Place, Fantasy Island and In the Heat of the Night, his last onscreen appearance coming in 1994.
Brown also was an accomplished photographer.
Survivors include his daughter, Laurie; step-daughter Kimyla; grandsons Jeremiah and Max; and step-granddaughter KiSea. His fourth wife, artist Elisse Pogofsky-Harris, whom he married in 1986, died in 2018.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day